A major union and its benefit fund just inked one of the biggest lease deals of the year

1199SEIU's deal at 498 Seventh Ave. paves the way for it to market its Times Square HQ

The healthcare union 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East and its benefit fund signed a lease for nearly 600,000 square feet at George Comfort & Sons’ 498 Seventh Avenue – one of the largest office deals so far this year.

The lease paves the way for the 200,000-member-strong union to monetize its headquarters near Times Square.

The union signed on for 580,000 square feet across 14 floors at the 25-story, 960,000-square-foot building between West 36th and 37th Streets, Crain’s reported. The union will occupy about 180,000 square feet while its fund will take the other 400,000 square feet.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The move will give 1999SEIU the ability to consolidate offices in a convenient location for members, and ground-lease its headquarters at 310 West 43rd Street. The organization had originally announced plans to sell the site as far back as 2006 and later revived the effort in late 2015.

A lease set to expire soon at 330 West 42nd Street, where the union’s fund is located, made the new lease a pressing concern.

A team at CBRE led by Mary Ann Tighe, Ken Meyerson and Brendan Herlihy represented the fund in the deal, and Cushman & Wakefield’s Jonathan Serko, Richard Serko and Ed Donnery negotiated on behalf of the union.

George Comfort & Sons’ Matt Coudert represented the landlord in-house. The large block of space became available after media company GroupM signed a lease to anchor Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center.

Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the property at 310 West 43rd Street as a ground lease. [Crain’s]Rich Bockmann