The Real Deal New York

Mastercard looks to expand Midtown South tech hub

Payments processor looking for as much as 150K sf: sources
By Rich Bockmann | December 06, 2016 12:20PM

114 Fifth Avenue and MasterCard's Tech Hub (credit: MasterCard)

114 Fifth Avenue and MasterCard’s Tech Hub (credit: MasterCard)

There are some things money can’t buy. A 150,000-square foot block of space in Midtown South just might be one of them.

Mastercard, which about two years ago leased just under 60,000 square feet in the Flatiron District for its digital group, is scouring the tight Midtown South market for a space more than twice that size, according to sources familiar with the search.

The payment-processing giant signed a deal in 2014 at L&L Holding Company’s TRData LogoTINY 18-story 114 Fifth Avenue, a property that’s home to Mashable and Capital One Labs, the eponymous bank’s tech hub.

Mastercard expanded by another 20,000 square feet in the spring of 2015, according to Costar Group data. But with the 350,000-square-foot building now fully leased, the tech group is looking outward to meet its growing needs.

Sources said the company is intent on staying in Midtown South and recently had a lease out at the Rosen Group’s 902 Broadway for about 30,000 square feet, but walked away in November when the requirement grew to roughly 150,000 square feet.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Mitchell Barnett is handling the search. A representative for Mastercard declined to comment.

Staying in Midtown South with such a large assignment is a tall order.

Swedish-based music-streaming app Spotify, which is based just around the corner from Mastercard’s office at RXR Realty’s 620 Sixth Avenue, is reportedly in talks to take a large chunk of space at the World Trade Center. Spotify’s looking for north of 300,000 square feet, and is on a short timeline.

Such a move would be a sign that not only are Midtown South tenants with large requirements finding the submarket simply can’t meet their needs, but that they’re also willing to branch out to other areas not normally thought of as tech hubs.