Marathon Negotiations Yield Big Equity Firm Lease in W&H’s One Grand Central

In a delicate 12-month dance of buyout negotiations, competing brokerage firms and overlapping relocations, private-equity firm Pine Brook Road Partners finally snagged the 49th and 50th floors of the exclusive One Grand Central Place, the 55-story, neo-Gothic behemoth that boasts its very own ZIP code. The transaction involved no less than four tenants, three brokerage firms, two buyouts, the building’s lender and a gaggle of attorneys.

When Pine Brook Road first signaled its interest in the space, the law firm Vandenberg & Feliu had just inked a deal for the 50th floor. The law firm’s lease had required building owner W&H Properties to negotiate buyouts for two long-standing tenants’ remaining lease obligations. With construction for the law firm already under way, Newmark Knight Frank’s building agents William G. Cohen and Ryan Kass were confronted with yet another shuffling of tenants between floors: They had to renegotiate with the Vandenberg principals in order to bump them up a floor.

It was all worth the late hours and labyrinthine negotiations, according to W&H vice president Fred C. Posniak, who said, “That’s what happens when two important tenants want very much to be at the top of a great building.”

The recently formed Pine Brook Road is distinct from most private-equity firms in that rather than purchasing companies and using financial leverage to generate returns, it starts businesses and invests equity in growing them over time.

Larry Zuckerman and Dan Gronich of Grubb & Ellis represented Pine Brook Road. Newmark Knight Frank’s Alison Coffey repped the building along with Mr. Cohen and Mr. Kass. Marathon Negotiations Yield Big Equity Firm Lease in W&H’s One Grand Central