Blackstone again weighing Manhattan HQ move, expansion
Firm looking for 1.5M sf after 345 Park Avenue spread: Bloomberg
Blackstone is reportedly getting restless at its 345 Park Avenue office once again, eyeing options for an expansion or move.
The private equity firm is seeking 1.5 million square feet of office space, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The company is weighing options that include a move to another building in the city, or redeveloping a building to create the space.
Blackstone isn’t shutting the door on 345 Park. Bloomberg reported the firm may expand its presence at the Rudin Management building, where it has operated for more than three decades. The building is slightly bigger than 1.8 million square feet, so expanding Blackstone’s presence to fit its ambitions would be difficult with other tenants in place.
Last year, Blackstone signed a deal to expand at the office by 80,000 square feet, bringing its total at 345 Park to 720,000 square feet. The firm also extended its lease for an additional year, through 2028.
But Blackstone has threatened to move before. The Real Deal reported in 2020 the firm was considering options for a new headquarters as large as 1 million square feet. Blackstone reportedly asked a handful of landlords to submit proposals for potential headquarters in Midtown and the Far West Side.
Among the sites under consideration at the time was a supertall office tower on Park Avenue proposed by Rudin and Vornado Realty Trust. The developers floated the idea of developing separately owned properties into a 1,450-foot-tall, 1.68 million-square-foot tower at 350 Park Avenue.
Blackstone also has offices at 601 Lexington Avenue. At a time when many office tenants appear to be adjusting to less demand for space amid widespread hybrid work arrangements, Blackstone’s expanded footprint would be a big boost for Manhattan’s struggling office market.
Morgan Stanley’s recent move for Manhattan office space offers context for the size of Blackstone’s reported hunt. The investment bank recently agreed to one of the biggest leases of the pandemic, poised to move into Park Avenue Plaza next year. That lease encompassed roughly 400,000 square feet, barely a quarter of what Blackstone is reportedly looking for.
[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner