Blackstone Inks 80 KSF Expansion in Manhattan

The private equity firm is expanding its Midtown headquarters as the city's office market struggles.
345 Park Ave. Image courtesy of Rudin Management Co.

Private equity giant Blackstone is expanding its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan by 80,000 square feet, marking one of the largest recent leases in the borough’s beleaguered office market. The company will take the additional space at 345 Park Ave., a 44-story tower owned by Rudin Management Co., bringing Blackstone’s total footprint in the property to about 720,000 square feet.

Blackstone, which first moved to the tower in 1987, has also tacked on one year to its existing leases in the building, which were set to expire in 2027. The new expansion covers the entire 12th floor and part of the 11th and 3rd floors, leaving the company with a presence across 12 full floors and five partial floors of the 1.9 million-square-foot property.

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Completed in 1969, the building spans a full block in the Plaza District, between East 51st and 52nd Streets and Park and Lexington Avenues, and is located a short walk from Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal. The property recently underwent a full revamp of the lobby and concourse designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Other major tenants of 345 Park Ave. include KPMG, the National Football League (NFL), Loeb & Loeb and Rudin Management, a privately owned real estate firm with residential and commercial properties across the city.

Blackstone boosted its presence at the property by nearly 150,000 square feet across four floors in 2018. The company said in a statement that the latest expansion will accommodate the firm’s continued growth, after the launch of a number of new businesses in recent years including infrastructure, insurance and life sciences platforms.

Sluggish market

The news comes in the same week that The Durst Organization announced it has added law firm Jenner & Block LLP to its tenant roster at 1155 Avenue of the Americas, signing a 15-year lease for about 67,000 square feet at the recently renovated property.

At the end of last month, Equitable Financial Life Insurance Co. said it had signed a 15-year lease for multiple floors at Fisher Brothers’ 1345 Avenue of the Americas, where it will relocate from its current home at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. The financial services firm plans to take over the 130,000-square-foot space in 2023.

Office availability in Manhattan reached a record high of 15.5 percent in February, rising for the ninth consecutive month, according to the latest market snapshot by Colliers International. That figure was up from 9.9 percent in February 2020. About 900,000 square feet of space was leased in February, down 50.8 percent from the previous month and a 42.8 percent drop from last year’s average monthly volume, the report found.

Office occupancy in the New York City metro area inched up to 14.9 percent according to the latest reading by access control firm Kastle Systems.