MetLife Building gets the luck of the Irish

Government office leases 43K sf at Tishman Speyer property

Irish eyes are smiling on one of the most famous commercial buildings in Manhattan.

The Irish government leased 43,000 square feet at 200 Park Avenue, aka the MetLife Building, the Commercial Observer reported. The government office known as Ireland House will move into the 17th floor while relocating from 345 Park Avenue in 2024.

Ireland House includes the Irish Consulate General, Ireland’s trade, tourism and investment agencies, the Irish Food Board, the Ireland Funds and CIE Tours.

Ireland House signed a long-term lease at the Tishman Speyer and Irvine Company-owned property, but the exact length was not disclosed. The tenant brokerage behind the deal also declined to disclose the asking rent to the outlet.

A Savills team including David Goldstein and Jim Wenk represented Ireland House. Tishman Speyer was represented in-house by a team including Megan Sheehan and Gus Field.

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Leasing at the MetLife Building has been relatively quiet in recent years as the landlords have worked to overhaul parts of the 2.7 million-square-foot building, including a redesigned lobby and improved connections with Grand Central Terminal.

Many of last year’s most notable leases at the property were retail and food/beverage deals. The Hospitality Department in September signed a 10,000-square-foot lease to open a seafood restaurant. In May, Capital Grille signed a 15,000-square-foot lease, while Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee and Black Seed Bagels also took space in the lobby of the 58-story tower.

Elsewhere in Midtown, the Consulate General of Jamaica and the country’s permanent mission to the United Nations inked a deal this month for roughly the same amount of space as Ireland. Jamaica’s government is moving to Somerset Partners and Meadow Partners’ 300 East 42nd Street.

Manhattan’s office market is still reeling from a brutal fourth quarter, which saw the sharpest decline in leasing since the start of the pandemic. Tenants took 4.9 million square feet from October to December, according to Colliers, plummeting 43 percent year-over-year.

— Holden Walter-Warner