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Israel's largest holding company, IDB Group, has landed a 106k SF lease at its Manhattan flagship 452 Fifth Ave—a big step toward its aim of becoming one of NYC CRE's elite players.
452 5th Ave, NYC
PBC-KOOR USA prez Ehud Elizur (PBC is IDB's real estate arm) told us yesterday that Baker & McKenzie is relocating from the Grace Building to six and a half floors in 452 Fifth. Existing anchor HSBC (from which IDB bought the building last year for $330M) has a 10-year, 600k SF lease, but Baker's 15-year term was the cherry on top for the building's stability. Man Group, which relocated from Rockefeller Plaza, also has three floors. Three floors are available now, and the top three will be marketed in a year, once elevator work is completed. (Everything happens in threes.) Ehud tells us the building was designed for the eccentric banker Edmond Safra, who didn't want anyone to be easily reachable, hence the current lack of elevator access to the top floors.

452 Fifth Ave., NYC
Ehud also tells us his firm has signed retail leases for Staples andPanera on 39th and Fifth. PBC, which develops high-tech business parks in Israel and is also active in Europe and India, holds some residential and retail in Vegas, the Barneys New York Building inChicago, and some regional malls and industrial properties around the US. But 452 Fifth, which completed a renovation of the lobby facing 40th Street in May, is its first NYC building, and PBC would like more here. Three things are in its favor: Ehud points out that the company can raise money on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Israel's economy is doing well, and now his firm has a proven track record on Fifth Avenue.