Rockefeller Foundation signs sublease in MLB’s old Park Avenue office

Nonprofit will use the space until 2022 while Fifth Ave HQ is renovated

TRD New York /
Oct.October 05, 2020 07:30 AM
From left: 245 Park Avenue, 420 Fifth Avenue and 1271 Sixth Avenue (Google Maps)

From left: 245 Park Avenue, 420 Fifth Avenue and 1271 Sixth Avenue (Google Maps)

The Rockefeller Foundation will temporarily relocate to Park Avenue from its longtime headquarters on Fifth Avenue, which will be renovated.

The nonprofit, founded more than a century ago by the philanthropic family, will take out a short-term lease at 245 Park Avenue while its headquarters at 420 Fifth Avenue is revamped. While they have five floors at 420 Fifth Avenue, they will have two at the larger 245 Park Avenue.

The foundation has subleased the Park Avenue office from Major League Baseball, but the space will be demolished and rebuilt before the nonprofit moves in. The foundation has the ability to occupy the space through October 2022. MLB moved into a new office at 1271 Sixth Avenue earlier this year.

A CBRE team of Daniel Wilpon, Scott Gottlieb, Will Stark and Jeff Frenkel represented Major League Baseball in the deal. CBRE’s Gregory Tosko represented the Rockefeller Foundation, which did not respond to requests for comment before press time.

The nonprofit has occupied the space at 420 Fifth Avenue, which sits between East 37th and East 38th Streets and is just a dozen blocks south of the family’s signature development, since 1993. At that time, it obtained $30.26 million in Civic Facility Revenue Bonds as part of a New York City incentive to buy and improve its five floors in the building, which is operated as an office condominium. But now, nearly 30 years later, it needs a complete facelift.

By owning its offices as a condominium, the nonprofit was able to obtain an exemption from city property taxes that has allowed it to use funds towards other grants. Under the original economic incentive agreement, the floors were “owned” by New York City’s Industrial Development Agency and leased by the foundation.

In October 2011, the foundation exercised its option to buy the floors by paying the remaining bond obligations, which documents show was still around $30 million.


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