The Real Deal New York

Deal at Minskoff’s 51 Astor could be Midtown South’s priciest

Money manager Claren Road takes 25,000 sf top-floor space; asking rent was $118 psf

March 14, 2014 01:08PM
By Hiten Samtani

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From left: 51 Astor Place and Edward Minskoff

From left: 51 Astor Place and Edward Minskoff

Claren Road Asset Management, a credit-focused money manager that is a subsidiary of private equity giant the Carlyle Group, will take the top floor of Edward Minskoff’s 51 Astor Place, The Real Deal has learned. The 25,401-square-foot space was asking a rent of $118 per square foot, a record for Midtown South. Sources familiar with the transaction said that it was likely the priciest per-square-foot deal struck in the neighborhood.

“It’s got 18-foot slab heights with floor-to-ceiling glass, tremendous infrastructure and is virtually column-free,” said JLL’s Paul Glickman, who along with colleague Cynthia Wasserberger, represented Edward J. Minskoff Equities in the transaction. Glickman declined to comment on the financial terms of the 10-year deal, but noted the panoramic views and space efficiency that the floor offers.

Jeffrey Sussman, a vice-president at Edward J. Minskoff Equities who worked on the deal in-house, declined to comment. The Fumihiko Maki-designed 12-story, 400,000-square-foot property, located on the tip of the East Village right across from Cooper Union, began leasing in June, and landed its first tenant, online vintage goods auctioneer 1stdibs, in October. The building has since scored some high-profile names. IBM’s Watson Group became the building’s anchor tenant with a 120,000-square-foot deal struck at the beginning of this year. The IBM unit will pay rents ranging from the low-$80s to the low-$90s per square foot, according to the Wall Street Journal. MailOnline, the website of popular British tabloid the Daily Mail, also signed a deal in which it will pay per-square-foot rents in the high-$90s for the ninth floor, sources said.

The building is now over 85 percent leased, Glickman said.

Claren Road will be relocating from the 29th floor of Paramount Group’s 900 Third Avenue. Representatives for Claren Road weren’t immediately available for comment. Carlyle took a 55 percent stake in the company in December 2010, a move that allowed longtime investors Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to exit, according to the New York Times. At the time, Claren Road had $4.5 billion in assets under management.

(Christopher Cameron contributed reporting to this article)

  • Hoops and Horses

    Astor Place is considered (depending on who you talk to) to be part of Greenwich Village or the East Village, NOT Midtown South. That needs to be corrected.

    • HitenSamtani

      Hi H&H, in office leasing parlance, 51 Astor IS considered to be part of Midtown South. It is indeed in the East Village — or rather on the border between the EV and Greenwich Village — but in the office market it’s referred to as Midtown South, in the CBRE office market reports, and also by other media orgs. including Crain’s (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20131010/REAL_ESTATE/131019990/rare-east-village-office-building-lands-first-tenant) and the Observer (http://commercialobserver.com/2013/10/midtown-south-hitting-the-ceiling/). Thanks, Hiten

      • Alex

        Just No. All those sources are evil to call it Midtown south.

      • Hoops and Horses

        Maybe in office leasing parlance it is considered to be in Midtown South, but to most people, that part of Manhattan is either the East Village or Greenwich Village, as Lafayette Street/4th Avenue or 5th Avenue (again, depending on who you talk to) is considered the cutoff going east for Greenwich Village. I’m sure a lot of Office types don’t want it known as the East Village because there are those who still associate that part of Manhattan with a much grimier and grittier era that lasted into the late 1990′s in some instances and don’t realize how much that has changed or Greenwich Village because there again those older who remember that area being much different in an earlier time.

  • Marina

    @HitenSamtani:disqus “Office Leasing Parlance” would be another way of saying office slang…please do not reference the neighborhood I live in and love as part of your slang. Midtown is a dirty word for people who live in this area…and pretty much any area outside of midtown.
    I do not live in a bubble of developers and finance gurus, I live in a neighborhood. Please respect that and reference it properly. By continuing to use your SLANG you’re perpetuating a misnomer and having newly transplanted people to this city start referencing it as such. That is not good journalism nor good neighborly behavior. Please correct and/or add a reference as to why you’re using the slang “Midtown South”.

  • DanaWyn Sherman

    WTF is this Midtown South blabber? This building is clearly in the East Village more than a mile away from Midtown South. Riduculous.

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