The Real Deal New York

Office space in Fifth Avenue building alleged to have had Iranian ties hits the leasing market

October 09, 2012 11:30AM

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In 2008, the U.S. government alleged that a minority owner in 650 Fifth Avenue (pictured right) was Bank Melli, which is accused of being a backer of nuclear and weapons programs in Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured left) is the president of Iran. The majority owner of the building is the non-profit Alavi Foundation.

A commercial building with alleged ties to the Iranian government is attempting to lease out 140,000 square feet of vacant space, according to the Observer.

In 2008, the 36-story 650 Fifth Avenue building near Rockefeller Center, formerly known as the Piaget Building, was alleged by the U.S. Justice Department to be 40 percent owned by Assa Corporation: a shell company the government believed was run by Iran’s Bank Melli. Bank Melli is accused of being a backer of Iran’s nuclear and weapons programs, with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force.

A leasing team from CBRE has replaced Jones Lang LaSalle to handle marketing the commercial space.

650 Fifth Avenue Company, recently spent $11 million to put it place a new lobby and elevators, designed by architectural firm Swanke Hayden Connell. But because of the building’s history all expenditures are being overseen by a federally appointed monitor, the Observer reported. [NYO]Christopher Cameron

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