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Paul Weiss Set to Amplify Manhattan Presence with Record-Breaking Office Lease

Expansion at 1345 Avenue of the Americas Marks a Significant Move in New York's Office Market

In a major shift within New York’s office space landscape, the international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has made a significant leap in its expansion plans. The firm has signed one of the largest office leases in the United States for 2023, marking a pivotal relocation of its New York headquarters.

This development comes at a time when law firms are notably active in acquiring office spaces nationwide. Despite the challenges faced by the office property market, such as high vacancy rates due to corporate resizing and the rise of hybrid work models, law firms continue to secure substantial real estate.

Paul Weiss has committed to a 20-year lease for an impressive 765,000-square-foot space at 1345 Avenue of the Americas, nestled between West 54th and 55th streets. The announcement was made by the building's co-owners, Fisher Brothers and J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives. Currently stationed at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, Paul Weiss will be moving from its existing location, which spans approximately 538,000 square feet, as per RXR Realty's records.

This move positions the lease as the largest in New York for the year, surpassing the 701,000-square-foot renewal by Davis Polk at 450 Lexington Avenue. Nationally, it ranks among the top four office leases of 2023, with Trident Health’s lease in Charleston, South Carolina, leading the chart.

The planned occupation by Paul Weiss covers 18 floors at the 1345 Avenue of the Americas location. This decision follows a comprehensive $120 million renovation of the building by Fisher Brothers and J.P. Morgan, including modernized exteriors, a lobby with advanced touchless elevators, and a new amenity floor. The floor features a substantial meeting space and what is touted as New York’s largest indoor terrarium, enhancing hybrid meeting capabilities.

Additionally, the building boasts a unique experiential art installation, incorporating augmented reality elements, unveiled last year by Fisher Brothers.

Brad S. Karp, Chairman of Paul Weiss, emphasized that the building's innovative features and design elements align seamlessly with the firm's ethos of client service, collaboration, and innovation. The firm, with over 1,000 lawyers, views this move as a strategic step in its global

growth trajectory.

The lease agreement reflects the broader trend in Manhattan’s office market, where finance, insurance, real estate, and legal sectors dominate leasing activities. Brokerage firm Avison Young notes that these sectors are expected to continue driving demand in Manhattan's office leasing market into 2024.

Negotiations and Representation

The lease negotiations were led by Marc S. Packman, head of leasing at Fisher Brothers, along with his team. Representing Paul Weiss in this landmark deal were Moshe Sukenik, Chris Mongeluzo, and Brian Cohen from Newmark. Fisher Brothers' efforts in securing the deal were supported by Howard Fiddle and his team from CBRE, as well as Russ Rabinovich and Jenny Haberman from Holland & Knight.

Source: CBRE, CoStar, MMCG

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