In 2011, marketing and communications leader Young & Rubicam was looking to vacate its historic headquarters at 285 Madison Avenue in New York City. Having occupied the location for over 86 years, the move was significant—in part due to the transition out of the space itself and, equally meaningful, because of the culture and reputation that Y&R had built at that location over eight decades. They needed a space where their culture, ethos and unwavering focus on creativity would continue to thrive. Additionally, Y&R’s parent company, WPP, was seeking a deal that included a purchase component coupled with a robust lease deal. This presented a significant challenge given that building owners are typically hesitant to sell off portions of their assets.
CBRE’s long-standing relationships in the marketplace, coupled with a deep understanding of the marketing and communications industry and proven reputation for creative deal-making, led to an agreement that met WPP’s criteria and exceeded Y&R’s expectations. CBRE negotiated a hybrid deal for Y&R to acquire a condominium interest of floors 3 through 8 and enter into a 20-year lease for floors 9, 10, 18, and 19 at 3 Columbus Circle—in only seven weeks. The deal allowed Y&R to make a new home and was celebrated as one of the largest and most creative transactions in New York City. And of equal importance, the space itself also delivered on the qualitative metrics Y&R needs to keep winning in the market—an environment that fuels creativity and ideation, a location that attracts the industry’s best talent and an address that clients want to visit.