George Comfort & Sons JV Lands Largest NYC Office Lease of 2024

The tenant committed to more than 330,000 square feet in Manhattan.

63 Madison Avenue
The building at 63 Madison Ave. rises 15 stories. Image courtesy of George Comfort & Sons

George Comfort & Sons has signed a 20-year leasing agreement totaling 338,085 square feet at 63 Madison Avenue, a Class A office building in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park. The deal, consisting of a direct lease and a sublease, represents the largest office lease signed in New York City this year so far.

The tenant is American Eagle Outfitters Inc., which will relocate its New York City offices and consolidate its diverse brands at the 15-story building.

AEO signed a direct lease with the landlord and its partners, Loeb Partners Realty and Jamestown, for 108,194 square feet spread across the seventh and 11th floors of the office property. The agreement also included a 66,597-square-foot space involving the building’s concourse areas.

The second agreement was a sublease with CBS for 162,291 square feet at the office building’s floors eight to 10. This commitment will eventually be converted to a direct lease.

Savills negotiated on behalf of the tenant, while Cushman & Wakefield assisted CBS in the sublease deal. The landlord was represented in-house.

A Gramercy Park office building

George Comfort & Sons purchased 63 Madison from New York Life Real Estate Investors in 1995 for $65.2 million, according to CommercialEdge information. In 2016, Jamestown acquired a 49 percent ownership stake in the property; the deal also included the office building at 200 Madison Ave.

Completed in 1962, the office building at 63 Madison Ave. comprises 851,438 square feet. The mid-rise features floorplates between 33,700 square feet to 54,100 square feet, upgraded systems and multiple amenities.

The landlord completed a major improvement program in 2022, upgrades including a new lobby, a coffee shop, a private conference area at the concourse level, an outdoor plaza and a private outdoor terrace. Other tenants at the property include Freshly Inc., which occupies 92,306 square feet, New York Life Insurance Co. and Whole Foods Market.

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The building is close to multiple subway and bus stops, providing easy access to Grand Central Terminal and to Penn Station. The location is 3 miles from Upper East Side, 8 miles from Upper Manhattan and 10 miles from LaGuardia Airport.

Savills Chairman Mitti Liebersohn, President David Goldstein, Associate Anna Erickson, Senior Managing Director Nate Brozowski and Assistant Director Will Demuth negotiated on behalf of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. Cushman & Wakefield Executive Vice Chairman Mark Boisi assisted CBS in the subleasing agreement.

George Comfort & Sons’ President & CEO Peter Duncan, Executive Vice President Matt Coudert and Associate Alexander Bermingham represented the landlord. The same team is also marketing the remaining space at 63 Madison for lease.

Manhattan remains the priciest office market

Office vacancy rate in Manhattan clocked in at 17.6 percent in March, up 110 basis points over the past 12 months, a recent CommercialEdge report shows. The average asking rate price reached $71.3 per square foot, marking a 3.9 percent year-over-year drop, but still remaining the priciest office market in the country. In terms of average asking rate prices, Manhattan was followed by San Francisco ($60.8 per square foot) and The Bay Area ($52.7 per square foot).

Significant office deals signed in the borough so far include Evercore’s 95,000-square-foot expansion at a 1.2 million-square-foot office tower in the Plaza District. The tenant now occupies more than 500,000 square feet across several floors.

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