The biggest lease deal in Manhattan commercial real estate so far this year saw a total of 580,000 square feet across 14 floors occupied by 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East–the largest healthcare union in the U.S–and its benefit fund at 498 Seventh Avenue.
The move was made in order to consolidate two Times Square offices that 1199SEIU had previously used for its union and fund operations in New York. With the lease at 330 West 42nd Street set to expire, the decision was made to vacate the premises along with the offices at 310 West 43rd Street, and move the 200,000 employees under one roof.
The 960,000-square-foot office building on Seventh Avenue is owned by a partnership between George Comfort & Sons’, SITQ Immobilier and Loeb Partners Realty. Besides the 14 floors, 1199SEIU will take up a portion of the ground floor and mezzanine level of the 25-story office tower.
Mary Ann Tighe, Ken Meyerson and Brendan Herlihy of CBRE brokered the lease of 180,000 square feet for the union, while the fund’s 400,000 square feet were negotiated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Jonathan Serko, Richard Serko and Ed Donnery. The landlord was represented by in-house leasing executive Matthew J. Coudert of George Comfort & Sons’.
A new opportunity has also opened up for 1199SEIU’s old headquarters on 43rd Street–an asset the union had been looking to sell since 2006. That property is currently being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield along with the adjacent parking lot in a ground lease deal. 1199SEIU will continue to act as the owner, but it will now be able to monetize the asset by receiving rental payments from a developer lessee.