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Rockefeller Inks Law Firm For Huge Lease At Former Time-Life Building

1271 Sixth Ave. in Midtown Manhattan

Law firm Latham & Watkins signed on to take floors 25 to 34 at Rockefeller Group’s 1271 Sixth Ave., the landlord announced Monday.

The 15-year lease is for a total of 407K SF and means the firm will be moving its New York City headquarters from the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Ave.

“Many people think of Sixth Avenue as an old-fashioned corporate row, when in fact it has some of the largest media and technology companies in the country,” John Maher, executive vice president at CBRE and a part of the team representing Rockefeller, told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal.

The firm will join Major League Baseball and Mizuho Americas as tenants with signed leases in the building. CBRE's Mary Anne Tighe, Howard Fiddle and Evan Haskell are also on the CBRE landlord representation team at the building, and CBRE's Scott Gamber and Craig Reicher represented the law firm in lease negotiations.

The 18-month leasing total for the 2.1M SF building, which is undergoing a $600M makeover, is now more than 1M SF, Rockefeller said in the announcement. The office market is particularly competitive in New York City at the moment, with many tenants seeking new buildings with top amenities.

Latham's deal — which The Real Deal reported was close last month — was worth north of $90/SF, above average for the market, but somewhat cheaper than the ground-up skyscrapers like One Vanderbilt and 55 Hudson Yards that have been making waves in Manhattan leasing circles.

The Midtown office market has lost several companies to new buildings, but the first-quarter availability rate for the Sixth Avenue and Rockefeller Center corridor declined to 9.8% from 11.1% a year earlier, according to the WSJ, citing CBRE data.

Many believe the Midtown office market is about to experience a renaissance, especially in the wake of JP Morgan Chase’s decision to build a new headquarters at 270 Park Ave