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NEW YORK CITY-Goodwin Procter LLP, a national law firm, has agreed to take 216,000 sf at the New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Ave. The 15-year lease will give the firm floors 23 through 27 and floors 29 through 30 at the building being developed by Forest City Ratner Cos.

“Goodwin Procter is committed to thriving and growing in New York,” says Alexander Randall, partner and head of Goodwin Procter’s Real Estate Committee. “Over the past few years, we have added incredible talent and with that growth comes the need for more physical space. We were very pleased when this opportunity presented itself. It’s a terrific building with superb amenities that will provide a wonderful work environment for our employees and enhance the continued development of our practice.”

Studley’s chairman and CEO Mitchell Steir, EVP Matthew Barlow, Howard Nottingham, executive managing director, and John Mambrino, senior managing director, represented the law firm.

The law firm’s 100,000-sf lease at 599 Lexington Ave. is set to expire at the end of 2008, and Randall tells GlobeSt.com that the search for a new space started almost a year ago. After looking at dozens of properties, mostly in Midtown and a few Downtown locations, Goodwin Procter opted for the NYT building. The prestige of the location and the buildings anchor tenant as well as the amenities and the development company, which is a Goodwin Procter client, that will be part of the facility sealed the deal for the firm, according to Randall.

As GlobeSt.com reported, in October the NYT put 155,000 sf of space it had planned to occupy on the market as a way to cut costs. CB Richard Ellis’ Gregory Tosko was responsible for leasing the NYT’s space. CBRE also handles the leasing for FCRC’s share of the building, designed by architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects.

Construction is slated to be completed this fall, and the law firm plans to occupy its space by Q1 2008. Goodwin Procter’s lease brings the building’s occupancy to about 93%. Previous lease agreements in the building include Legg Mason’s lease for 200,000 sf, Covington & Burling for 160,000 sf, Seyfarth Shaw for 100,000 sf and Osler, Hoskins & Hardcourt for 64,000 sf. Lease rates for these deals have not been released but industry sources site $80 per sf rents. Mary Ann Tighe, CEO New York Tri-State Region for CBRE, handled the past building leases.

Randall tells GlobeSt.com that the building was highly desirable for Goodwin Procter, and the other firms, because the layout allows for eight corner offices per floor – a bonus for lawyers who like to have corner, window offices.

“I am very proud that the New York Times Building continues to attract national and international companies that seek to strengthen their presence in New York City,” says Bruce Ratner, president and CEO of FCRC. “Renzo Piano’s building will become a landmark on the city skyline and is an ideal location for growing firms that want to expand in Midtown Manhattan.”

Goodwin Procter currently employees 150 employees in New York City and has plans to double its work force in the next eight years. The firm has also been busy expanding elsewhere. Earlier this month, the firm expanded its real estate practice in Downtown L.A. with three new hires, as reported by GlobeSt.com.

The 1.6-million-sf, 52-story building will be the headquarters for the NYT when construction completes later this year. The NYT owns floors two through 27 while FCRC owns floors 28 through 50 and 52. Floors 28 and 51 are jointly owned. Roughly 15% of FCRC’s space remains to be leased.

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