- Largest money manager said to seek 1 million square feet
- Firm may be a fit for new building, such as Hudson Yards tower
BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, has taken the first steps toward finding a new headquarters in New York because it expects to outgrow its two offices close to Park Avenue, a person with knowledge of the plans said.
The firm has issued a request for proposals to real estate brokers to help search for about 1 million square feet (93,000 square meters), said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. BlackRock may also wind up staying where it is, the person said.
A deal for 1 million square feet would be among the largest for a New York company in the past couple of years and would make BlackRock a candidate to anchor one of Manhattan’s newest skyscrapers. Towers are under construction or planned at the Hudson Yards development zone on the far west side, at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and on Midtown’s east side. There are also large-enough vacancies in existing buildings, such as at 4 Times Square and in 1271 Avenue of the Americas, the former Time & Life Building, that might accommodate the firm.
“A firm like BlackRock, looking for a million square feet at once, should have the brokerage community as well as the development community salivating,” said Aaron Jodka, senior manager for market research at CoStar Group Inc., a research firm that tracks office leasing. “A big credit tenant -- investors want that.”
Larger financial firms, along with other traditional New York industries such as publishing, generally have been reducing their real estate and consolidating into fewer locations, Jodka said. It’s rare for a big financial company to seek more space than it already has.
“In anticipation of our current campus lease expiring in 2023, we are prudently planning for our long-term real estate needs in New York City,” said Olivia Offner, a BlackRock spokeswoman, declining to comment further.
BlackRock’s current New York offices, at 55 E. 52nd St., a building known as Park Avenue Plaza, and 40 E. 52nd St., have about 700,000 square feet combined, Offner said. BlackRock, whose chairman and chief executive officer is Laurence Fink, also rents about 221,000 square feet at 1 University Square in the Princeton, New Jersey, area.
Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Fisher Brothers, the owner of Park Avenue Plaza, declined to comment. A call to William Rudin, whose firm, Rudin Management Co., controls 40 E. 52nd, wasn’t immediately returned.
The traditional core of midtown Manhattan is facing an increase in large vacancies as tenants defect to the Hudson Yards area and other new or recently remodeled spaces, according to researchers at Savills Studley Inc., a commercial-property brokerage. Among Midtown firms that have agreed to move to Related Co’s Hudson Yards project are KKR & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Boston Consulting Group.