Antwerp-based gem institute inks 20,000 SF lease at 551 Fifth

November 14, 2012 12:30PM

The Antwerp-based International Gemological Institute has inked a 20,400-square-foot lease for the entire seventh floor of 551 Fifth Avenue, according to the Feil Organization, the property’s landlord. IGI will occupy the space in January 2013.

“IGI had very specific needs – notably to be within a specific geographical envelope and on a full floor to accommodate their business operations,” said Studley’s Jarod Stern, who brokered the deal. “They wanted a building that spoke to who they are as an organization, and they liked the pre-war, art-deco style of 551 Fifth Avenue.”

Located at 45th Street near the Diamond District, the lease may come as a shock to Extell Development’s Gary Barnett, who may have wanted the institute as a tenant at his nearby International Gem Tower. As The New York Observer has previously reported, Extell lost diamond cutter Jack Reiss to 580 Fifth Avenue in 2011.

Other tenants at the property include law firm Schoeman, Updike & Kaufman, LLP, which recently signed a 12th-floor lease, and Tommy Bahama’s flagship retail store and restaurant, which will open this Saturday, the landlord said.– Zachary Kussin