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Taconic, Nuveen to Transform ABC’s Longtime New York City Headquarters into Life Sciences Space

This rendering shows plans for the project, which the developers will commence once ABC vacates the property in January.

NEW YORK CITY — Taconic Partners and Nuveen Real Estate have unveiled plans to redevelop 125 West End Avenue into a life sciences and research building. Broadcaster ABC has occupied the property as part of its New York City headquarters since 1985 but plans to vacate in January 2021.

Chrysler originally constructed the eight-story, 400,000-square-foot property in 1929 as an automotive facility. The New York Times is also a former owner and tenant. The building features floorplates of more than 50,000 square feet, ceiling heights ranging from 13 to 16 feet, multiple access points and views of the Hudson River.

Taconic and Nuveen purchased the property in late 2019 for $230 million. Plans call for a mechanical plant, purpose-built lab infrastructure, a new façade, roof terrace and conference center. The developers are still evaluating options for the remainder of the site, which includes a six-story, 131,000-square-foot television studio building and a 1.2-acre development parcel. Construction is slated for completion in 2023.

The project team includes architect Perkins+Will and engineer JB&B. The development will feature several environmental sustainability features and is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification. Estimated development costs were not disclosed, though LoanCore Capital did provide a $181 million bridge loan for the project in late 2019.

The project will further solidify the Upper West Side of Manhattan as an emerging life sciences cluster within New York City, according to the developers. Taconic is also responsible for the 322,000-square-foot redevelopment of the nearby Hudson Research Center. Taconic says that New York City’s access to talent, leading academic medical institutions, large life sciences workforce and growing venture capital activity are among the reasons why it is targeting $2 billion of life sciences investments citywide.

Nuveen is also active in the life sciences sector, with properties totaling more than 2.5 million square feet in major markets across the country. “The opportunity at 125 West End Avenue comes at a dynamic moment for the life sciences sector,” says Nadir Settles, senior regional head at Nuveen. “It will benefit from continued private and public life sciences funding, technology advances, a favorable regulatory environment and overall increased interest due to the pandemic.”

— Kristin Hiller

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