By Daniel Geiger
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has completed a deal to take 204,000 s/f at One World Financial Center.
The organization, which according to public information is the largest independent regulator of U.S. securities companies, will be relocating to the space from other locations downtown, primarily the office buildings 14 Wall Street and 20 Broad Street.
FINRA, as the authority’s name is often abbreviated, will fill One World Financial Center’s entire 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th floors, a block being sublet by the financial reporting and data company Dow Jones, which relocated to midtown two years ago to fill space its parent company News Corp. has along Sixth Avenue.
FINRA was represented in the deal by a team from the real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield led by one of C&W’s top leasing executives, John Cefaly and two other senior deal makers who frequently work with Cefaly on transactions, Gus Field and Rob Lowe.
Dow Jones was represented by a CB Richard Ellis team led by Kenneth Rapp, a top broker at CBRE.
The deal comes just a few months after Cefaly and his brokerage partners arranged to relocate one of One World Financial Center’s largest tenants from the 1.6 million s/f building to New Jersey. In a deal first reported by Real Estate Weekly last November, Fidelity Investments, a mutual fund manager and discount brokerage, took about 190,000 s/f at Newport Office Center Three, a 600,000 s/f office building on the Jersey City waterfront at 499 Washington Boulevard.
At the time there were concerns that office tenants would leave lower Manhattan for even less expensive areas like New Jersey or downtown Brooklyn or just migrate to midtown because rental rates there had fallen during the downturn. Fears were touched off by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., a firm that provides a host of support services to Wall Street, which decided in 2009 to relocate a large portion of its operations, about 400,000 s/f and 1,600 employees, to the Newport Office Center.
Worries began to lift when deals like the FINRA transaction started to get done. There have been a number of positive signs in lower Manhattan, including a decision last year by the publishing giant Conde Nast to take about one million s/f at One World Trade Center, a deal that has boosted the desireability of the area among a broader stable of tenants than just the financial firms that traditionally have comprised the bulk of the downtown market.
Brookfield Properties, the owner of the World Financial Center office complex, has also moved to hold onto tenants. The company is said to be negotiating hard to keep Nomura, a Japanese financial company that has hundreds of thousands of s/f at Two World Financial Center. The company, whose lease is set to expire in 2013 has been in talks to relocate to Worldwide Plaza in midtown.