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730 Third Avenue to expand 20 floors for TIAA-CREF.

730 Third Avenue to expand 20 floors for TIAA-CREF

The corporate headquarters of the world's largest pension fund, TIAA-CREF, will be enlarged by a 20-story addition, designed to alleviate overcrowded conditions at its 730 Third Avenue building in midtown Manhattan.

The addition will be built on an adjacent, 10,000-square-foot site along East 45th Street, between Third and Lexington Avenues. The building and property site are held by the pension fund, which manages $95 billion in assets.

Beginning in July, the site will be cleared by a demolition crew, and construction will follow in September; the expansion is scheduled for completion by mid-1993. Pedestrian traffic will be accommodated, with minimal disruption to thru-traffic.

Visually, the new structure will be a subtle addition, recessed by three setbacks, in accordance with zoning regulations. The facade of the 160,000-square-foot addition will match the existing building, with gray brick, aluminum mullions and glass spandrels. The street level portion of the addition will provide new retail space, as well as a new loading dock area on 45th Street (replacing the small loading dock now on 46th Street).

The existing Third Avenue lobby entrance will be reconstructed with a two-story atrium; the 45th Street entrance will be enhanced, and a 46th Street entrance will be added as well.

Granite-clad columns will extend to the second-floor windows, and the atrium's facade will be treated with granite applique. The retail space will have new storefront windows and signage; and, plans call for the sidewalks to be repaved and tree-lined.

All of the pension assets are managed by TIAA-CREF investment professionals at the 730 Third Avenue building. Support operations are located at two adjacent buildings -- 485 Lexington Avenue and 750 Third Avenue -- which are also owned by TIAA.

The construction cost of the project, including the building shell, lobby and entrance improvements, is estimated at about $30 million. The project manager, assistant vice president Tom Fellman, noted, "Because of the current recession, high quality workmanship is available at lower costs, making this an opportune time to build the addition." Also, the new space will enable some TIAA-CREF staff to move back to 730 Third Avenue, freeing several floors at 750 Third Avenue for leasing.

While TIAA-CREF is planning only modest increases in staff in the immediate future, it has experienced rapid growth in recent years, necessary to handle the significant rise in new business and assets. This has resulted in serious overcrowding in TIAA-CREF's headquarters complex.

Currently, there are 3,800 employees at the Midtown headquarters, and over 100 employees at branch offices in major U.S. cities. Day-to-day operations include management of $95 billion in assets, and administering benefits and services for 4,500 institutions and 1.4 million participants, nationwide.

The architectural firm is Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron of New York.

The 730 Third Avenue building was constructed in 1959; the existing structure has 429,000 square feet of space. It is one of five Manhattan properties owned by TIAA, whose investment portfolio includes 575 income-producing properties and 2,000 commercial mortgages, coast-to-coast.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Hagedorn Publication
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jul 17, 1991
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