- Last Updated: 12:18 AM, November 20, 2012
- Posted: 11:46 PM, November 19, 2012
The holidays came early to L&L Holding Co.’s 200 Fifth Ave., where anchor office tenant Tiffany and Co. just signed for an additional 57,691 square feet.
The full-floor deal not only makes the luxury jeweler the building’s largest tenant, it also brings the tower’s 800,000 square feet of office space to a hard-earned milestone — 100-percent occupancy.
The new lease brings Tiffany’s stake at 200 Fifth to 405,489 square feet. The asking rent was $85 a square foot.
Tiffany was repped by Studley chairman/CEO Mitchell Steir and his firm’s Matt Barlow, David Goldstein and Greg Taubin. L&L was repped in-house by David Berkey and Andrew Wiener.
Tiffany’s growth at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street across from Madison Square Park is a rare instance of genuine expansion in a quiet season. It’s also a crowning moment for L&L, the acquisition and development company founded by David W. Levinson and Robert Lapidus.
It’s been no easy ride. After L&L bought the former Toy Center building with equity partner Lehman Bros. in 2007 for $480 million, it achieved an early triumph by signing Grey Group, part of marketing giant WPP Group, for 370,000 square feet.
But then Lehman went belly-up. It took a complicated, time-consuming restructuring with new partner JPMorgan Asset Management to save the property for L&L.
It was recapitalized in early 2011, when the JPMorgan fund paid $720 million to pluck 200 Fifth back from the Lehman estate.
The owners spent $135 million on a recently completed, top-to-bottom capital improvements program. Two years ago, Levinson scored a coup by luring Italian food mecca Eataly to a total of 44,000 square feet on the ground floor and roof.
Along the way, a prospective lease with CAA for 115,000 square feet last year fell through when the talent-agency powerhouse decided to go elsewhere.
But Tiffany’s commitment represents L&L’s final vindication at 200 Fifth. “Needless to say, it’s a great way to complete the lease-up of our property,” an ebullient Levinson said yesterday.
Meanwhile, just across Madison Square Park from 200 Fifth Ave., Marriott International and Ian Schrager’s Edition Hotel in the Clock Tower building will open in 2015 with 355 luxury rooms.
The 100-year-old, 42-story landmark at 5 Madison Ave. will also have a restaurant on the first and second floors, a third-floor banquet facility and 38th-floor spa.
We’re tempted to add, “Realty Check has learned.” But those details aren’t from our usual moles. Nor are they from Marriott or Schrager, who have been quiet since they rescued the property from oblivion last year after three previous sets of owners bailed out.
Rather, the floor data are from recent Dept. of Buildings filings, which also mention a 26th-floor “clock machine room” to operate the famous four-faced timepiece.
And the 2015 opening is stated in the Edition Collection website.
Marriott bought the tower last year from Africa Israel for $165 million after Tommy Hilfiger backed out of a deal to purchase it.
Marriott officials couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.
The long-vacant Clock Tower, once part of Metropolitan Life’s old headquarters, is one of three high-profile projects neighboring 200 Fifth Ave. that ran into trouble after premature optimistic announcements.
They’ve stood mostly empty on the rim of thriving Madison Square Park, once a near-dump but magnificently restored and home to the original Shake Shack.
L&L’s 200 Fifth stands next door to 1107 Broadway, the other former Toy Center building, which has been vacant for years.
Two years ago, L&L narrowly lost out on a bid to take control of it when L&L’s then-partner, the Lehman estate, decided to auction it off — and it went to a Steven Witkoff partnership.
After years of decay at the property, work is finally underway in earnest on converting it into luxury apartments.
Also, Related Cos. and partners have rescued One Madison Park, the 50-story condo tower at the foot of Madison Avenue on East 23rd Street.
They’re finally completing the skinny spire that chewed up previous warring owners and marketing the apartments.
And there’s even more good news for the area: Porcelenosa, a Spanish bathroom and kitchen-tile company, recently bought the old Commodore Criterion building at 202 Fifth Ave. (24th Street) with plans to turn it into its US showroom flagship.