By Daniel Geiger
Two financial firms are splitting the roughly 30,000 s/f 31st floor of 9 West 57th Street for big rents, according to sources.
Lightyear Capital, the private equity firm founded by Donald Marron, who famously built Paine Webber into a stock brokerage powerhouse, and a separate company, Sycamore Ventures, both signed 10-year deals that start at $165 per s/f for the first five years and then rise to $170 per s/f.
Lightyear will take about 17,500 s/f of the floor and Sycamore will fill the remaining 14,000 s/f.
The 31st floor was being carved into pre-built offices by the building’s landlord Sheldon Solow, but when the tenants showed interest in the space, the floor was built and then divided into only two units, a source said.
Now, Solow is converting the 29th floor into pre-built space, which appeals to smaller, deep-pocketed tenants, who want to move into high-end space that is ready for occupancy. Sources say a deal is also pending for the building’s 30th floor.
9 West 57th Street is known as one of the city’s most prestigious – and expensive – addresses. Although it was developed in the 1970s, one person familiar with the tower said that Solow, well-known for his mercurial and enigmatic personality in Manhattan real estate circles, equipped the building with “timeless amenities,” including floor-to-ceiling windows, few columns, abundant power, and a high design aesthetic. High floors in the tower offer some of the most stunning views of Central Park in midtown, an amenity that the building’s high-flying tenants pay for.
Deals have appeared to quicken at the property, which has significant vacancy, since Solow hired Scott Panzer, a vice chairman at Jones Lang LaSalle, to handle leasing work. Earlier this year, Panzer represented and consulted with two of 9 West’s biggest tenants, KKR and Apollo, in renewal deals that featured rents in the mid $100s per s/f. Panzer said he couldn’t comment on any of the deals.