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Friday, July 29, 2016

Is BlackRock Moving?

News summary by MFWire's editors

The world's largest asset manager might be moving ... though not any time soon.

Laurence D. Fink
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
The BlackRock [profile] team is juggling four options when it comes to where to locate its headquarters in New York City, unnamed sources tell Sarah Krouse of the Wall Street Journal. The paper offers a deep dive into the factors and considerations that play into big office decisions like BlackRock's.

"In anticipation of our current campus lease expiring in 2023, we are prudently planning for our long-term real-estate needs in New York City," a BlackRock spokesman tells the WSJ. Yet the paper's unnamed sources say that the relocation decision could be made this year.

Option one for BlackRock meeting those "long-term real-estate needs" in the Big Apple, the WSJ reports, is the Hudson Yards development, which is in midtown Manhattan between 10th Avenue and 12th Avenue and between W. 30th St. and W. 34th St., just south of the giant Javits convention center on the Hudson River. Hudson Yards' first building opened for business this spring, and current and planned Hudson Yards tenants include fashion retailer Coach, private equity shop KKR, media giant Time Warner, and Wells Fargo Securities. Some of those tenants even have stakes in their buildings there.

Option two is Manhattan West, the WSJ reports, a development that is also in midtown Manhattan, just a block east of Hudson Yards.

Option three is the massive, rebuilt World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, the WSJ reports. The new One World Trade Center officially opened in November 2014, and earlier this year mutual fund watcher Morningstar moved its New York offices into 4 World Trade Center, from midtown. (Morningstar remains headquartered in Chicago.) The WSJ points out that the downtown option would be a bit cheaper: per JLL, World Trade Center rents are about $75 per square foot, compared to an average of $81 per square foot in midtown.

Option four for BlackRock is staying put. Its current, 700,000-square-foot headquarters is in midtown Manhattan, on 52nd Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue, "occupying multiple floors in two buildings across the street from each other," the WSJ notes. And the paper reports that BlackRock needs more space, noting that its headcount worldwide (not just in New York) has grown to about 13,000, up from 5,341 at the end of 2008. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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