Baron Funds signs princely lease at GM Building

Money manager will pay just under $200-per-square-foot in renewal and expansion deal

From left: Mort Zuckerman, the GM Building at 767 Fifth Avenue and Ron Baron
From left: Mort Zuckerman, the GM Building at 767 Fifth Avenue and Ron Baron

UPDATED, 5:40 p.m., March 20: Money manager Baron Funds, founded by billionaire Ron Baron, is taking another 25,000 square feet at the GM Building, The Real Deal has learned. Along with the expansion on the 47th floor, Baron renewed its space on the 48th and 49th floors of the trophy tower. The fund firm will pay rents starting at just shy of $200 per square foot — and cross the rare $200 threshold over the course of the 20-year deal, sources said.

JLL’s Scott Panzer and Centric Real Estate Advisors’ Gregg Lorberbaum represented Baron in the deal, while the building was represented in-house by Boston Properties’ Andrew Levin. Panzer and Lorberbaum declined to comment.

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The 50-story, 1.82 million-square-foot tower, located at 767 Fifth Avenue, is owned by Boston Properties and the families of billionaires Moise Safra and Zhang Xin. At an estimated worth of $3.4 billion, the building is the country’s most valuable office property, and commands some of the highest rents in the city along with Sheldon Solow’s 9 West 57th Street.

In May, Brazil-based bank Banco Itaú expanded to 35,000 square feet on the top of the tower, agreeing to pay just shy of $200 per square foot.