American Equity, Robert W. Baird Each Sign for 17K SF at 1155 Avenue of the Americas

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American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company and financial services company Robert W. Baird & Co. each inked a deal for 17,246 square feet at 1155 Avenue of the Americas, Commercial Observer has learned.

American Equity signed a 10-year lease for space on the 35th floor of the Durst Organization’s 42-story building, according to the landlord.

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The firm was founded in West Des Moines, Iowa, nearly three decades ago and the 1155 Avenue of the Americas office will be its first office in New York City, which it expects to move into in the fourth quarter of the year, Durst said. American Equity also plans to open a Charlotte, N.C., location this year, according to its website.

In the second deal, Baird, which has been a tenant since 2017, signed a 12-year lease to add 17,246 square feet on the 36th floor, Durst said. Baird currently has 16,000 square feet on the entire 16th floor of the property between West 44th and West 45th streets and its presence will grow to 33,246 square feet when it moves into its new digs in the fourth quarter of the year.

Asking rent in the deals was $110 per square foot, according to Durst.

“We are honored American Equity has chosen us and 1155 for their New York headquarters, and are thrilled Baird is more than doubling their footprint at the property,” Jonathan ‘Jody’ Durst, president of The Durst Organization, said in a statement. “When companies sign leases for their first offices in New York City or expand their offices, it reaffirms New York as the financial capital of the world and these deals are a testament to 1155’s desirability and the inherent strength of the office market.”

The landlord handled both deals in-house via Tom Bow, Rocco Romeo and Tanya Grimaldo. Durst’s Lauren Ferrentino also worked on the Baird expansion.

JLL’s Donald Preate represented American Equity while Henry Warner and William Korchak, also of JLL, handled it for Baird. A spokesperson for JLL declined to comment.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.