BNY Mellon to sell Wall Street headquarters

The company is searching for a smaller space to lease elsewhere

Dec 16, 2013 @ 10:09 am

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. plans to sell Manhattan's 1 Wall St., the Art Deco skyscraper that serves as its corporate headquarters, and has hired brokers to find a smaller amount of space to lease elsewhere.

CBRE Group Inc., the world's biggest real estate services firm, will market the 52-story limestone tower, said Kevin Heine, a BNY Mellon spokesman. The bank hired Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. to seek space for some employees who work in the building.

“We will only make the move if it makes sense financially,” Mr. Heine said. “We're exploring the possibility of moving our headquarters to our other main downtown location at 101 Barclay St.”

BNY Mellon, the world's biggest custody bank, would join other large financial companies in scaling back their offices to reduce costs and boost efficiency. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to sell a nearby skyscraper, 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, and move employees to other locations. Citigroup Inc. is in talks to consolidate its New York operations into a Tribeca complex, people with knowledge of the negotiations said in October.

BNY Mellon has about 1,700 employees at 1 Wall St., which has about 1 million square feet of space. Some of the workers would be moved to 101 Barclay St., a 25-story tower it owns nearby, said a person with knowledge of the plan.

BNY Mellon probably will concentrate its search for new space on lower Manhattan or in the Jersey City, N.J., area across the Hudson River, with price being a key consideration, according to two people familiar with the matter. It is seeking about 400,000 square feet, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

This is the second time in less than four years that BNY Mellon has explored vacating and selling its Wall Street tower. In November 2010, it told its employees that it would stay put. Ron Gruendl, a bank spokesman, said four months later that given the economic environment, coming out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, “we were not willing to make any move that would increase expenses.”

Prices for Manhattan office properties have risen 30% since November 2010, according to Green Street Advisors Inc. JPMorgan agreed to sell 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, once the headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank, to Fosun International Ltd. for $725 million, the most ever paid for a New York building by a Chinese buyer, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc., a research firm that tracks commercial real estate sales.

Bob McGrath, a spokesman for CBRE, and George Shea, a spokesman for Jones Lang LaSalle, declined to comment on BNY Mellon's moves.

(Bloomberg News)

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