NEW YORK CITY-Putting an end to nearly two years of searching for the perfect space, law firm Kaye Scholer has signed a lease for nearly a quarter million square feet of space at Boston Properties‘ forthcoming 250 W. 55th St. in midtown West, according to a press release. CBRE was the broker on the deal.
From CBRE, Craig Reicher, vice chairman for the New York tri-state region; Timothy Dempsey, EVP-consulting; and Ramneek Rikhy, VP-consulting completed the transaction, reported the New York Law Journal. The company’s John Powers, chairman for the New York tri-state region and Peter Turchin, executive vice president of the Agency Group, assisted BXP in the project, says the NYLJ.
Kaye Scholer will take up close to 250,000 square feet of office space and some below-grade space, according to a spokeswoman with the firm. It was previously reported that the company had leased about 217,000 sf of space. It also has expansion rights and rights of first offer for other spaces, according to The New York Post and confirmed by a Kaye Scholer spokeswoman. The Post and the firm’s representative also note that the 21-year lease will end March 31, 2034, but the attorneys can renew for two additional 10-year terms.
When completed, the building will offer energy and water efficiencies and use low-VOC materials for improved air quality, and is aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification, the release states. Kaye Scholer will occupy floors three through 12—which includes outdoor terrace access on the third floor—beginning sometime in 2014. The architecture firm Gensler will create the offices.
The move marks a surprising change for the attorneys, not only because the building is still under construction but because Kaye Scholer has been headquartered at 425 Park Ave.—on the city’s East Side—for 55 years. However, the shift follows the migration of several other law firms to the West Side, Michael Solow, a managing partner at Kaye Scholer, told the NYLJ.
“We looked both at buildings that have been completed and those still under construction and decided on this space because of its midtown location; Boston Properties’ reputation as a landlord that understands the demands of the legal world; the flexible design and efficiency of the building; quick access to a multitude of top-level services and public transportation options; and close proximity to Central Park, Time Warner Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and other arts facilities that help make New York a cultural haven,” Solow says in a statement.
The new space is also smaller than Kaye Scholer’s current offices, which comprise about 325,000 square feet, but Solow told the NYLJ that the new space will be “more efficient and we will configure it in a way to use a smaller footprint even as our numbers grow.” The firm’s NY-office houses approximately 285 attorneys.
Back in May, BXP picked up its first 250 W. 55th tenant, law firm Morrison Foerster, for 217,519 square feet on the 17th through 24th floors. Another 505,793 square feet is still available, including the second floor of 49,135 square feet and its roof terrace. The REIT did not return calls seeking comment; CBRE declined comment.