Bank inks 17K sf retail lease at Park Avenue corner

Florida-based BankUnited secures its largest Manhattan location from Crown, Oxford

Bank inks 17K sf retail lease at Park Avenue corner
450 Park Avenue and BankUnited CEO Rajinder Singh (450ParkAve, BankUnited)

Florida-based BankUnited is expanding in Manhattan with a lease for 17,000 square feet of dramatic retail space at 450 Park Avenue on the corner of East 57th Street.

When the Chera family’s Crown Acquisitions and Canadian investment firm Oxford Properties Group bought the 33-story tower in 2014 for $545 million, the deal put almost half the value of the tower in the retail base.

Oxford is a Canadian-based global real estate company with a portfolio of 160 million square feet. It is an arm of Toronto-based OMERS Corporation, which manages the retirement benefits of all local government employees in Ontario.

On the bank lease, Stanley Chera of Crown Retail along with Adam Frazier of Oxford Properties represented the building ownership in-house. The bank was represented by Kim Mogull, CEO of Mogull Realty.

The Midtown East space will serve as BankUnited’s corporate city flagship when it opens in 2022. The bank will occupy the entire mezzanine and second floor of the 32-story office building. The new digs are being designed by Gensler and are accentuated by the massive arched windows surrounding the space along 193-feet of frontage that wraps the intersection’s southwest corner.

The asking rent for the unique space was not available.

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The two floors at 450 Park, along with the ground and lower levels, were previously occupied by the auction house Phillips, which has relocated to 45,000 square feet next door in 432 Park Avenue and its interconnected office building at 60 East 57th Street.

An elevator that only served the former Phillips floors at 450 Park but took up space at the corner is being removed and the shaft filled in, according to Department of Buildings’ records. Dan Shannon of MdeAS Architects is overseeing that work.

Rajinder P. Singh, BankUnited’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “Our plans for a modern and collaborative space at this prime location will enhance our visibility and enable our teams to continue providing the high-touch service our clients count on.”

Oxford has also invested in Hudson Yards and is developing Google’s new building at the St. John’s Terminal, 550 Washington Street, which the tech company leases and will purchase in the first quarter of 2022 for $2.1 billion.

BankUnited occupies 11,500 square feet at 695 Lexington Avenue on the corner of East 57th Street and 15,000 square feet at 960 Sixth Avenue on the corner of East 36th Street. Both spaces were leased through Mogull, who said she has worked with BankUnited’s management team for more than 20 years.