After selling its West 125th Street headquarters last month, Carver Federal Savings Bank is moving its offices a couple blocks east to the Lee Building at 1825 Park Avenue.
The country’s largest African-American-run bank inked a deal for 20,000 square feet on the entire 12th floor and part of the seventh floor at the 12-story, Savanna-owned office building, according to brokers involved in the deal. Asking rent in the 10-year transaction was $47 a square foot, said Eric Yarbro of Colliers and Madison Square Realty, who represented Carver in the sale and the lease.
Carver will pack up its current 25,000-square-foot headquarters at 75 West 125th Street and move into its new home at the corner of East 125th Street in six months. The bank sold 75 West 125th Street to Gatsby Enterprises for $19.45 million in February, as Commercial Observer reported two weeks ago. The local Harlem institution will, however, keep its retail bank branch on the ground floor of 75 West 125th, which is between Malcolm X Boulevard and Fifth Avenue.
Mitch Arkin of Cushman & Wakefield and Ellen Israel of JRT Realty handled the lease for Savanna.
Carver sold its building after reporting a net loss of $2.2 million last year, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported on the lease. The bank has struggled since the financial downturn in 2011, when it received a $55 million bailout from a group of investment firms and the federal government.
The previous owner of 1825 Park was Eugene Ginscombe, who owned the property for nearly 40 years before selling it to Savanna for $48 million in December 2015. Ginscombe, known as the “Mayor of 125th Street” and one of the city’s few prominent black developers, died in July 2016, seven months after the sale was finalized.
Yarbro told CO that Carver chose the turn-of-the-century building because of Ginscombe’s legacy. “The Lee building was owned by one of the few African-American landlords in all of New York City. There was some historical significance to that.”
He added that, “Savanna gave them comfort that it would continue to be run well. The Harlem market has more family owners than institutional owners, so they’re one of the few institutional owners operating an office building in Harlem.”
Arkin touted the building’s location and nearby transportation options, which includes the 4 and 5 trains on Lexington Avenue and the adjacent Long Island Railroad stop on Park Avenue.
“I think the building has a lot of benefits for any kind of tenant that wants good transit access,” he said. “It’s great for Westchester, Bronx or Manhattan residents. And it has amazing southern and westerly views.”