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NEW YORK CITY-In a major expansion move, Thornton-Tomasetti Group has signed a deal for 70,000 sf at the New York Life Building. The international engineering and design firm is the first major tenant to commit to the 51 Madison Ave. site for its headquarters. TTG, which currently occupies approximately 40,000 sf at 641 Ave. of the Americas, expects to relocate to the new space by early next year.

The CB Richard Ellis team of Alan Desino, Timothy Dempsey, Christopher Mansfield and Mary Ann Tighe negotiated the 15-year transaction on behalf of Thornton-Tomasetti. Cushman & Wakefield’s Paul Glickman and Mitti Liebersohn represented New York Life.

Desino tells GlobeSt.com TTG was attracted to the neighborhood, the amenities and the proximity to transportation as well as the building’s infrastructure and the ability to have contiguous space. The site is currently being built out to accommodate the firm’s current and future space needs. He calls the move to a contiguous floor plan “a major advantage which automatically enhances its productivity and provides them with the opportunity to design an environment fostering a more collaborative atmosphere.” No financial terms were released, but he says it was an “extremely advantageous financial” transaction.

Glickman adds that Thornton-Tomasetti is “a perfect fit as the first major outside tenant to lease space at 51 Madison, because they can appreciate its architectural distinction, as well as benefit from offering their employees access to the unique amenities associated with a fortune 100 headquarters location.” Located between 26th and 27th streets, 51 Madison Ave. is a 925,000-sf limestone-sheathed structure inspired by the Salisbury Cathedral in England. The 40-story site occupies a full city block adjacent to Madison Square Park and is topped by a famous six-story golden pinnacle. Currently, New York Life occupies three quarters of the building, which serves as its world headquarters, while a Cushman & Wakefield team is marketing approximately 220,000 sf of space at the site.

TTG has 12 offices in the US and international offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai and is planning to open an affiliated office in Moscow. The firm has been selected to provide structural engineering services for three skyscrapers that will form the centerpiece of the new $11 billion International Business Center in Moscow. TTG was also structural designers for some of the world’s tallest buildings, including the 1,483-ft Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the 1,667-ft Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

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