NEW YORK CITY-Taking into consideration its future needs as well as the dearth of large blocks of available space in Midtown, VF Sportswear committed to an early lock in at 40 West 57th St. The firm is a division of apparel giant VF Corp. and space in the site is used as the headquarters for the Nautica and Kipling brands.

The early lease renewal locked in 96,000 sf of expansion space at the 812,000-sf office tower. VF Sportswear now has a total of 168,000 sf in the site. Its space includes 48,000 sf of immediate expansion space for the headquarters brands. The long-term agreement also contains an option for up to 48,000 sf of additional space in the future, which would bring the firm’s presence in the building to more than 215,000 sf.

Cushman & Wakefield senior directors Stephen Downes and Don Preate represented VF Sportswear, while Charles R. Borrok, a Cushman vice chairman, represented the owner, the Lefrak Organization. “Large blocks of comparable class A space in Midtown are getting harder to find, and growing firms like VF Sportswear are locking in space for future growth needs now,” Downes says. In fact, at the end of March, the class A vacancy rate in Midtown for space available directly from the ownership dropped to 5.8% from 6.6% the previous year.

Additional leasing details were not available. According to research from C&W, rents in the Sixth Avenue/Rockefeller Center submarket average $60.02 per sf.

Others on the tenant roster include Infinity Broadcasting, Bank of America, Eastdil Realty and Wells Fargo. Completed in 1972, 40 West 57th St. rises 34 stories and is located between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. It recently underwent a renovation program which included a redesigned lobby, new elevators, complete systems upgrades and building-facade enhancements.

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