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Bank adds 522,000 s/f at One Bryant Park.

Bank of America expanded its presence at One Bryant Park this week, taking an additional 522,000 s/f.

BOFA will now occupy a little over 1.6 million s/f in the 2.1 million s/f building, which the bank will co-own with the 51-story tower's developers, the Durst Organization. Jones Lang LaSalle's Peter Riguardi and John Ryan repped BOFA in the deal. The expansion should pave the way for the remaining space at the top of the tower to command a hefty premium.

With over half of their one million s/f in the building now absorbed, the Durst Organization plans to change its strategy from trying to attract large block tenants to one aimed towards users whose space needs are in the 30,000-90,000 s/f range. Such small to midsize tenants are typically more likely to fork over the kind of pricing the Durst Organization is seeking for the tower floors, elite rents that will match or even top those at the city's best addresses, such as the GM Building and 9 West 57th Street.

"Our focus is going to be on a one, two, or maybe three floor tenant," said Tom Bow, senior vice president of leasing at The Durst Organization, who along with a team of in-house brokers repped the landlord. "Before we were certainly speaking to tenants in the quarter million s/f range, which is not necessarily a tenant that we're going to be targeting now."

The time frame for the building's next deal has likely been expanded as well. Due to be completed in a little over two years, One Bryant Park had been attracting attention from large space users for whom suitable contiguous blocks are often hard to find and who consequently must start their space searches well ahead of their lease expirations. The smaller type tenants that the building's leasing team is now after don't always make space decisions so far in advance because their more modest requirements are often easier to meet and generally allow them more options.

"We were going to start our marketing campaign for the space immediately," said Douglas Durst, co-president of The Durst Organization. "Now we're going to redesign our marketing and postpone it to the fall."

The lengthened leasing schedule plays in The Durst Organization's favor, considering the tightening mid-town office market. Rents have steadily been rising and vacancy has diminished, especially among class A product, and those trends are expected by real estate experts to continue and perhaps even accelerate over the coming months.

"It will be a big number," Durst said of the rents the upper floors at One Bryant Park will command.

One Bryant Park--designed to be the world's most environmentally responsible office building--will serve as headquarters for Bank of America's operations in New York City and house associates from several businesses, including Global Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Wealth and Investment Management and Global Consumer and Small Business Banking.

"New York is a critical market for Bank of America and we are committed to growing all our business lines here," said Alan Rappaport, New York Market President for Bank of America. "A key element of that growth is our Global Corporate and Investment Banking group and this additional space will accommodate the expected expansion of that unit."

BOFA's will occupy floors 2-36 and 51, the top floor. The building's unique footprint will enable Bank of America to operate six major trading floors ranging in size from 43,000 to 99,000 s/f.

Designed by Cook+Fox Architects, the state-of-the-art glass, steel and aluminum skyscraper will rise adjacent to The Durst Organization's flagship tower, the Conde Nast Building at Four Times Square, itself a pioneer in environmentally responsible development.

Attorneys for Bank of America were Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. The Landlord, One Bryant Park LLC, was represented by the Durst Organization and the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

As well as housing BOFA'S New York headquarters, One Bryant Park will provide a home for the reconstructed Henry Miller Theater, plus new subway entrances and an underground pedestrian walkway.
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Article Details
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Author:Geiger, Daniel
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 8, 2006
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