Citigroup to Leave 399 Park Headquarters, Landlord Says

Citigroup Inc. (C) is planning to leave its 399 Park Ave. headquarters space when its lease expires in 2017, said Doug Linde, president of Boston Properties Inc. (BXP), the skyscraper’s owner.

There is “no question” that the bank is going to be relocating out of the property, Linde said today on Boston Properties’ earnings conference call. Citigroup has about 500,000 square feet (46,500 square meters) at the tower, including 350,000 of office space that the Boston-based landlord expects to get back sometime in 2017, he said. The lease also includes retail and concourse space.

“That headquarters requirement has hardly been used on a relevant basis in terms of the efficiency of the space for them for a number of years,” Linde said. “And much of that has been sublet.”

Citigroup last month renewed and extended a lease on about 2.6 million square feet at a complex in Manhattan’s Tribeca section. The move fueled speculation that the company will consolidate offices from other locations, including 399 Park and 601 Lexington Ave., an east side tower formerly known as Citigroup Center and also owned by Boston Properties.

Citigroup’s lease at 601 Lexington runs until 2026, Linde said. That agreement allows for the bank “to give back a floor or two” by 2017, he said.

Boston Properties expects to have conversations with Citigroup “about whether or not they want to use that space, and if they don’t want to use that space, how we might both profit from their decision to no longer want to pay rent there,” Linde said.

Shannon Bell, a Citigroup spokeswoman, said the bank would not comment on Linde’s statements. Arista Joyner, a Boston Properties spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking further details on Citigroup’s plans.

To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at dlevitt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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