Blackstone lures info services firm to former NYT building

Asset manager has repositioned property as Midtown's tech-friendly oasis

TRD New York /
Jul.July 17, 2013 02:30 PM

Blackstone Group’s strategy of luring tech and new media-oriented tenants to the former New York Times building at 229 West 43rd Street continues to pay off. After a marquee May deal with Yahoo to anchor the building, Blackstone has now signed AlphaSights – which describes itself as a “knowledge brokerage” for institutional investors – to a 21,949-square-foot deal, according to data from CompStak.

AlphaSights — which, akin to a hyper-specialized premium version of Quora, connects private equity firms and hedge funds to industry experts — will pay rents in the mid-$60s per square foot for the partial fourth-floor space in a five-year deal, the CompStak data show. Asking rents on the floor were in the mid $60s per square foot.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Brian Waterman, Brent Ozarowski, Jonathan Tootell, James Kuhn and Lance Korman marketed the space on behalf of the landlord, according to real estate technology firm View The Space. The brokers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jones Lang LaSalle’s Jeffrey Fischer, who represented AlphaSights, declined to comment.

The deal at the 789,826-square-foot Class A building is a significant show of strength for AlphaSights, which will leave its current premises at 38 West 21st Street, a nondescript Class C office building between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Blackstone paid Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel USA and private equity firm Five Mile Capital $160 million for the top 12 floors of the 15-story building in August 2011, as The Real Deal reported. The asset management giant has since invested at least $105 million in a drive to reposition the building as a tech-friendly oasis in the heart of Times Square.

Representatives from Blackstone could not immediately be reached for comment.

Al Jazeera is also eyeing the building as a potential U.S. headquarters for its anticipated launch in the country later this year.

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