By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
The Durst Organization has added a new name to the tenant roster at its 1.1 million-square-foot office tower at 1133 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. The real estate company just signed a lease with the National Basketball Players Association, which committed to approximately 47,300 square feet.
The NBPA, the union for National Basketball Association players, staked a claim to the entire 5th floor of the 45-story building, as well as a segment of the 6th floor. The organization’s new home won’t be your typical headquarters space.
“We are particularly pleased that the NBPA was able to transform the old RCA sound stage into a regulation-sized basketball court,” Jonathan Durst, president of the Durst Organization, said in a prepared statement.
With a 20-year lease agreement in place at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, the NBPA is positioned to bid adieu to its current Harlem headquarters at 310 Lenox Ave., a 25,000-square-foot building owned by the organization. The NBPA has put the property on the market through commercial real estate services firm Avison Young, whose principals, Martin Cottingham and Arthur Mirante, represented the union in the lease transaction with Durst.
Both Durst and the NBPA are keeping mum on the financial terms of the lease, but given the current state of the market, the organization is certainly paying a pretty penny per square-foot. As noted in a second quarter Avison Young report, New York recorded the highest Class A rents in the country at an average $78.57 per square-foot. In Midtown, according to a second quarter report by Colliers International, asking rents for Class A space increased 2.7 percent quarter over quarter to $80.23 per square-foot, “marking the first time the Class A average asking rent crossed the $80.00 per square-foot threshold since 2008.”
High prices or no, there’s been quite a bit of activity at 1133 Avenue of the Americas over the last several months. In June, Bank of America extended its lease of approximately 114,800 square feet by 10 years, and in February, Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. signed an 11-year lease for 22,900 square feet.