Alternative asset manager Apollo Global Management is trading in gold for green.
The company is leaving its offices behind at the Crown Building – The Gilded Fifth Avenue property Michael Shvo and Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin are converting into condos – in favor of the emerald-colored 3 Bryant Park, where it’s signed a sublease with MetLife for roughly 70,000 square feet, sources told The Real Deal.
A spokesperson for Apollo declined to comment. Representatives for MetLife could not be immediately reached.
Apollo inked a deal to sublease two full floors in the 1.2 million-square-foot building at 1095 Sixth Avenue, which was renamed the Salesforce Tower last year when the software company signed a deal to sublease 300,000 square feet from MetLife. It’s the last chunk of the 400,000-plus square feet MetLife left behind when it relocated to its namesake building at 200 Park Avenue.
The asking rent in the deal wasn’t immediately clear. A team led by Bruce Mosler and John Cefaly at Cushman & Wakefield negotiated on behalf of MetLife. CBRE’s Steve Siegel and Keith Caggiano represented Apollo. None of the brokers responded to a request for comment.
Apollo’s headquarters is at Sheldon Solow’s 9 West 57th Street overlooking Central Park, and that office is not affected by the move. But the company also has an office on the upper floors of the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, which Shvo and Doronin bought in early 2016 for a reported $500 million from General Growth Properties and Jeff Sutton.
In addition to Apollo, office tenants in place when the Crown Building changed hands included the literary agency ICM, the private equity firm KKR and the Italian menswear designer Ermenegildo Zegna, and the partners were rumored to be offering lucrative buyouts to clear the space in order to make way for a gilitzy condo conversion.
The fate of the project was called into question, though, when Shvo was indicted last September on tax-evasion charges related to his vast art collection. Nevertheless, the sponsors filed an offering plan with the state Attorney General’s office in November indicating they planned to convert the Crown Building’s upper floors into 26 residential units.
Ivanhoé Cambridge and Callahan Capital Properties paid $2.2 billion in 2015 to buy 3 Bryant Park from the Blackstone Group, which had spent $300 million to strip the building’s exterior and re-clad it in green-tinted glass. In August 2016, an investment fund controlled by Hong Kong’s de-facto central bank bought a 49-percent stake in the property for $1.15 billion.
Apollo had roughly $12 billion in real estate assets under management as of late March. It’s the mezzanine lender at 111 West 57th Street, a supertall condo project that is dealing with a lawsuit between the developers and a key investor.