It’s battle stations at 375 Park Ave., aka the Seagram Building. Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty is gearing up to replace its largest tenant, Wells Fargo, which moved its last employees out of 250,000 square feet last week. The bank is moving its investment banking and capital markets operations into a half-million square-foot office condo it bought at 30 Hudson Yards.
Wells Fargo was at Seagram since 2004. Its exit leaves a big hole in the 880,000-square-foot landmark tower. Rosen plans to bring in a crack outside leasing team, yet to be chosen, to help fill the floors.
Seagram remains 97 percent “occupied” — Wells Fargo is paying rent through February 2021. However, RFR has control of the space and can proceed to make a direct lease with a new tenant.
Seagram has mostly been above 90 percent leased since Rosen bought it. He had no trouble luring smaller tenants to replace others that left, while other existing tenants have expanded.
For example, longtime tenant Arbor Realty Trust just re-upped and added 19,905 square feet to the 16,343 it already has. The asking rent was $185 a square foot, sources said.
“It was one of the quickest deals ever,” an insider said. “They went from a letter of intent to a signed lease in less than nine days during the holidays.”
But filling the large Wells Fargo block will be a tougher test of Seagram’s appeal at a time when some other firms have left the transit-friendly Park Avenue corridor for new towers on the far West Side.
Rosen pumped tens of millions of dollars of improvements into the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed landmark, where he bought the majority stake in 2000 and later took full control.
A new tenant on the Wells Fargo floors could have two private, 5,000- square-foot terraces as well as options for a dedicated building entrance and exterior signage. RFR is also creating a second tenants’ amenity center to be finished this year. And of course, major restaurants downstairs, The Grill and The Pool (in the former Four Seasons space) and Lobster Club (where the Brasserie was), couldn’t be nearer.
Meanwhile, RFR recently tapped former SL Green broker Paul Milunec, who worked on One Vanderbilt, to join RFR’s in-house leasing team, although the yet-to-be named outside team will have primary responsibility for the Wells Fargo space.