Nomura Securities - Largest Midtown Manhattan Leasing Transaction In 2011 - And Since 2004

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The Challenge

In December 2009, Cushman & Wakefield, led by John Cefaly, Executive Vice Chairman, commenced 18 months of exhaustive due diligence and negotiations to identify and later solidify potential relocation alternatives capable of satisfying the vast requirements of the multinational investment bank’s North American headquarters.

The Solution

To help Nomura through this important decision, Cushman & Wakefield conducted an extensive initial assessment including business interviews with key executives, business unit and functional headcount projections, client and talent proximities, and risks. Our team Identified key co-location requirements, as well as operational and infrastructure goals. We then undertook the comprehensive, detailed analysis of multiple alternative scenarios in New York City, and evaluated potential impacts from economic and non-economic perspectives, including detailed timelines for major transaction milestones and project capital requirements.

A thorough market survey of market and off-market alternatives identified several opportunities that fit within Nomura’s location, timing, and financial parameters, while also assessing the relative capital position of the prospective landlords and their associated ability to execute.

Over time, 825 Eighth Avenue – Worldwide Plaza – emerged as the lead relocation candidate; however, there were several major obstacles standing in the way: a major law firm’s partially executed lease for approximately 200,000 square feet in the tower of the building, a not-for-profit’s serious interest in approximately 160,000 square feet and, later, a competitor’s last-minute lease offer for approximately 500,000 square feet in the base of the building.

To complicate matters further, Mother Nature provided yet another seemingly insurmountable obstacle when the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, ravaged the northeast coast of Japan, throwing the country’s economy into turmoil, igniting a nuclear disaster, and fully halting Nomura’s ability to commit to a lease obligation of such magnitude before the June deadline mandated by the owner of 825 Eighth Avenue.

The Result

Cushman & Wakefield, led by John Cefaly, successfully convinced the landlord to turn down both competing leases and wait nearly seven months to execute one lease with Nomura and then managed to edge out the competitor’s last-minute lease offer for approximately 500,000 square feet of the same space at higher rents.

The completion of this assignment on June 29, 2011, represented Midtown Manhattan’s largest lease transaction since 2004, and, for Nomura, it secured a long-term foothold in Manhattan at 825 Eighth Avenue – Worldwide Plaza.