NYC’s 10 most valuable office leases of 2019

Deals for WarnerMedia and Google topped the list

When it came to big office leases in New York this year, Hudson Yards was the place to be.

The new neighborhood saw three of the city’s 10 most valuable office leases in 2019, more than any other part of New York, according to The Real Deal‘s analysis of Compstak data. This included the most valuable office lease of the year — WarnerMedia’s roughly $2 billion deal at 30 Hudson Yards — along with Cravath, Swain & Moore’s $1 billion deal at 2 Manhattan West and AllianceBernstein’s $448 million deal at 66 Hudson Boulevard.

(Facebook’s lease for 1.5 million square feet in Hudson Yards was not included because information about the length of the lease was not available, so TRD could not determine the lease’s precise value.)

Midtown held onto its share of big leases as well, thanks to AIG’s $506 million deal at 1271 Avenue of the Americas and Colgate-Palmolive’s $328 million deal at 300 Park Avenue. Other major leases included Google’s $1.5 billion deal at 532 Washington Street in Hudson Square and NYC Health + Hospitals’ $758 million deal at 50 Water Street in the Financial District.

The full list of New York’s 10 most valuable office leases for 2019, all of which were in Manhattan, is as follows:

1. WarnerMedia | 30 Hudson Yards, Hudson Yards | mid $70s psf | $2 billion
WarnerMedia, formerly known as Time Warner, took the top spot for office leases in 2019 with its deal for about 1.5 million square feet in Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group’s 30 Hudson Yards. AT&T took over WarnerMedia for $85 billion in 2018 and publicized its plans for a 20-year sale and leaseback of WarnerMedia’s Hudson Yards office condominium in January. Related Companies won the bid for the space in April in a deal negotiated for WarnerMedia by Cushman & Wakefield. The office condo spans floors 14 through 51 in the 101-story tower.

2. Google | 550 Washington Street, Hudson Square | mid $70s psf | $1.5 billion
Google’s lease for about 1.3 million square feet in Oxford Properties Group’s St. John’s Terminal took second place. The tech giant announced at the end of 2018 that it planned to invest about $1 billion in a new Hudson Square campus that would also include space in Jack Resnick and Sons’ 315 Hudson Street and Trinity Real Estate’s 345 Hudson Street. The company expects that the lease will allow it to more than double the number of employees it has in New York City over the next decade. CBRE brokered the deal for Google.

3. Cravath, Swaine & Moore | 401 West 31st Street, Hudson Yards | low $90s psf | $1 billion
The law firm signed a lease for 481,000 square feet at the Brookfield Property Partners development known as 2 Manhattan West. CBRE negotiated the deal for Cravath. The law firm will occupy 13 floors in the mixed-use property and almost halve its 617,000-square-foot space in 1 Worldwide Plaza at 825 Eighth Avenue.

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4. NYC Health + Hospitals | 50 Water Street, Financial District | mid $50s psf | $758 million
NYC Health + Hospitals, a nonprofit that operates public hospitals and health care facilities in New York, signed a lease for about 527,000 square feet at GFP Real Estate’s Financial District tower, formerly known as 7 Hanover Square. The company’s plan is to consolidate about 2,600 staffers spread out across six different Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens offices into the GFP building. Its lease runs through 2043 and includes an option to renew for 10 years. Newmark Knight Frank represented the nonprofit in the deal.

5. Dentsu Aegis Network | 341 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea | high $100s psf | $533 million
Dentsu Aegis Network, a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based public relations and advertising company Dentsu, leased 320,000 square feet at Tishman Speyer’s 341 Ninth Avenue, known as the Morgan General Mail Facility or “Morgan North.” The company plans to consolidate employees from four different Manhattan offices and will occupy all of the building’s seventh through 10th floors, along with half of its sixth floor, according to the New York Post. Cushman & Wakefield represented Dentsu in the deal.

6. AIG | 1271 Avenue of the Americas, Midtown | low $90s psf | $506 million
AIG took about 320,000 square feet of space in the Rockefeller Group’s Time-Life Building, joining tenants such as Major League Baseball and the law firm Blank Rome. JLL represented the insurance giant in the deal.

7. AllianceBernstein | 66 Hudson Boulevard, Hudson Yards | low $100s psf | $448 million
Investment giant AllianceBernstein leased about 189,000 square feet in Tishman Speyer’s Hudson Yards development, known as the Spiral. The firm was previously headquartered at Fisher Brothers’ 1345 Sixth Avenue but is relocating its headquarters and 1,050 employees to Nashville. It will house its smaller New York staff at the Spiral. Newmark Knight Frank represented AllianceBernstein in the deal.

8. McCann | 622 Third Avenue, Murray Hill | high $50s psf | $419 million
Advertising agency McCann signed a 15-year extension on its lease at Cohen Brothers Realty’s 622 Third Avenue for about 450,000 square feet. The firm, now a subsidiary of Interpublic Group, has been at the Murray Hill building since 2000, and its old lease was set to expire in 2021. JLL represented the agency in the deal.

9. EmblemHealth | 55 Water Street, Financial District | mid $50s psf | $383 million
EmblemHealth renewed its lease at 55 Water Street for 15 years and about 438,000 square feet. The firm was said to be thinking about leaving the building in 2018, but its renewal guarantees that the owner — a division of the Retirement Systems of Alabama — will have an anchor tenant at the property for the long haul. The building stands 53 stories tall and spans 3.6 million square feet, making it the largest office tower in the city. Colliers International represented EmblemHealth in the deal.

10. Colgate-Palmolive | 300 Park Avenue, Midtown | mid $80s psf | $328 million
Consumer goods conglomerate Colgate-Palmolive rounds out 2019’s list of most valuable office leases with its renewal for about 242,000 square feet at Tishman Speyer’s 300 Park Avenue. The company restructured its lease to decrease its footprint from about 312,000 square feet at the 26-story building. The renewal caused Tishman Speyer to abandon its plans to redevelop the building following the Midtown East rezoning. CBRE represented Colgate in the deal.

SOURCE: TRD analysis of CompStak data from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 6, 2019.