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Blackstone taking Deutsche Bank NYC space is sign of the time

A Manhattan real estate transaction is highlighting the shifting fortunes in global finance.

Blackstone Group is expanding in its New York City headquarters, taking four additional floors at a Park Avenue tower as Deutsche Bank prepares to move out.

The private equity firm signed a seven-year deal at 345 Park Ave. that will bring its occupancy there to about 575,000 square feet (53,000 square meters) across 16 floors, according to a statement Wednesday. Blackstone will take over space from Deutsche Bank after the German company leaves at the end of 2019, said Jackie Hlavenka, a spokeswoman for Rudin Management, the building’s owner.

Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone has been in expansion mode. It took the lead in making the largest private equity buyout this year with the $17 billion purchase of a unit of Thomson Reuters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. By contrast, Deutsche Bank has been shrinking. It spun off its asset management arm, DWS, in March through a public listing, and since then the unit has suffered redemptions. Management said in October that it expects “further significant outflows.”

345 Park Avenue Bloomberg News photo
The building where KPMG LLP has its headquarters is seen at 345 Park Avenue in New York on Monday, March 18, 2002. Arthur Andersen LLP and KPMG LLP are in talks to merge their businesses outside the U.S. as Andersen tries to survive a criminal charge, client losses, partnership defections and Enron Corp. shareholder lawsuits. Photographer: John Rizzo/Bloomberg News.

DWS, which has almost $800 billion under management, has trimmed staff to improve profitability. The German lender has also been cutting thousands of positions globally and its footprint in New York for main operations that include trading and investment banking will be 30 percent less.

Blackstone in many ways has outgrown itself from its initial roots. It separated an investment banking division that now is down the street at a separate Park Avenue location. Schwarzman still owns a stake in that new firm, which merged with Paul Taubman’s venture to become PJT Partners.

The Park Avenue tower that Deutsche Bank is leaving now houses its wealth management unit, and employees of DWS. Other tenants include the National Football League, KPMG and Loeb & Loeb.

A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment. Earlier this year, the bank announced plans to leave its offices at 60 Wall St. and move to Manhattan’s Columbus Circle in 2021.