The F.D.I.C., which has been scouring the Manhattan market for about 100,000 square feet for a year, may well have settled on a building worthy of the federal government’s heightened stature in the marketplace: the Empire freakin’ State Building!
A source close to the negotiations indicated that the F.D.I.C. has set its sights on about 100,000 square feet at the newly revamped, and forever iconic, Art Deco tower, bought by Wien & Malkin from a group that included the Trumps for a mere $57.5 million in 2002.
The F.D.I.C. wouldn’t comment. But if it’s true, that doesn’t mean the lease is a sure thing. Reminder: We are talking about a bureaucracy.
“Board approval is required to proceed with lease execution,” said F.D.I.C. spokesman Andrew Gray, who would not comment on the agency’s potential new location. “We hope to have [lease execution] by the end of May.”
If the board pooh-poohs the choice, then it’s back to the streets for the F.D.I.C.’s brokers at Grubb & Ellis.
But if the choice is the Empire State Building, it’s hard to imagine any pooh-poohing at all. On April 6, Bill Clinton rode the elevator to the tower’s 80th floor to serve as the ultimate window dressing for the unveiling of a project, to be managed by Jones Lang LaSalle, that will render the 78-year-old, 102-story tower green by reducing energy use 38 percent by 2013. This, in the midst of the building’s current $500 million renovation.
Thanks to that ongoing renovation—and with a little help from the unfriendly real estate market—the 2.77 million–square–foot tower has more than 600,000 square feet available, according to database CoStar.
Its new digs, wherever they may be, will replace the F.D.I.C.’s current New York Regional and Field Offices, in about 75,000 square feet at Metro Loft Management’s 20 Exchange Place.