Chadbourne & Parke LLC is rumored to be in talks to take up to 250,000 square feet at 230 Park Avenue according to sources familiar with the company.
For months the firm has been bouncing around several locations in the city in its search for a new Manhattan headquarters after getting bumped last year from its current home at 30 Rockefeller Plaza by Deloitte.
Most recently, Chadbourne had been in negotiations to take space at One World Trade Center, the new office tower being built by the Port Authority in Lower Manhattan. But the firm backed away according to sources because its partners were reluctant to take the Midtown firm downtown. Space at One World Trade Center would also have required Chadbourne to kick in significant capital in order to prepare the space for its occupancy.
“Law firms are a strange animals, we don’t have assets and when you think about it, a firm’s success is all about the strength of its people and ability to not be burdened by debt,” Ron Sernau, a partner at the firm Proskauer Rose, told The Commercial Observer in a conversation about the reluctance of law firms in general to make large expenditures on their real estate and not Chadbourne in particular.
“From a law firm’s perspective, taking significant debt out to build an office space is usually not good,” he added.
The potential deal at 230 Park Avenue would seem to ameliorate the concerns that held Chadbourne from committing at One World Trade Center. Besides the building’s location at the heart of Midtown, the space the firm is considering there is said to be already outfitted for occupancy, nullifying the need for heavy investment.
According to a source, Chadbourne is looking at the building’s 71,000-square-foot seventh floor and a stack of floors near the top of the 34-story, 1.5 million-square-foot tower, including floors 31-34 potentially.
A spokesman at Chadbourne did not return calls by press time.