Mayor’s contract office eyes 35K sf at Fosun’s 28 Liberty

Department oversees $17B worth of contracts each year

Fosun International's Eric Horvat and 28 Liberty Street
Fosun International's Eric Horvat and 28 Liberty Street

The city department in charge of overseeing more than $17 billion in contracts is the latest public office to eye an upgrade.

The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services plans to lease 35,000 square feet at the Fosun International’s 28 Liberty, according to a notice posted by the Department of City Planning.

The office, probably best known in recent months for its role in the Rivington House scandal, is currently located across from City Hall at 253 Broadway, a 14-story city-owned building the department shares along with the Mayor’s Office of Operations.

The Shanghai-based Fosun [TRDataCustom] bought 28 Liberty, then known as One Chase Manhattan Plaza, in 2013 for $725 million. It then laid out a plan to revamp the 2.2 million-square-foot property with a price tag somewhere between $100 million and $200 million. Plans called for stripping the black granite walls from the tower’s elevated plaza and adding up to 175,000 square feet of retail.

The landlord began chipping away at the 60-story tower’s vacancy last year when it signed Ironshore, an insurer Fosun owns a 20-percent stake in, to 100,000 square feet in the building. There’s currently about 700,000 square feet of available space in the building.

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Restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Café fame will oversee the new catering and events space on the building’s top floor reserved exclusively for office tenants, and several major cinema operators have been negotiating with Fosun to open a multi-theater complex at the base of the building.

JLL’s John Wheeler, who’s part of the team handling leasing at the building, declined to comment on the pending transaction with the mayor’s contract office. CoStar shows that the law firm Clausen Miller renewed a little more than 20,000 square feet this summer on the 39th floor at an asking rent ranging from $70 to $74 per square foot.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for public agencies inking deals downtown.

The city’s Department of Finance kicked the year off with a 175,000 square-foot lease at Sabey Data Centers’ 375 Pearl Street in January. The city Department of Investigation is close to inking a deal for 275,000 square feet at Clarion Partners and MHP Real Estate Services’ 180 Maiden Lane.

And though the deal hasn’t closed yet, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office was reportedly eyeing 375,000 square feet at 28 Liberty earlier this year.

The activity, in part, can be attributed to a hiring spree at City Hall. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office the city’s payroll has expanded from 297,148 employees to 313,092, with a target of hitting 323,000 by next summer.