Leases  ·  Office

California Law Firm Opens First New York Offices on East 49th Street


Multi-service law firm Gerard Fox Law has opened its first New York City office at 12 East 49th Street, Commercial Observer has learned. The law firm leased 8,500 square feet on part of the 26th floor of the building between Madison and Fifth Avenues.

According to an email from The Vortex Group., which brokered the deal on the tenant’s behalf: “This growing law firm was immediately drawn to the impressive views, responsive management and high-end finishes offered by ownership.”

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Vortex’s Rick Marek and Andrew Wiemert represented the law firm in the deal and Robert Bakst, the exclusive agent and asset manager, represented the owner, Kato International. The asking rent was $94 per square foot, Mr. Bakst said, and the lease is for three and a half years. “He wants to be able to grow and we want to be able to accommodate [him],” Mr. Bakst said.

Kato bought the building in 1986 for $299 million, according to CoStar (CSGP). The 45-story Class-A office building, called Tower 49, was erected in 1984. It is comprised of 600,000 square feet.

The building is 84 percent occupied, Mr. Bakst said. Other tenants include Major League Baseball Players Association, Bank of China (BACHF) and Saks Fifth Avenue. CO reported in March that Black River Asset Management was moving to 8,846 square feet on the 37th floor.

Kato is renovating the facade with floor-to-ceiling glass for the top three floors of the building. In the spring, the landlord pre-leased the 45th floor, with its more than 16,000 square feet, to Advent International.

One of the big draws to the building, Mr. Bakst said, is the rotating art exhibit in the lobby.

“We are now on fourth or fifth exhibit,” he said. “It’s helped the marketing of the building and elevated its sophistication.”

The current installation showcases work by the late Friedel Dzubas. The featured painting is called Crossing, which Mr. Bakst said is the largest continuous single-weave canvas ever displayed in New York. The piece is 57 feet long and 13 feet tall. Dzubas painted it for Shawmut Bank in Boston in 1975.