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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

MetLife Extends Lease at Irvine Co. NYC Tower

Irvine Co.’s biggest tenant for its largest office property last month extended its lease by 11 years through 2038.

The tenant, insurance provider MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET), currently occupies about 385,000 square feet in the 58-story office tower in midtown Manhattan, N.Y. at 200 Park Ave., one of the city’s best-known skyscrapers.

The tower, which is the Newport Beach-based developer’s only New York property, is also known as the MetLife Building.

The property, which comprises of nearly 3.3 million square feet, offers direct access to Grand Central Terminal and is less than a mile from the Empire State Building and Times Square.

“MetLife’s continued presence at 200 Park Ave. is a testament to the connection between the iconic building and one of the world’s leading financial institutions,” Irvine Co. Office Properties President Roger DeWames.

“We are proud to extend our partnership with MetLife as the next chapter of 200 Park begins.”

Previous Owner

MetLife is one of 34 tenants at the tower, which was built in 1963.

The company has leased the building as its headquarters for nearly two decades.

MetLife previously owned the tower; the company bought the building from Pan American Airways in 1981 for $400 million. It then sold the property to Tishman Speyer in 2005 for $1.7 billion—a record deal for the state at the time, according to real estate industry data.
Irvine Co. has since taken over the property.

The MetLife Building is one of four office towers in Irvine Co.’s portfolio that are outside California. The remaining three properties are in Chicago.

Other companies housed in the MetLife Building include Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, commercial real estate firm CBRE, consulting firm Korn Ferry, Bank of America, Citi and lender Freddie Mac.

The tower—which has recently undergone renovations and improvements to its lobby, pathway to Grand Central Terminal, event venues and amenities—is currently 96% leased, according to the landlord.

Sinking Income

MetLife’s lease extension follows a year of declining profits for the company.

In the first quarter 2023, MetLife posted net income of $14 million, or 2 cents per share, down from $1.6 billion, or $1.89 per share, from the year prior.

“2023 is shaping up to be another year of uncertainty,” MetLife CEO Michel Khalaf said during the release of the company’s first-quarter results. “We remain focused on managing risks across economic cycles and controlling what we can deliver to our shareholders and our stakeholders.”

Shares in MetLife last week were $68.70, off 7% from its 52-week high last January.

Local Ties

Closer to home, MetLife also leases space from Irvine Co. at the Jamboree Center office complex in Irvine, where it has its name atop one of the buildings.

The company is also an active investor in local properties; in 2022 it partnered to buy Irvine’s four-building Intersect campus for a reported $235 million. It was the largest local office deal of 2022.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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