The Rockefeller Group and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced the completion of a new lease for 400,000 s/f at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, a 48-story office tower completed as part of the modern expansion of Rockefeller Center to the west side of Sixth Avenue.
MLB will occupy six floors of office space in the 2.1-million-square-foot building, located on the west side of Sixth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown.
MLB and MLB Advanced Media L.P. plan to consolidate employees at 1271 from separate locations in midtown and downtown, and are scheduled to take control of the space in 2018 with occupancy expected for 2019.
As part of its agreement, MLB will have the right to use the building’s street-level plaza for public events, as well as exclusive use of the eighth-floor outdoor terrace, which overlooks Sixth Avenue with expansive views of Central Park to the north and Lower Manhattan to the south. The office space was previously occupied by Time Inc., which had been the building’s anchor tenant for more than five decades before the publisher’s relocation in 2015.
“We are very pleased to welcome Major League Baseball to Rockefeller Center,” said Dan Rashin, Co-President and CEO of the Rockefeller Group. “Major League Baseball is world renowned, representing the best-of-the-best in global sports, media, entertainment, and technology services. And 1271 is a dynamic building undergoing a significant transformation for the future – the two of them together make a world-class combination.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to create a singular headquarters environment that can best accommodate the workplace needs of our employees as we continue to build and enhance our organization for the future,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “Additionally, the building’s central location, access to transportation and existing amenities made this the right move for MLB.”
MLB is the most historic professional sports league in the United States, consisting of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada. Baseball is the best-attended sport in North America, and since 2004, MLB has enjoyed its best-attended seasons in the history of the game, with each regular season eclipsing the 73 million mark.
In 2016, the Rockefeller Group started a $600 million redevelopment of 1271 designed by the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Major elements of the project include replacement of the building’s glass curtain wall, allowing approximately 60 percent more light into the interior space and enhancing the views, as well as restoration of the building’s landmarked lobby, including its Copacabana-inspired floors, stainless-steel-covered elevator core, marble walls and artworks by Josef Albers and Fritz Glarner.
The building, which was completed in 1959, was originally designed by Harrison & Abromovitz & Harris, the architects for all of Rockefeller Center. It was built by George A. Fuller Company, known for its construction of many other prominent New York buildings including the U.N. headquarters, Lever House and the Seagram Building.
MLB was represented by a CBRE team including Scott Gottlieb, Ken Meyerson, Chris Corrinet, Brendan Herlihy and Daniel Wilpon. Building ownership was represented by a CBRE team including Mary Ann Tighe, Howard Fiddle, John Maher, Dave Caperna, Evan Haskell and Sarah Pontius, in coordination with an in-house Rockefeller Group leasing team led by Ed Guiltinan and Jennifer Stein.