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Salesforce plans takeover of MetLife tower on NYC’s Bryant Park

The tower, historically known as 1095 Avenue of the Americas, was sold early last year by Blackstone Group LP for $2.2 billion to a joint venture including Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, and Callahan Capital Properties. It was the largest transaction involving a single U.S. office building since 2008, and it followed a $300 million makeover in which the tower was re-clad in green-tinted glass. (Photo: Bloomberg)
The tower, historically known as 1095 Avenue of the Americas, was sold early last year by Blackstone Group LP for $2.2 billion to a joint venture including Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, and Callahan Capital Properties. It was the largest transaction involving a single U.S. office building since 2008, and it followed a $300 million makeover in which the tower was re-clad in green-tinted glass. (Photo: Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Salesforce.com Inc. is stepping up its presence in New York City with a plan that would give it naming rights to a Manhattan skyscraper.

The developer of cloud-based business software said it will take space at 3 Bryant Park, a 41-story, 1.2 million-square-foot (111,000-square-meter) tower in Midtown. Under the deal, the building would be renamed Salesforce Tower New York, and the company’s logo would replace that of MetLife Inc. at the top of the property after the insurer leaves, said Elizabeth Pinkham, executive vice president for global real estate at San Francisco-based Salesforce.

The company is expanding its operations around the world as it looks to bolster its reach with new customers. Last month, Salesforce forecast revenue for the current quarter that topped expectations amid growing interest in cloud-based software. New York is essential to the company’s effort to raise the quality of its service to clients “from Bank of America to Mattel to American Express, Accenture, to Western Union, to the Girl Scouts of America,” Pinkham said.

“Essentially, we’re doubling down on New York,” Pinkham said in a phone interview. “It will definitely be the big hub for that entire region around New York and the Eastern Seaboard.”

Expansion strategy

Salesforce, founded in 1999, said it plans to add “hundreds” of jobs in New York as part of a strategy to aggressively expand its presence in the city. While Pinkham declined to disclose how much of the tower’s space the company intends to take, she said the building’s lobby will showcase Salesforce’s products and services and be to open to the public.

MetLife said last year it planned to leave 3 Bryant Park as part of a plan to relocate employees from three New York buildings. The largest U.S. life insurer signed a 12-year lease to increase its space in the MetLife Building at 200 Park Ave., two blocks to the east.

Salesforce intends to consolidate its New York operations into the tower overlooking Bryant Park, Pinkham said. The company currently has three Manhattan offices — at 685 Third Ave. and 140 E. 45th St. on the east side, and at 155 Avenue of the Americas in Soho, an office Salesforce inherited when it acquired Buddy Media in 2012. In August, Crain’s New York Business reported that Salesforce was considering taking 200,000 square feet at 3 Bryant Park.

Biggest transaction

The tower, historically known as 1095 Avenue of the Americas, was sold early last year by Blackstone Group LP for $2.2 billion to a joint venture including Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, and Callahan Capital Properties. It was the largest transaction involving a single U.S. office building since 2008, and it followed a $300 million makeover in which the tower was re-clad in green-tinted glass.

The decision by Salesforce “underscores the best-in-class quality and desirability of 3 Bryant Park as one of the top business addresses in Manhattan” for technology companies as well as more-traditional tenants, Timothy Callahan, chief executive officer of Callahan Capital Properties, said in an e- mailed statement.

Pinkham said the building will be the center of an East Coast version of the company’s San Francisco base, where it will occupy more than half of that city’s tallest skyscraper, now under construction by a partnership led by Boston Properties Inc.

Related: Blackstone to buy Willis Tower for $1.3B

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