EY eyeing Manhattan West, 1271 Sixth

Big Four accounting firm is looking to split footprint with space Downtown

1 Manhattan West and 1271 Sixth Avenue
1 Manhattan West and 1271 Sixth Avenue

Big Four accounting firm EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, is looking to relocate its Times Square offices to separate locations in Lower Manhattan and Midtown, where the company’s shown particular interest in properties at Manhattan West And On Sixth Avenue.

EY is considering moving its headquarters from RXR Realty’s [TRDataCustom] 5 Times Square, where the accounting firm has a lease covering 1 million square feet that runs through 2022.

The company last summer inked a deal to relocate some employees into 168,000 square feet at SJP Properties’ Waterfront Corporate Center II in Hoboken, and its search for new office space in Manhattan is progressing.

EY has split the assignment between teams at CBRE, which is handling the search Downtown, and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which is guiding the firm through potential properties in Midtown.

Sources told The Real Deal that EY is particularly interested in Brookfield Property Partners’ 1 Manhattan West and the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Sixth Avenue for a new Midtown location, which could be in the area of 500,000 square feet or more.

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Downtown, the company is looking to lease around 300,000 square feet. Sources said that pretty much limits its options to the World Trade Center, where Silverstein Properties has about 1.8 million square feet of available space at 3 World Trade Center.

A spokesperson for EY declined to comment on specific locations, but said the company is “evaluating a host of locations, all aligned with our strategic plan to deliver service across the greater New York City marketplaces, including New Jersey and Connecticut.”

EY is the anchor tenant and has naming rights at 5 Times Square, which Scott Rechler’s RXR bought a controlling stake in last year for $800 million.

Brookfield, meanwhile, has pre-leased about 40 percent of the 2.1 million-square-foot tower known as 1 Manhattan West to the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and the National Hockey League.

The Rockefeller Group has invested more than $600 million to modernize the 2 million-square-foot building at 1271 Sixth Avenue in order to help fill a huge vacancy left by Time Inc.’s relocation to Brookfield Place in 2015. The landlord has already signed Major League Baseball to 400,000 square feet, and Mizuho Americas is reportedly closing in on a deal to lease 150,000 square feet, a figure that could grow to 350,000 square feet.

(To see where EY lands on a ranking of the top office tenants in Manhattan, click here)