Law firm takes advantage of soft market to upgrade its office space

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Law firm of Kane Kessler has leased 26,258 s/f of office space across two floors at 600 Third Avenue (pictured top).

“We consider the signing of this new office lease as a
way of demonstrating our long-term commitment to NYC and our confidence in our
clients’ continued reliance on our firm for their most important transformative
matters,” said Rob Lawrence, Managing Partner of Kane Kessler. “

The firm is relocating from nearby 666 Third to the 575,000
s/f tower owned by a joint venture of L&L Holdings and BlackRock.

Lobby and building system renovations have been carried out
at the 42-story tower where tenants include business management consultant
Altegrity and law firms Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein & Deutsch and
Polisnelli PC.

Newmark’s president of the New York Tri-State Region David
Falk and managing director Nick Berger represented Kane Kessler in its new
lease. JLL’s Jonathan Fanuzzi and Frank Doyle represented the landlord in the
transaction.

 According to Newmark,
the law firm is capitalizing on what it calls an “opportunistic leasing market,”
to improve its office footprint and “leverage its new environment to further
attract and retain new talent for its practice.”

The lease comes as Manhattan’s office market continues to experience distress. In it’s latest report, Tranwestern  noted very low levels of leasing, decreasing rent rates and increasing availability levels across the borough.

PATRICK HEEG

The lull is creating what Trawestern’s Patrick Heeg called, “significant
upside for tenants seeking to make moves over the next few quarters.

Heeg added, “There is tremendous opportunity in the market
right now, with fundamentals trending to favor tenants.”

 According to
Trawestern’s Fourth Quarter report, Manhattan leasing activity totaled just
over three million square feet in fourth quarter 2020, the lowest quarterly
total since at least 2006 and a 77 percent decrease year over year.

Asking rents have slipped a further 3.4 percent to $75.63 psf and the trend is towards increased tenant improvement allowances from landlords and additional free rent.

132 West 36th St.

Avision Young principal Arthur Mirante and Dominic Perkaj, associate,
today announced a 7,500 s/f renewal for fabrics firm Liba Fabrics at 132 West
36th Street, also known as the Kaufman Arcade building.

According to Mirant “There’s still a demand for quality,
well-located office space in New York City, even during these uncertain times.

“Liba Fabrics wanted to extend their occupancy at 132 West
36th Street as the space continues to meet all of the company’s requirements.
Avison Young was able to assist our client by negotiating a lease renewal with
economically favorable terms and we’re pleased to announce the closing of this
transaction.”

 Sam Stein of Kaufman
Organization represented the building ownership in the Liba renewal.

Despite the dip in leasing activity, however, Corrie
Slewett, research manager at Transwestern, noted, “It was not as dire as many
of the predictions had suggested.”

She said “Leases are being signed, rents have slid only
minimally from their peak, and an increase in transit ridership from third
quarter indicates more workers are returning to their desks. As the vaccine
rolls out to greater portions of the population, commercial real estate
activity should begin to improve.”

According to the latest numbers from Kastle Access Control
Data, 12.9 percent of NYC’s offices were occupied last week as the bulk of workers
continue to operate remotely.

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