Leases  ·  Office

J. Walter Thompson Renews Lease at 237 Park Avenue


Rendering of the entrance to 237 Park Avenue.
Rendering of the entrance to 237 Park Avenue.

An original tenant of 237 Park Avenue is staying put as the building is nearing completion of its modernization, owner RXR Realty announced.

J. Walter Thompson, a marketing and communications firm, renewed its lease in the 21-story structure between East 45th and East 46th Streets near Grand Central Terminal, where it has been headquartered since the building opened its doors in 1979.

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The firm re-signed a 10-year lease in June for its 270,000-square-foot space on the second through through sixth floors in the RXR and Walton Street Capital-owned building. Asking rents in the building are around $80 per square foot, according to Bill Elder, an executive vice president for RXR.

The landlord bought the building for $800 million two years ago from Lehman Brothers Holdings, as Commercial Observer previously reported, and began a $50 million makeover to upgrade the property. The building hasn’t seen a major overhaul since the 1970s.

The renovation includes newly constructed entrances and revitalization of the lobby, atrium, plaza and facade. RXR and Walton Street wanted to retain J. Walter in the building as it is the anchor tenant, Mr. Elder said.

“They are part of the story of the asset,” Mr. Elder said. “We sat down with them pretty early on and told them what we were doing.”

Other major tenants in the building include investment firm Jennison Associates, and financial services companies UBS and Credit Suisse.

CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe, Gregory Tosko, Lauren Crowley and Brendan Herlihy represented the WPP-owned communications company in the deal. RXR handled the transaction in-house for the owners.