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4 Park Avenue (Feil Organization)

4 Park Avenue (Feil Organization)

SUNY Empire is moving to Midtown from Hudson Square while chopping its Manhattan footprint and leasing cost by almost half.

Empire State College, part of the State University of New York, has signed a 10-year lease for the 29,747-square-foot space at 4 Park Avenue owned by the Feil Organization.

The college’s current Manhattan location is at 325 Hudson Street, where it leases two and a half floors — about 55,000 square feet — for its Metropolitan regional administrative office and the School of Labor Studies.

Although the college’s new location is smaller, “in every other sense [the move] is an upgrade,” said Solomon Syed, SUNY Empire’s spokesperson, who noted that the landlord is renovating the space to accommodate the school’s “unique blend of in-person and online instruction.”

In addition, Syed said, the new lease is “far more affordable — roughly half the cost — while in a prime location.” He declined to disclose more, citing the contract’s confidentiality.

Brian Feil of the Feil Organization said the mixed-use building has gone through an extensive capital improvement, including a new glass façade, lobbies and elevators.

“We have finished the commercial renovation and the new curtain wall has been put on,” Feil said, adding that SUNY Empire will have its own entrance.

The college is aiming to move into the new space this summer, though the timing is subject to change because of the pandemic, Syed said.

Since the onset of the pandemic last March, many office workers have been working from home, creating a massive uncertainty for the office real estate market. As of April 7, the physical occupancy rate of Manhattan offices was about 13.5 percent, according to Kastle Systems, which aggregates data from its swipe-card access system.