It’s official: CVS won’t move Aetna’s HQ to Meatpacking District

Different tenants will have to fill Vornado, Aurora's 61 Ninth Avenue

Mark Bertolini 61 Ninth Avenue
From left: Mark Bertolini and 61 Ninth Avenue

With its $69 billion deal to buy Aetna in the works, CVS has scratched the health insurer’s plans to relocate its headquarters from Connecticut to the Meatpacking District.

“We have no plans to relocate Aetna’s operations from Hartford,” CVS spokesman David Palombi told the Wall Street Journal.

In June, Aetna inked a deal to lease the entire 145,000-square-foot office portion of Aurora Capital Associates and Vornado Realty Trust’s 61 Ninth Avenue. But plans for the relocation were put into question in December when CVS announced it would acquire the company in a $69 billion deal.

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Then in January, the New York City Economic Development Corp. nixed its offer of $9.6 million in perks it put on the table to entice Aetna to the Big Apple.

A spokesperson for Aetna told the Journal Friday that the company is reviewing its real estate portfolio, and has not yet made a decision if it will open some sort of office in New York.

Earlier reports suggested that to receive a property tax abatement, Aurora and Vornado would likely structure the deal with Aetna as a tripe-net lease or a leasehold condo. With Aetna out, the developers will likely have to pursue a more traditional leasing structure. Asking rent for the space was $150 a square foot. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann

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