NY Public Library leases 41k sf for Midtown offices

Library offices to span 3 floors at ABS’ 270 Madison

ABS Partners Real Estate founder Earle Altman and 270 Madison Avenue (ABS Partners, LoopNet, iStock)
ABS Partners Real Estate founder Earle Altman and 270 Madison Avenue (ABS Partners, LoopNet, iStock)

The New York Public Library isn’t taking a page from the rest of Manhattan’s beleaguered office market, instead signing a sizable lease in Midtown.

The NYPL signed a 33-year lease at ABS Partners Real Estate’s 270 Madison Avenue, the Commercial Observer reported. The office space is across three floors of the 19-story building, covering 41,000 square feet.

Financial terms of the lease weren’t disclosed. ABS did create a structure, however, that will allow the library to apply for a real estate tax exemption. The firm plans to offer that model to other nonprofit tenants who want long-term leases.

Savills’ Ira Schuman and Stephan Steiner represented the library in the lease negotiations. ABS was represented in-house by James Caseley and Robert Finkelstein.

The move continues a busy stretch for the library, which recently sold six commercial condo units at 445 Fifth Avenue for $38 million to Stream Line LLC. The library purchased the space, close to its flagship branch, in 2014 for its back-office staff.

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At the time, a library spokesman said the staff located at the condos would be moved to other Midtown buildings, including space the library had recently leased. It’s not clear if the library is on the hunt for more staff space.

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In 2018, ABS landed a $72 million loan for the office building from Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Life Insurance Company. The loan replaced a $68 million note from JPMorgan Chase in 2015.

Other tenants at the 269,000-square-foot building include law firm Wolf Haldenstein, which began its tenancy when the property was completed in 1923. The law firm occupies 33,000 square feet.

Office space remains readily available in Manhattan. The borough’s availability rate hit a record high 19 percent in the first quarter, according to Savills Research. It was the highest available recorded by the firm going back to 2000.

[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner