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White & Case Expansion Takes New York's 1221 Avenue of the Americas to 97% Occupancy

Global Law Firm Takes Top 10 Floors at the Iconic 51-Story Tower
August 9, 2018
In a notable expansion, New York City-based international law firm White & Case now occupies 489,000 square feet as the largest anchor tenant at 1221 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, the quintessential Rockefeller Center corporate address that designed by Harrison Abramovitz & Harris and was built in 1971.

Adding 49,000 square feet to its lease, White & Case now consumes the top 10 floors of the Midtown office tower, according to landlord The Rockefeller Group.

The 2.65 million-square-foot building is a hub of law firms and media companies. Comcast/NBC Universal, for instance, leases 339,833 square feet there, making it the second-largest tenant. Law firms Dentons and Mayer Brown LLP occupy 190,576 square feet and 235,641 square feet, respectively.

Following White & Case’s latest agreement, 1221 Avenue of the Americas is now 97 percent leased. About 25,000 on the 15th floor and 40,000 square feet on the entire second floor remain available for lease.

Eliza McDougall, New York office executive partner for White & Case, said the firm is expanding its New York operations and was pleased Rockefeller Group has been able to accommodate its growth.

Between 2013 and 2016, Rockefeller Group invested $50 million into capital improvements at the property, updating elevators, building systems, lobby entrances and the outdoor plaza. Ownership said it has secured more than 1.6 million square feet of new leases and renewals since announcing the start of renovations in 2013.

Rockefeller owns a 55-percent stake in the property. Invesco owns the remainder of the building, after buying a minority share from the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $1.03 billion in December 2016, according to CoStar data. That deal valued the property at $863 per square foot.
See CoStar COMPS #3790791.

  For the Record: A Jones Lang LaSalle team of Tom Doughty, Lisa Kiell and Ken Siegal represented White & Case in lease negotiations. Cushman & Wakefield’s Rob Lowe worked alongside Ed Guiltinan at Rockefeller Group to represent building ownership.

Diana Bell, New York City Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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