Activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 to open Meatpacking District office

Investor made headlines for victory against Big Oil

New York /
Sep.September 15, 2021 05:00 PM
405 West 13th Street and Engine No. 1’s Chris James (BKSK, Engine 1)

405 West 13th Street and Engine No. 1’s Chris James (BKSK, Engine 1)

Activist hedge fund Engine No. 1, which is shaking up Wall Street with its push to get Big Oil to reduce carbon emissions, is opening a New York City office in the Meatpacking District.

The San Francisco-based firm signed a lease for about 11,500 square feet at Aurora Capital Associates’ 405 West 13th Street, sources familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal. The space also includes about 1,800 square feet of outdoor terrace.

A spokesperson for the investment firm was not immediately available for comment and a representative for Aurora declined to comment.

Engine No. 1, founded last year by tech investor Chris James, grabbed Wall Street’s attention in May when it won a battle to install three directors on the board of Exxon Mobil, which the investment firm has been pushing to turn away from fossil fuels.

The company has also reportedly been in talks with Chevron, which the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month had been “cordial” and not indicative of a looming campaign against the oil giant.

James founded Engine No. 1 as an impact investment firm focusing on a company’s environmental, social and governance track record.

The Meatpacking District, meanwhile, has in recent years served as a new home for tech and financial firms.

Aurora Capital put $20 million into redeveloping 405 West 13th Street, a former pork warehouse, into a 50,000-square-foot boutique office building. Aurora, which is one of the most active investors in the Meatpacking District, controls the property under a 99-year ground lease inked in 2017 valued at $65 million.

Financial terms of the deal with Engine No. 1 were not revealed; office asking rents were upwards of $150 per square foot, the Commercial Observer reported in February 2020.

CBRE’s Silvio Petriello, Arkady Smolyansky and Jacob Rosenthal represented Engine No. 1 in negotiations, while David Falk and Nick Berger of Newmark represented Aurora.





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