As Goldman Sachs Shrinks at 77 Water, Law and Engineering Firms Ink Direct Deals

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National law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith has inked a new 100,000-square-foot lease at 77 Water Street, where it previously subleased space from Goldman Sachs, according to a release from the landlord.

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The owners of the Financial District tower, William Kaufman Organization and Principal Real Estate Investors, have been striking new deals with long-term tenants who had subleased from Goldman Sachs.

In 2001, Goldman Sachs triple-net-leased the entire 600,000-square-foot building (with two different termination dates in 2018 and 2021). The financial giant never occupied the tower, and instead subleased the property to several tenants, including Lewis Brisbois. Goldman’s lease on the upper floors of the building will expire on March 31, 2018. Lewis Brisbois’ direct lease with Sage Realty Corporation, Kaufman’s leasing arm, will begin the next day.

The law firm currently occupies 75,000 square feet on the 19th through 21st floors on a 2010 sublease from Goldman. Its new 15-year deal includes that space and adds the 18th floor, as The Real Deal first reported.

“Lewis Brisbois is pleased that 77 Water Street will continue to be our firm’s New York home,” said Gregory S. Katz, the managing partner of Lewis Brisbois’ New York office. “The location in the heart of the Downtown business and Financial District is ideally situated among the majority of our New York client base.”

Engineering firm Arup is also expanding its footprint in the 26-story building. It currently fills 97,400 square feet on the mezzanine through sixth floors on a 2012 sublease from Goldman Sachs that will expire in 2021. The company just inked a direct, three-year lease with the landlords for 25,286 square feet on the entire 25th floor.

Jonathan J. Larsen and Mitti Liebersohn of Avison Young represented Lewis Brisbois, and Ken Fishel and Jessica Jaber of Legacy NY Commercial Real Estate represented Arup. Michael Lenchner of Sage Realty Corporation represented the landlord in both transactions.

“We are delighted that Lewis Brisbois and Arup have recommitted to the property for many years to come,” Lenchner said in the release. “It truly speaks volumes about their confidence in Sage Realty as we embark on a new era for this iconic Downtown asset.”

Larsen said that 77 Water was particularly attractive to law firms because it was near the county courthouses and several subway lines. “After numerous discussions with our client on the ideal long-term New York City location, it became obvious that the firm’s current space, along with a prominent identity at 77 Water Street, ideally suited the company’s needs, and its goal was to commit to a multi-year renewal,” he added in a statement. “Negotiating with the building’s owner and representatives was a seamless process, and we were able to ink a deal that met all of our client’s requirements.”