French asset manager signs record deal in the Meatpacking District

Tikehau Capital agrees to pay $195 psf for top floor of Rockpoint’s 412 West 15th Street

Feb.February 19, 2018 12:30 PM

412 West 15th Street, Rockpoint’s Keith Gelb and William Walton

One of Europe’s fastest-growing asset managers is opening its first U.S. office in the Meatpacking District, where it’s signed a lease at what is believed to be a record rent for the neighborhood.

Tikehau Capital, a Paris-based firm with $15.6 billion in assets under management, signed a lease for the top two floors at Rockpoint Group’s new development at 412 West 15th Street, sources told The Real Deal.

The 11-year lease covers nearly 10,000 square feet on the top two floors of the 18-story building, which offer sweeping views of the Hudson River.

The 3,700-square-foot 18th floor comes with a private terrace, and it’s where Tikehau agreed to pay $195 per square foot. That is believed to be the highest rent paid in the neighborhood, which has come to rival Manhattan’s priciest districts in terms of desirability with high-paying tenants, especially among finance and insurance firms. Sources said Rockpoint was asking $200 per square foot for the top floor at 412 West 15th Street.

Representatives for Tikehau and Rockpoint could not be immediately reached for comment.

Colliers International’s James Emden and Peter Simel represented Tikehau, while Paul Amrich and Neil King at CBRE are the leasing agents at the building. The brokers couldn’t be reached for comment.

Tikehau, founded in 2004, has a reputation as a maverick among Europe’s asset managers due to its aggressive lending platform in the wake of the financial crisis, according to the Financial Times. The founders have said they want to build the company into the “Blackstone of Europe” and have a goal of reaching nearly $25 billion in assets by 2020.

The company has offices in France, Italy, the U.K., Singapore, Belgium, Spain and South Korea, according to its website.

Rockpoint is developing the roughly 140,000-square-foot building with hotel developer Highgate Holdings and longtime property owner Meilman Family Real Estate, which had owned the property since it was a meat distribution hub.

The Meilmans and Highgate had originally planned to build a 125-room hotel on the site, but in 2014 Rockpoint inked a 99-year lease on the property and correctly saw that the Meatpacking District was quickly becoming a trendy office destination.

Bank of the Ozarks provided a $63.7 million construction loan for the project in June as other boutique developments in the area were pushing up asking rents as high as $200 per square foot – prices normally only seen at Midtown’s most exclusive towers.

Romanoff Equities and Property Group Partners’ 860 Washington Street, for example, has attracted deep pocketed tenants like the health-centric developer Delos Living, China’s Alibaba and the online lender SoFi, though none are paying as much as Tikehau.

Developer Chun Lee is planning to build a 10-story office building designed by Gene Kaufman at 76 Eighth Avenue at the corner of 14th Street, and adjacent to the High Line Aurora Capital and William Gottlieb Real Estate expect to top off construction in May on their 117,000-square-foot “Solar Carve” building at 40 10th Avenue.

The penthouse in the Studio Gang-designed building on 10th Avenue has asking rents that exceed $200 per square foot. Bruce Mosler and Ron Lo Russo at Cushman and Wakefield are marketing the building, where Aurora has preleased 50,000 square feet of retail space to Hyundai for its luxury brand Genesis.

Meanwhile, Google – which arguably spurred the Meatpacking District’s transformation into an office destination when it moved into the neighborhood in 2005 – has a contract to buy the Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion, a deal The Real Deal first reported.

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