NHL Said to Plan Headquarters Move to Manhattan’s Far West Side

  • Lease at Brookfield’s Manhattan West may be done in two weeks
  • League’s new space at 33rd and Ninth Avenue may have ice rink

The National Hockey League is planning to relocate its headquarters to Manhattan’s west side, leaving Midtown for a new office tower that might include an outdoor ice rink, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Within two weeks, the league plans to sign a lease for 160,000 square feet (14,900 square meters) at One Manhattan West, a $2.1 billion tower that’s being constructed by Brookfield Property Partners LP in the Hudson Yards area, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal isn’t complete. Manhattan West is an $8.6 billion mixed-use project rising between the Farley Post Office Building, slated to become a passenger-rail station, and Related Co.’s Hudson Yards project farther west, near the Hudson River.

The NHL would be the first of the four major sports leagues, which all have headquarters in midtown Manhattan, to move to the Hudson Yards area. Last month, Major League Baseball agreed to move its offices from Park Avenue to the former Time & Life Building, just two blocks north of a tower on Avenue of the Americas that the NHL would be leaving.

NHL representatives declined to comment on the league’s headquarters plans.

‘Final Stages’

Brookfield, in its third-quarter earnings announcement today, said it’s in the “final stages” of negotiating a 160,000-square-foot lease at One Manhattan West. The company didn’t say who was taking the space. The lease, if completed, would bring the project to 37 percent committed, Brookfield said. Law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP last year signed a 20-year lease for 550,000 square feet to anchor the 67-story, 995-foot (303-meter) tower, which is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Andrew Brent, a Brookfield spokesman, declined to comment beyond the company’s statement and remarks by Chief Executive Officer Brian Kingston, who said on Brookfield’s earnings conference call that the firm is “very close to announcing” a second tenant for the tower.

The office tower is being built at the corner of West 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue, a block west of Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. Should the new building get an ice rink, as under discussion, it wouldn’t be a first for the landlord: Brookfield installed a winter rink at its downtown office complex, Brookfield Place.

The NHL’s current home is 1185 Avenue of the Americas, a 1.1 million-square-foot tower owned by SL Green Realty Corp. that has a direct underground connection with the nearby Rockefeller Center concourse. The league leases about 148,000 square feet from SL Green under an agreement that expires in 2022, according to the landlord’s latest annual report, and has a retail store at the property.

Melanie Keenan, an SL Green spokeswoman, said she had no immediate comment.

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