UBS opts to stay put at 1285 Sixth Avenue

October 25, 2012 12:30PM

UBS is in negotiations to renew its lease for a massive chunk of 1285 Sixth Avenue, representing one of the largest Manhattan leasing transactions this year, sources told Crain’s.

The prospective deal would have the Swiss bank stay until 2020, or five years beyond the expiry of its current lease. UBS occupies 700,000 square feet at the 1.8-million-square-foot building, between West 51st and West 52nd streets, making it the largest tenant there.

Robert Alexander of CBRE is leading the team representing UBS. Peter Riguardi of Jones Lang LaSalle is representing the landlord, a group led by the investment firm AXA-Equitable.

Although the renewal is for a relatively short period of time, the decision to stay put saves UBS the cost of outfitting a new space, at a time when the Zurich-based bank is undergoing rounds of layoffs.

“The lack of clarity and certainty on so many issues—from what the costs of health care will be to tax policy to the regulatory climate—is causing tenants to postpone leasing space and in some cases just renew rather than move,” John Cushman, a top executive at the brokerage company Cushman & Wakefield, told Crain’s. “Banks don’t know what lies ahead, and until they get some clarity, they will take a much more cautious approach on large capital decisions like taking new space.” [Crain’s]Leigh Kamping-Carder