WestLB, the German bank that for months has scoured New York for massive new offices, signed a lease on Dec. 2 for 129,000 square feet on the 50th through 52nd loors of Larry Silverstein’s 7 World Trade Center. Sources say the average rent for the three floors was in the high $70s a square foot.
Such is the enormity of the good news for a Downtown wracked by the collapse of Wall Street that Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Silverstein will, in roughly 15 minutes, formally announce the lease at a pomp-filled news conference on the tower’s 52nd (and top) floor.
It’s particularly sweet for Mr. Silverstein, who has seen a number of would-be tenants toy with the idea of taking some of the remaining 10 floors in his glassy skyscraper, including NBC and HSBC, only to back out. Even so, Mr. Silverstein isn’t entirely home free. Seven floors, or 17 percent, of the 1.7 million-square-foot building, which opened in 2006, remain empty.
Sources say that 7 World Trade’s eco-friendliness and operational efficiency were deciding factors in WestLB’s decision to move Downtown. The tower is a LEED Gold building, and its column-free floors and tight building core will allow WestLB to house its entire New York City branch on just three floors. WestLB right now has offices scattered throughout the city, including its main office of 60,000 square feet at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. The bank plans to relocate Downtown in the second quarter of 2010.
CB Richard Ellis’ Mary Ann Tighe and Stephen Siegel represented Silverstein Properties in the transaction. Scott Klau, Robert Eisenberg and Mark Weiss of Newmark Knight Frank represented WestLB.