San Francisco-based Salesforce.com will be increasing its presence in Manhattan, signing a 10-year lease for 74,349 square feet at 685 Third Ave. The high-tech company will have the entire sixth and seventh floors and a portion of the eighth floor of the 31-story Third Avenue office building, between East 43rd and East 44th streets.

Salesforce opened its New York City office in 2007 and for the past two years has been a tenant at 140 E. 45th St., also known as Two Grand Central Tower, where it leased about 16,300 square feet.

As an enterprise cloud computing company, Salesforce is “leading the shift to social enterprise,” said Andrew Schmitt, its vice president-strategic communications. He said that Salesforce wanted a “world-class space to meet the needs of our growing workforce” in Manhattan and that an office at 685 Third Ave. “best meets our requirement for location, growth and cost.”

The owner of 685 Third Ave. is TIAA-CREF, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and the College Retirement Equities Fund.

Nathan Sevilla, a partner at Mayer Brown, and Ronald Shoss, a partner in the firm’s Houston office, represented the landlord, TIAA-CREF.

Stephen Berkman, a partner in the real estate practice at Paul Hastings in San Francisco, represented the tenant.

Public records show that TIAA-CREF purchased the more than 626,000-square-foot 685 Third Ave. for $190 million in July 2010 from Pfizer Inc., which purchased the building from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System for $250 million in 2003.

The asking range at 685 Third Ave. is between $55 and $75 per square foot. The building’s capital improvement projects include the modernization of systems, a new back-up generator, a new glass entryway and awning, and a redesigned modern lobby and compact outdoor park.

“We continually look to strengthen the quality of our real estate portfolio through relationships with a diverse array of high quality tenants,” a TIAA-CREF spokeswoman said about the deal.

Salesforce was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff and Frank Dominguez. Customer relationship management, or CRM Solutions, is one of the company’s premier services. In August, it launched Salesforce Communities, which enables any enterprise to create private social communities with customers and partners.

NBCUniversal, Burberry, Comcast and Thomson Reuters are among Salesforce users of its social enterprise applications and services, according to its website.

In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, Salesforce has 28 offices and 8,300 staff globally. It has more than 100,000 customers worldwide who use social, mobile and cloud technologies.

TIAA-CREF was founded in 1918 to provide retirement security for university faculty and now meets the financial needs of those in the academic, medical, governmental, research and cultural fields.

Augustus Field, a vice chairman in Cushman & Wakefield Inc.’s brokerage group, along with senior directors Clark Finney and Harry Blair handled the lease for Salesforce. In addition, Daniel Harvey, an executive director-brokerage in San Francisco, served the tenant.

A CBRE team including Robert Alexander, chairman of the New York Tri-State region; Paul Amrich, vice chairman, brokerage; Anthony Dattoma, senior vice president-brokerage services; Howard Fiddle, vice chairman-The Agency Group; Zachary Freeman, senior vice president-Consulting Services Strategic Agency Group; and Molly Concannon, senior financial analyst, handled the lease on behalf of TIAA-CREF.


Times Square has beckoned retailer Express, which has plans to open a flagship store at 1552-1560 Broadway, also known as 165 W. 46th St. The sophisticated retail brand has signed a 15-year lease for 30,000 square feet at the Broadway tower.

The property is owned by a joint venture of SL Green Realty Corp. and Jeff Sutton, founder and president of Wharton Properties. The duo also reportedly purchased neighboring 155 W. 46th St. several months ago to expand retail potential.

“The age-old mantra of ‘location, location, location’ was certainly at work in the selection of this property,” said Michael Weiss, Express’ chairman, president and CEO. “We are extremely excited about the Times Square Express flagship store.”

Nancy Nardella, a partner at Morrison Cohen, represented the tenant. Mary Ellen Duprey was Express’ in-house counsel on the deal.

Marco Caffuzzi, a partner in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom‘s real estate group along with counsel Christy McElhaney represented the joint venture. Noah Shapiro, a partner at Haynes and Boone, represented SL Green on several aspects of the lease.

Express, which has headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and in Manhattan at 111 Fifth Ave., is a retailer of specialty apparel and accessories, reaching the 20- to 30-year-old consumer with more than $1.8 billion in sales, according to its website. The Fifth Avenue location is also the site of Express’ New York Design Studio and PR showroom.

Express originated as Limited Express in 1980 and in 2001 joined Limited Brands. In 2007, Express was sold to San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital. It employs more than 20,000 associates and has more than 600 stores across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as e-commerce sales.

Express declined to disclose the monthly rate for the retail space. The project is in the initial stage of design but typically the non-selling square footage is around 18 percent to 20 percent and the remaining will be selling space, Weiss said.

The Times Square Express store design will be created by Japanese firm Wonderwall. The flagship store will contain “uptown finishes and downtown cool,” and will feature design elements of modern industrial fixtures, displays, textures, mortar walls and concrete floors with glossy white walls dividing spaces.

The vision of Times Square Express is to “reflect the strength of our fashion authority” and to serve as a gateway to our brand for international visitors and shoppers as part of our international expansion strategy,” Weiss said. It is expected to open in the fall of 2013.

David LaPierre, a senior vice president at CBRE, handled the lease for Express.