BlackRock Plans Move to Manhattan's West Side

The world's largest money manager plans to leave its current Midtown Manhattan offices for New York's west side, according to people familiar with the matter.

BlackRock Inc. is expected to take space in a planned office tower known as 50 Hudson Yards, these people said. The building site sits within a large new development along the Hudson River built by Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group. The asset manager has also been considering another nearby tower developed by Tishman Speyer, called The Spiral.

The firm's current lease expires in 2023. A spokesman said "BlackRock has not made a final decision regarding its 2023 real estate needs."

BlackRock 's search for about 850,000 square feet of space represents one of the largest potential New York office deals at a time when banks and other financial firms continue to shrink their presence. Companies in those sectors represent about a quarter of the city's office space, down from more than one third four years ago, according to brokerage firm JLL.

A BlackRock team working on the search for new office space heard final presentations from developers last week and could make a final decision as soon as later this month, the people said.

A move across town would mark a shift from BlackRock's Park Avenue origins. The $5.1 trillion asset manager was founded in a single Park Avenue office as part of Blackstone Group in 1988 and has had offices within four square blocks of that location ever since. Today, it occupies several floors in two buildings on 52nd Street between Madison and Park Avenue. Those buildings are owned by Fisher Brothers and Rudin Management Company, Inc.

The average asking rent for high-end office space in midtown was about $82 a square foot at the end of the third quarter, according to JLL. By that figure the firm would spend about $69.7 million annually, though rents are subject to market conditions and a company's specific requirements.

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