Bessemer Trust in talks for more than 200K sf at 1271 Sixth

Leasing activity continues at Rockefeller Group’s 2.1M sf tower

Carnegie Steel Co-founder Henry Phipps Jr. and 1271 Sixth Avenue (Credit: Wikipedia and Rockerfeller Group)
Carnegie Steel Co-founder Henry Phipps Jr. and 1271 Sixth Avenue (Credit: Wikipedia and Rockerfeller Group)

The family wealth adviser that Carnegie Steel co-founder Henry Phipps Jr. launched more than 100 years ago to manage his fortune is working on a deal to relocate from Rockefeller Center to more modern space on Sixth Avenue.

Bessemer Trust, which today has grown to be one of the largest advisors in the world to high-net-worth families, is negotiating to lease more than 200,000 square feet at the Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Sixth Avenue, sources told The Real Deal.

“We are committed to staying in New York City and have been evaluating several buildings,” a spokesperson for Bessemer told TRD. “While we are not able to provide further information at this time, we plan to share additional details when an agreement is finalized.”

John Cefaly and Rob Lowe at Cushman & Wakefield are negotiating the deal for Bessemer. The brokers and a representative for Rockefeller Group declined to comment.

Financial terms of the negotiations were not available, but asking rents in Rockefeller’s 2.1 million-square-foot tower – formerly known as the Time-Life Building – range from $90 to $125 per square foot.

The new space is a short walk away from Bessemer’s current offices at 630 Fifth Avenue between West 50th and 51st streets, which is on the other side of Rockefeller Center across from 1271 Sixth.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Phipps Jr. founded Bessemer Trust in 1907 to manage his private wealth after he and partner Andrew Carnegie sold their steel company to JP Morgan in 1901.

The Phipps family opened the company to other wealthy families in 1974, and today the company has more than $100 billion in assets under supervision. Bloomberg News in 2015 ranked the firm as the fourth largest family office in terms of assets under supervision.

(Rockefeller Capital Management, which traces its roots back to the family office of John D. Rockefeller – pioneer of the family wealth office – earlier this year inked a deal to relocate within Rockefeller Center to 65,000 square feet at 630 Fifth.)

Phipps Jr. was also a well-known philanthropist who made a $1 million donation in 1905 to found Phipps Houses, one of the largest nonprofit housing developers in the city.

The Rockefeller Group, meanwhile, has had much success in leasing 1271 Sixth, which is undergoing a major renovation to modernize and update the building to attract tenants after Time Inc. relocated downtown to Brookfield Place.

Law firm Blank Rome last month signed a deal to lease 138,000 square feet in the building, and in April legal eagle Latham & Watkins finalized a deal to take more than 400,000 square feet.

Mizuho Americas and Major League Baseball have also leased large spreads in the tower.