Milstein’s rebranded 335 Madison landed NYC’s biggest office lease in March

PR firm Joele Frank took 78K sf at 27-story Grand Central building now known as 22 Vanderbilt

From left: Rudin Management's Bill Rudin and PR executive Joele Frank in front of 22 Vanderbilt Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)
From left: Rudin Management's Bill Rudin and PR executive Joele Frank in front of 22 Vanderbilt Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)

Large office leases were few and far between in New York City last month. Only three were signed citywide for more than 50,000 square feet — none for more than 100,000 — and the buildings that saw the 10 biggest deals stretched from Midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights and Sunset Park. 

The list of tenants that signed those leases varied even further, from a high-profile public relations firm to a nonprofit, a university, tech companies, a tortilla producer and a storied residential brokerage. 

Among landlords, Milstein Properties landed the biggest lease, while Empire State Realty Trust appeared twice on the list. Below is more information on the city’s 10 biggest office leases signed in March, ranked by square footage:

  1. Joele Frank | 22 Vanderbilt Avenue | Grand Central — 78K sf

Public relations firm Joele Frank inked a 16-year lease for 78,400 square feet at 22 Vanderbilt Avenue, Milstein Properties’ 27-story Midtown office building across the street from SL Green’s One Vanderbilt. The property, formerly known as 335 Madison Avenue, was rebranded in December following a renovation.

It’s an expansion for Joele Frank, which is leaving behind a smaller space at Cohen Brothers’ 622 Third Avenue. The deal brings Milstein’s 22 Vanderbilt to 68 percent leased, according to the New York Post, which reported that the asking rent for Joele Frank’s new space was $95 a square foot. Newmark’s Andrew Sachs and Ben Shapiro represented the tenant while a five-person CBRE team including Paul Amrich and Neil King represented Milstein Properties.

  1. Touro University | 3 Times Square | Times Square — 66K sf

Touro University expanded its already large 30-year lease at Rudin Management’s 3 Times Square with another 66,000 square feet, bringing its total footprint in the tower to nearly 310,000 square feet. Touro handled the lease in-house via Jeffrey Rosengarten, alongside Cushman & Wakefield’s Richard Bernstein. Rudin’s Tom Keating represented the landlord in house, with Cushman’s Ron Lo Russo and Heather Thomas. Rudin declined to share the asking rent.

  1. STV | Empire State Building | Midtown — 65K sf

Engineering firm STV signed a 16-year lease for 65,000 square feet in the Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, where it’s relocating from Orda Management’s 225 Park Avenue South. 

David Goldstein and Dina Zavislak of Savills represented the tenant while a team including Ryan Kass and Jordan Berger represented Empire State Realty Trust in-house alongside a Newmark team including Scott Klau and Erik Harris.

  1. Tisch School of the Arts | 220 36th Street | Sunset Park — 45K sf

New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts signed a 45,000-square-foot lease for its newly dedicated Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center at 220 36th Street in the heart of Brooklyn’s Industry City. The property’s owners are Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon & Co.

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  1. StubHub | 3 World Trade Center | Financial District — 44K sf

Ticket sales platform StubHub consolidated multiple Midtown offices into a larger space at Silverstein Properties’ 3 World Trade Center in the Financial District. A four-person CBRE team including Sacha Zarba and Brendan Herlihy represented the tenant while Jeremy Moss of Silverstein Properties represented the landlord in house.

  1. New York City Police Department | 45 Nevins Street | Brooklyn Heights — 42K sf

The NYPD’s Special Victims Division renewed its lease for the entirety of 45 Nevins Street, a three-story office building in Brooklyn Heights, for another year. CBRE represented the department in the deal with the building’s landlord, Nevins Associates. Citing the City Record, Commercial Observer reported that the NYPD will pay $125,000 a month, or $1.5 million for the year, for the building, which the unit has occupied for the past two decades.

  1. Claims Conference | 1359 Broadway | Garment District — 33K sf

The Claims Conference, a nonprofit focused on securing restitution for Holocaust survivors and their descendants, signed an 11-year lease for 33,000 square feet at Empire State Realty Trust’s 1359 Broadway in Midtown. Savill’s Jason Schwartzenberg represented the nonprofit, while Jordan Berger of Empire State Realty Trust represented the landlord in-house alongside a five-person CBRE team including Paul Amrich and Neil King.

  1. Vista Hermosa | 14 53rd Street | Sunset Park — 30K sf

Eighth on the list returns us to Sunset Park, where landlord Nightingale Properties signed tortilla producer Vista Hermosa to 30,000 square feet in the Whale Building at 14 53rd Street on the Brooklyn waterfront. Newmark’s Ryan Gessin and Michael Paster represented Visa Hermosa while Newmark’s Bernard Weitzman and Jordan Gosin represented Nightingale.

  1. Palo Alto Networks | 1 Madison Avenue | Flatiron — 29K sf

California-based cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks inked a 10-year lease for the entire 26th floor at SL Green’s 1 Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District. The lease brings the 1.4 million-square-foot property, still under construction, to 59 percent leased. 

  1. Brown Harris Stevens | 100 Fifth Avenue | Union Square — 20K sf

Residential brokerage Brown Harris Stevens took 20,000 square feet for a new Union Square outpost at Clarion Partners’ 100-104 Fifth Avenue. Some agents at BHS’ nearby 831 Broadway office in Greenwich Village will move to the new location, but the brokerage said it’s keeping that one open, as well as its Flatiron District office a few blocks north at 130 Fifth Avenue. 

The Kaufman Organization’s Michael Kaufman and Grant Greenspan represented Clarion. CBRE’s Paul Amrich and Alexander Golod represented BHS. The asking rent was not disclosed.