Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t derailed NYC leasing

There’s life behind the lockdown. The commercial heartbeat pulses quietly behind the grim tableau of COVID-19 uncertainty and frozen construction.

The dramatic deal by Facebook — run by Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg — to be the anchor office tenant at Vornado’s Farley Post Office project across Eighth Avenue from Madison Square Garden — a whopping 740,000 square feet — hasn’t been fazed by the crisis and is “moving toward closure,” a well-placed source said. Those involved didn’t get back to us.

Meanwhile, AIG — which sold 175 Water St. and faces a lease expiration at 80 Pine St. — is forging ahead to lease more than 200,000 square feet at 28 Liberty St. and the same amount of space at 30 Hudson St., the Goldman Sachs-owned tower, in Jersey City. Both deals are well on track to be completed, sources said.

A few blocks away, the SEC, which is moving from Brookfield Place, has a done deal for 241,000 square feet at 100 Pearl St., which is in the midst of a $430 capital improvements upgrade, a source said. JLL repped the SEC and Newmark repped the owners.

On the Midtown front, BNP Paribas is negotiating a 300,000-square-foot renewal at 787 Seventh Ave., which is owned by CalPERs’ management arm, CommonWealth Partners.

JLL’s Peter Riguardi, who’s said to represent AIG and BNP, didn’t return calls.

Development plans too, although moving more slowly, continue to percolate as lenders, lawyers and architects trade strategies via Zoom and other virtual-meeting sites.

Klovern AB of Sweden and GDS Development Management are working on scenarios for 417 Park Ave., the 29-unit co-op apartment building they bought for $184 million in 2019. That’s the building which Kushner Cos. also took a run at last year, as we reported at the time.

Klovern AB and GDS have an office project in mind, thanks to 2017 rezoning that would allow a 220,000-square-foot office building as-of-right — but could be considerably larger by using air-rights transfers.



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