What the financial titans pay at Fisher Brothers’ Park Avenue Plaza

Blackrock may be exiting, but half of the space set for vacancy at Midtown tower in next 2 years is already claimed

55 East 52nd Street and Kenneth Fisher (Court Square, Fisher Brothers)

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Park Avenue Plaza, Fisher Brothers’ 45-story office tower in Midtown East, has weathered tenant turnover at an uncertain time for the Manhattan office market.

Occupying nearly half of its 1.2 million square feet, the building’s two biggest tenants, Blackrock and insurance giant Aon, will exit for good within the next 18 months. But much of their space is already spoken for.

Jennison Associates, an asset management firm owned by Prudential Financial, will lease 119,000 of the 375,000 square feet left behind when Blackrock’s lease ends in April 2023, according to Morningstar DBRS. Jennison’s lease, signed in February for $93 per square foot, expires in 2040.

Aon’s 209,000-square-foot lease also expires in April 2023, though most of its space is already subleased to financial firms Evercore and General Atlantic, both of which have agreements in place to move from subtenants to leasing tenants once Aon exits.

Fisher Brothers owns the building at 55 East 52nd Street through a joint venture with Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi, the founders of Soho China, an office developer whose proposed $3 billion sale to Blackstone was scuttled earlier this year over regulatory concerns.

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The venture recently received a $575 million CMBS debt package to retire existing loans on the property, which will be sold as bonds to investors. Ratings documents associated with the CMBS loan provide an inside look at the property’s finances.

As of Oct. 1, Park Avenue Plaza was 99 percent leased to 11 tenants, including major financial institutions Evercore and Morgan Stanley. Excluding the space occupied by Blackrock and Aon, leases on just over 8 percent of the building’s rentable area are scheduled to expire over the CMBS loan’s 10-year term.

Morgan Stanley originated the loan, which will pay investors a fixed annual interest rate of 2.84 percent, according to Morningstar DBRS.

Built in 1981, Park Avenue Plaza has received more than $38 million in capital investment since January 2020, including the demolition of former tenant McKinsey & Co.’s space and renovations to the lobby and marketing center.

Its location in Midtown’s Plaza District submarket, which contains 11.3 million square feet of office space from 47th Street to 65th Street and from the East River to Sixth Avenue, makes the building a suitable landing pad amid tenants’ flight to quality.

Fisher Brothers is a multigenerational, family-owned real estate company with a history of owning and managing prime office space. Founded in 1915, the firm has developed, owned or managed 1345 Avenue of the Americas, 605 Third Avenue and 299 Park Avenue in New York as well as Station Place in Washington, D.C., which collectively total more than 6 million square feet.