Latham & Watkins Leases 407 KSF at Iconic Rockefeller Center

The leading global law firm will relocate its Manhattan offices and occupy 10 floors in Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Avenue of the Americas by 2020.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

1271 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan
1271 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan

Latham & Watkins LLP has signed a 407,000-square-foot lease at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, a 48-story tower in New York City, with the building’s owner, the Rockefeller Group.

The skyscraper is part of the modern expansion of Rockefeller Center to the west side of Sixth Avenue. Major League Baseball and Mizuho Americas have also signed leases in the building and about 900,000 square feet remain.

“Rockefeller Group elected to undertake a major renovation of the building, which required the building to be vacant of all of the office tenants,” Ed Guiltinan, the Rockefeller Group’s senior vice president & head of leasing in New York, told Commercial Property Executive. “Entering into the lease with Latham & Watkins, as well as leases with Major League Baseball and Mizuho, and the interest we are receiving from prospective tenants, have validated the decision to renovate the building and confirmed the desirability of the building’s location on the Avenue of the Americas.”

Originally constructed in 1959 and designed by Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris, 1271 Avenue of the Americas was built by the George A. Fuller Co., the same builders of the U.N. headquarters, Lever House and the Seagram Building.

The extensive renovations of the building were designed by architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and began in 2016, with a completion date scheduled for some time next year.

The renovations include the restoration of the building’s landmarked lobby, the replacement of the building’s glass curtain wall, the installation of new fan-coil units and interior HVAC fans, a modernization of the elevators and a total reimagining of the building entrances and plazas.

Plans for Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins expects to move in during the latter half of 2020. The global law firm will take floors 25 to 34 in the building and will relocate its largest office in the firm from 885 Third Ave.

“After the renovations are completed, 1271 will be essentially a new, modern, light-filled office building with a robust infrastructure located in the center of Manhattan surrounded by existing and highly-desirable amenities and numerous public transportation options,” Guiltinan said. “The building is located in one of the most amenity-rich and commuter-friendly locations in Manhattan, which really delivers a lot in the way of choice and convenience, both of which are critical to companies seeking to compete for talent in the marketplace today.”

Last month, Daniel Moore became Rockefeller Group’s new president & CEO, succeeding co-presidents & CEOs Dan Rashin and Tetsuya Masuda.

In addition to its 11 U.S.-based offices, Latham & Watkins’ global platform includes properties in 14 countries. The firm’s internationally recognized practices advise clients across a wide spectrum of transactional, corporate, regulatory and litigation areas.

A top neighborhood

The 48-story building is close by Grand Central Station, Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and more than a dozen subway lines.

The neighborhood is one of New York’s most popular, with 10 parks, 10 museums, 65 hotels, 115 theaters and more than 400 restaurants and 2,000 retail stores within walking distance.

In the deal, Latham & Watkins was represented by Scott Gamber and Craig Reicher of CBRE, while building ownership was represented by a CBRE team of Mary Ann Tighe, Howard Fiddle, John Maher, Sarah Pontius, Evan Haskell and Dave Caperna, in coordination with an in-house Rockefeller Group leasing team of Guiltinan and Jennifer Stein.

Image courtesy of Rockefeller Group

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