NEW YORK CITY-A 55-year-old Downtown accounting firm is staying put despite the September 11 attacks, signing a 10-year lease in a 74-year-old building on Wall Street.

Sigmund Balaban & Company is moving into 6,377 square feet of built-out space at 44 Wall St., vacating its current premises at 40 Broad St. The firm is scheduled to move into the space by the end of the year.

The firm’s history is rooted in Wall Street where it began at 37 Wall St. and then moved to 14 Wall St. The new lease at 44 Wall St. is priced at $32 sf. The building owner was asking for rates in the high $30s according to Bernhard Weinstabel, an associate at Insignia/ESG who represented the tenant.

The firm will occupy a portion of the fourth floor of the 23-story, 295,927-sf building. The building’s estimated market value is $24.8 million according to final year 2000 figures from the New York City Assessor’s office.

Sigmund Balaban is moving back to Wall Street in order to return to its historic roots and is not a tenant displaced by the aftermath of the destruction at the World Trade Center. Weinstabel says the Wall Street area has been cleaned up “better than ever” and potential tenants should see the market there for themselves.

“I’ve been working with a Midtown law firm that said they would never move Downtown but is now considering it after seeing the area,” Weinstabel says. “There are bargains available Downtown and it’s up to us to be positive and get people to see the area for themselves.”

Insignia/ESG’s Bruce Surry, Executive Managing Director, and Weinstabel, represented Sigmund Balaban. Augustus Field of Cushman & Wakefield acted for the landlord, Lend Lease Real Estate Investments.

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