"We pretty much zeroed in on this opportunity" rather thanconsider other sites, Jeffrey Peck, corporate managing director ofStudley, which represented the London-based fashion house, tellsGlobeSt.com. "There are other buildings that will give you namingrights, but that's generally just a plaque over the entrance orsome kind of lettering in the lobby. There's only a handful ofbuildings in the city that actually have lit signage atop thebuilding." They include the MetLife tower at 200 Park Ave., the UBSbuilding at 1285 Ave. of the Americas and 666 Fifth Ave.

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Zoning restrictions dating from the 1980s prohibit illuminatedsignage on top of skyscrapers, aside from a few buildings that weregrandfathered in, including 444 Madison. In a release, Studley EVPDavid Goldstein says the opportunity to display Burberry's logo inlights over Midtown was "a key driver in the transaction."

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Peck says the new Burberry space, on four contiguous floors at444 Madison, was previously occupied by New York magazine,which moved to 1 Hudson Square last year after a decade on MadisonAvenue. New York magazine had its logo in lights atop thebuilding, as did Newsweek magazine for three decadesprior.

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Lease terms were not disclosed; Peck says it's "a long-termlease with substantial expansion and renewal rights." Quotingpublished figures, Peck tells GlobeSt.com the Burberry lease willbring the 400,000-sf 444 Madison to approximately 90% occupancy.Burberry will vacate 61,000 sf at 1350 Avenue of the Americas, itscurrent US headquarters.

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Along with Goldstein and Peck, the Studley team representingBurberry included Daniel Horowitz, executive managing director.Paul Amrich and Patrice Hayden, EVP and VP, respectively, at CBRichard Ellis, represented the landlord, Westbrook Partners, whichbought 444 Madison last November for a reported $310 million.Attorneys in the transaction were Robert Grant of Sonnenschein Nath& Rosenthal LLP for Burberry and Greenberg Traurig LLC for thelandlord.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.