The Real Deal New York

AllianceBernstein isn’t fully leaving NYC. And it has its eye on the Far West Side.

Financial firm will maintain about 250K sf in Manhattan as it moves HQ to Nashville
By Rich Bockmann | May 09, 2018 01:25PM

Seth Bernstein and 1345 Sixth Avenue

AllianceBernstein, which is moving 1,000 jobs to Nashville, Tennessee, plans to keep about 250,000 square feet here in New York City, sources told The Real Deal. And the global money manager is considering relocating its Midtown headquarters to new construction on the Far West Side.

AllianceBernstein surprised the industry last week when a memo the company wrote to employees revealed that one of Wall Street’s oldest institutions would be packing up for Tennessee. The financial firm cited lower property taxes, a more affordable cost of living and shorter commute times for employees as reasons for the move.

Company CEO Seth Bernstein and about 1,050 other employees will move to Nashville, where the firm will reportedly spend about $70 million to build a new headquarters.

Here in New York, Alliance leases about 1 million square feet at Fisher Brothers’ 1345 Sixth Avenue a few block south of Central Park. But over the past several years it has sublet much of that space out and now occupies roughly 600,000 square feet in the building.

AllianceBernstein is in the very early stages of considering a relocation to the Far West Side, and sources told TRD that it’s shown an early preference for Brookfield Property Partners’ 2 Manhattan West, where the financial firm could be an anchor tenant that kicks off construction of the 2 million-square-foot tower.

A representative for AllianceBernstein did not respond to requests for comment, and a spokesperson for Brookfield declined to comment. Newmark Knight Frank’s Neil Goldmacher, who is representing Alliance in its search, also declined to comment.

New construction, whether it be a building like Brookfield’s planned tower or the Moinian Group and Boston Properties’ planned 3 Hudson Boulevard, would be the kind of property that works with Alliance’s timeline.

Fisher Brothers last year exercised a put option on the tenant’s lease that extends the term through 2024. If AllianceBernstein were to sign on as the anchor tenant for a new tower – which is usually one of the least priciest deals in a new building – construction would likely wrap up closer to the company’s lease expiration.

Tishman Speyer, for example, is planning to complete construction in 2022 on its Spiral building in Hudson Yards after signing Pfizer as its anchor tenant last month.