Leases  ·  Office

Civil Rights Law Firm Expands Presence in Empire State Building


The law firm currently suing 20 white nationalists for their role in the deadly 2017 rally in Virginia will expand its offices in the Empire State Building, the landlord announced on its fourth-quarter 2018 earnings call.

Kaplan Hecker and Fink signed a 15-year lease for 26,997 square feet on the entire 63rd floor of Empire State Realty Trust’s iconic Art Deco tower at 350 Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and West 34th Streets, according to an ESRT spokesman. Asking rent was $79 per square foot.

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The law firm, founded by famed litigator Roberta Kaplan, will relocate from its 6,091 square feet on the 71st floor of the Empire State Building, into which it moved in 2017, the spokesman said.

ESRT’s Shanae Ursini handled the deal in-house along with JLL (JLL)’s Paul Glickman, Jonathan Fanuzzi, Simon Landmann, Harley Dalton and Kip Orban. A spokesman for JLL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Our message to our tenants is: Let us focus on giving you an environment in which your employees are happy and productive so that you can focus on running your business more profitably,” Thomas Durels, the executive vice president of real estate for ESRT, said in a statement.

Savills Studley’s Ira Schuman and Stephan Steiner represented Kaplan Hecker and Fink in the lease. A Savills Studley spokeswoman declined to comment.

The law firm is currently involved in some high-profile cases including working with the Federal Defenders of New York to sue the Federal Bureau of Prisons after the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn left prisoners with no heat or electricity during this year’s polar vortex, The Economist reported. Partner Roberta Kaplan is also a co-founder of the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

Other tenants in the 102-story, 2.8-million-square-foot skyscraper include LinkedIn, architecture company Corgan and Vanguard Construction & Development Co.