Let’s call this show “As Worldwide Plaza Turns.”
Manufacturing- and technology-consulting firm West Monroe Partners is moving to the mammoth office tower at 825 Eighth Ave. from three blocks away, and more than quadrupling its space. The company has signed a 10-year lease for 41,715 square feet for the whole 17th floor, where the asking rent was $80 per square foot.
It’s a big step for West Monroe, which will leave behind a mere 10,000 square feet at 1700 Broadway. It’s welcome news as well for the pyramid-topped tower’s owners — a joint venture of New York REIT (51.3 percent) with SL Green and RXR Realty, which hold 48.7 percent. Green and RXR have exclusive management and leasing rights.
The 1.88 million square-foot skyscraper is facing the loss of its largest tenant, Cravath, which has 617,000 square feet there, in 2024. The law firm will move then to Brookfield’s Two Manhattan West as the anchor tenant.
SL Green is surely thinking about replacing Cravath, which was paying an annual base rent of $54 million as of 2013, according to a Morningstar credit report.
But 2024 is five long years away — as SL Green Chairman and Chief Executive Marc Holliday pointed out in the company’s third-quarter conference call with investors.
Asked by Morgan Stanley analyst Vikram Malhotra whether SL Green had “any updated thoughts on plans” for the tower, Holliday said, regarding future plans for Worldwide PlazaWWP, “If I said they were preliminary in nature, I’d be understating it.”
He added: “Five years is a lot of time for a lot of different things to happen, which we’ve thought through in terms of redevelopment or advanced leasing or growth within the building.”
If that wasn’t emphatic enough, Holliday reiterated, “Trust me when I’d say it’s like way too early.” He did mention, though, that the massive property was in the earliest stage of a retail “repositioning.”
The 1989-vintage giant is the centerpiece of the part-residential Worldwide Plaza complex between Eighth and Ninth avenues. The West Monroe deal brings the office building to approximately 98 percent leased, to tenants including Nomura Holdings, CBS Broadcasting and Rubenstein Associates.
The only remaining sizeable vacancy is on the 37th floor.