The Real Deal New York

Insurer renews, expands to 211K sf on Park Avenue

Company that gave rise to AIG takes an extra 70K sf at Boston Properties’ 399 Park
By Rich Bockmann | August 05, 2016 05:15PM

Maurice Greenberg and 399 Park Avenue in Midtown

The insurance firm headed by former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg signed a renewal and expansion deal for more than 200,000 Square Feet On Park Avenue.

C.V. Starr & Co., founded in Shanghai 1919 by American businessman Cornelius Vander Starr, renewed roughly 140,000 square feet at Boston Properties’ 399 Park Avenue and expanded by another 71,000 square feet, sources told The Real Deal.

The duration of the new lease and asking rents were not available. A representative for Boston Properties TRData LogoTINY declined to comment.

The landlord is facing 677,000 square feet in lease expirations in 2017 at the 1.7 million-square-foot tower.

Citigroup, which has 487,000 square feet, relocated its headquarters from 399 Park to 388-399 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan, which it bought from SL Green Realty in June for $1.8 billion.

The international law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is leaving behind a block of 190,000 square feet in the mid-rise portion of the building.

It’s not clear if C.V. Starr is expanding into space that was previously taken by Morgan Lewis or Citigroup.

On Boston Properties’ most recent earnings call in July, president Doug Linde said the company has already released 204,000 square feet of the Citigroup and Morgan Lewis space, but noted rents on the spaces were only up about 2 percent.

“[That] is very consistent with my past remarks, where I said that 399 was basically a flat building,” he told investors.

The landlord expects to kick off a capital improvements plan at the building by the fourth quarter.

A team of Cushman & Wakefield brokers including John Picco, Augie Di Renzo, Andy Behymer and Peter Van Duyne represented the tenant and declined to comment.

AIG was formed as a division of C.V. Starr in the 1960s. C.V. Starr CEO Greenberg served as the CEO of AIG for four decades and grew it into one of the largest companies in the world before he was ousted in 2005 amid allegations brought by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that he allegedly orchestrated bogus transactions at AIG.

The New York State Court of Appeals in June ruled that Greenberg must stand trial to face those charges.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the circumstances under which Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was forced to resign as CEO of AIG in 2005. He resigned amid allegations of corporate malfeasance, not a leadership struggle.