CME Group, a derivatives marketplace, in partnership with its real estate advisor Holly Duran Real Estate Partner of Chicago, has retained Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) to explore the sale of the NYMEX Building, the headquarters to the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
The 16-story, LEED-certified building is located at One North End Avenue overlooking the Hudson River immediately west of Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) and Goldman Sachs Tower.
The company will continue operation of its NYMEX trading floor in New York regardless of whether the NYMEX building is sold. In the event of the sale, CME may lease back a portion of the building, including the trading floor.
NGKF vice chairman Neil Goldmacher and HDREP’s Holly Duran will investigate a sale-leaseback scenario as well as the possibility of relocating NYMEX to other properties in lower Manhattan.
“CME Group remains committed to our floor based membership and open outcry trading services in New York, which continue to be a profitable part of our business and serve our customers well,” said Jamie Parisi, CME Group chief financial officer.
“The sale of the NYMEX building will help us continue to reinvest in our core derivatives business, just as we did following the sale and lease-back of office space in the CBOT building in Chicago last year. Going forward, whether we decide to retain occupancy at One North End or relocate within Lower Manhattan, we are committed to updating our New York offices to reflect the innovation and quality of our CME group offices around the world.”
James D. Kuhn, NGKF president and head of the firm’s Capital Markets group, and NGKF Capital Markets senior managing director Jennifer Schwartzman, in partnership with HDREP principal Holly Duran and associate Jeff Mulder, will market the property for sale.
Duran said: “This is a modern, iconic office tower with extraordinary infrastructure and systems. Accordingly, we expect strong competitive bidding and a large pool of potential buyers, including potential end users.”
Kuhn said: “This is an opportune time for CME Group to engage the market. With modest yields in other asset classes and benchmark interest rates in the low single digits, institutional investors are clamoring for the limited number of trophy office assets that become available for sale in Manhattan.”
CME Group acquired the NYMEX Building, along with the exchange, in 2008. NYMEX has occupied the building since 1997. CME Group owns the building on a ground lease that expires in June 2069.