Leases  ·  Office

Lexington Avenue Law Firm Seals Deal at 437 Madison Avenue


National law firm Wiggin and Dana has signed a 15-year deal to move its New York City offices to 437 Madison Avenue between East 49th and East 50th Streets, according to a press release from landlord William Kaufman Organization.

The Big Apple office—specializing in such things as real estate, labor and employment as well as white-collar defense—will now be in 15,616 square feet on part of the 35th floor, the landlord said. Asking rent in the transaction was $108 per square foot, according to The New York Post, which first reported news of the deal.

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Wiggin and Dana’s offices will be relocated during fall 2017, according to the release, from 450 Lexington Avenue between East 44th and East 45th Streets. The firm leases 20,148 square feet at its current location, according to CoStar Group.   

Paul Hughes, the firm’s managing partner, said in comments that the head of Wiggin and Dana’s real estate department recommended the 850,000-square-foot 437 Madison Avenue because it allows the firm to update its office layout as the company expands.  

“Firm management scoured Midtown for a newly revitalized space to accommodate the firm’s New York City growth plans,” Hughes said in prepared remarks.

Michael Lenchner of Sage Realty Corporation, the leasing and management wing of William Kaufman Organization, represented the landlord in-house along with Frank Doyle, David Kleiner, Cynthia Wasserberger, Hayley Shoener and Harlan Webster of JLL (JLL). Michael Goldman, Matthew Barlow and Daniel Posy of Savills Studley represented Wiggin and Dana.

“We’re certainly one of the hottest buildings on Madison Avenue right now,” Lenchner said in a statement. “This new transaction for Wiggin and Dana highlights the special position that our property is in and reflects the ongoing resurgence of the Madison Avenue corridor.”

Starting in 2014, the landlord poured $60 million into renovations for the building, as The Wall Street Journal reported in May. An 8,870-square-foot “sky lounge” on the 15th floor is among the highlights of the upgraded structure.

Along with signing the law firm, William Kaufman Organization has also inked a renewal with longtime tenant Kenner & Company. The private investment firm will remain in 5,639 square feet on part of the 36th floor for another two years, according to the landlord.

Kenner & Company, which has been based in the building since it launched 30 years ago, did not have a broker, per a spokeswoman for the landlord, and Lenchner represented William Kaufman Organization in-house.

“We appreciate the convenience of the location and appropriate size of the building,” Jeffrey Kenner, the company’s president, said in a statement. “The recent upgrade and renovation of the property is attractive.”

Hedge fund Vertical Capital signed a deal for 3,592 square feet at the 49-year-old property. The company is on the 39th floor of 437 Madison Avenue, according to its website. The length of the lease was not immediately clear.    

Scott Bloom of Bloom Real Estate Group represented the tenant, while Lenchner represented the landlord in-house. Bloom did not immediately return a request for comment.

Asking rents at the building range from $80 to $110 per square foot, according to the landlord.