NEW YORK CITY-GVA Williams announced today that Schlesinger Associates, a global research services firm, completed a lease expansion and renewal for 21,006 sf at 500 Fifth Ave., a 59-story tower situated on the corner of 42nd Street and across the street from Bryant Park. The firm, which has renewed its lease for a term of 10 years, will now occupy a majority of the 10th and 11th floors. GVA sources were unable to give numbers regarding the value of the lease by press time.

Harry Blair and Sean Kearns of GVA Williams completed the transaction. GVA Williams is the exclusive leasing agent of 500 Fifth Ave. and is overseeing a major transformation of the property. Upgrades include the replacement of elevator cabs, a complete lobby renovation and an ongoing upgrade to public lavatories and corridors. Michael Liss of CB Richard Ellis represented Schlesinger Associates in the lease negotiations.

The 660,000-sf, prominent pre-war building in Grand Central’s thriving commercial real estate district features exquisite landmark-quality architecture, unsurpassed views, and state-of-the-art building systems, according to a release. Developed in 1932, 500 Fifth Ave. was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates–the same architects that designed the Empire State Building.

“This latest large lease renewal and expansion by Schlesinger Associates validates that our repositioning program and the ongoing renovations are a success,” Blair says. Since beginning the assignment in January 2005, the GVA Williams leasing team has been instrumental in increasing the property’s rental rates, which have outperformed the building’s peer group by 21%. The GVA Williams’ repositioning of 500 Fifth Ave. has attracted Oxford University, Hudson Valley Bank, Ameriprise Financial Services and Dragados USA.

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