Morningstar Makes its Way Downtown to 4 World Trade Center

The company is expanding its Manhattan presence by signing a long-term lease at 150 Greenwich St.
4 World Trade Center, New York

4 World Trade Center, New York

New YorkMorningstar Inc., an investment research and reporting firm, has quadrupled its space in Manhattan with its move to new quarters in 4 World Trade Center.

The company, which had been renting 7,500 square feet at 1065 Sixth Ave. in the Bryant Park area, has a 10-year lease for 30,000 square feet on the 48th floor of the 72-story skyscraper in Downtown Manhattan. The Chicago-based firm said the additional space for its New York office and headquarters was needed to accommodate its East Coast clients and growing credit ratings business. It has more than 60 employees in the New York office, where most of them work for Morningstar Credit Ratings LLC, a subsidiary of Morningstar Inc., and an emerging player in the ratings industry.

“Our new office demonstrates our growth and commitment to being closer to many of our clients who call New York home,” Joe Mansueto, Morningstar chairman & CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We’re thrilled to expand our footprint by leasing such a beautiful space. After an extensive search, we chose 4 World Trade because we love the building’s design.”

The company announced in September 2014 that it was making the move downtown to one of the World Trade Center buildings owned by Silverstein Properties. Morningstar’s decision to lease space at 4 WTC came two months after MediaMath signed a 15-year lease for 106,000 square feet on the 44th through 46th floors. MediaMath, a global technology company, was the first private sector firm to sign on for space at 4 WTC, where the main tenants are the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (600,000 square feet) and the City of New York (600,000 square feet). Construction on the $700 million skyscraper began in 2008 and it opened in November 2013. The 2.5 million-square-foot tower has 2.3 million square feet of office space and about 400,000 square feet of retail at the street level and in the underground concourses that lead to the subway lines and PATH trains.

The 977-foot-tall tower was designed by famed Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and has a geometric design that features 10-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling panes of glass in the offices. Morningstar said it has open floor plans in its global offices, so nearly half the space in its new 4 WTC office includes flexible work space designed for employees to interact with clients and host events.

“We’re already enjoying having clients in our new office with its breathtaking view,” Vickie Tillman, president of Morningstar Credit Ratings, said in a prepared statement. “Our workplace needs have increased and we’re excited to serve a broad range of issuers and institutional investors, including asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds and insurance companies.”

In November, Silverstein Properties announced SNY, owned by Sterling Entertainment Properties, Time Warner and Comcast NBC Universal, had signed a 17-year lease for 83,000 square feet of office and studio space. SNY is the broadcast network of the New York Mets. Sterling Equities and Sterling Project Development also joined SNY at 4 WTC.

Last week, Crain’s New York Business reported Zurich North America, the U.S. subsidiary of the Switzerland-based insurance giant, was seeking to lease about 70,000 square feet at 4 WTC, relocating from nearby 1 Liberty Plaza. Crain’s reported it was part of a possible plan to split space between a smaller office in Manhattan and a site in Jersey City, N.J. Zurich North America currently leases about 170,000 square feet at 1 Liberty Plaza, according to Crain’s. The company would not confirm the report, only stating that its lease at 1 Liberty Plaza expired in May 2017 and it was evaluating its needs and operating costs as standard practice.

The Crain’s story stated another company, high-frequency trading firm Hudson River Trading, was also rumored to be considering space at 4 WTC. That potential deal was also not confirmed.

Image courtesy of 4 WTC