Leases  ·  Office

Davis Polk & Wardwell Extends and Expands to 700K SF at 450 Lexington

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An extension and an expansion for Davis Polk & Wardwell at 450 Lexington Avenue could result in one of the biggest leases in the city this year.

The global law firm reupped its offices in the building by 25 years and added a 30,000-square-foot floor to the 23 floors it already occupies, according to landlord RXR. This increase brings its total footprint to 700,000 square feet.

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RXR did not disclose the asking rent, but the average asking rent in Midtown was around $79 per square foot in the second quarter of 2023, according to a recent Colliers report.

“Davis Polk’s long-term commitment to 450 Lexington Avenue is another example that New York City’s office market is here to stay,” RXR CEO Scott Rechler said in a statement. “As the needs of employers and the nature of work evolves, we are working constantly to ensure our spaces are keeping up with those changing demands.”

Davis Polk first leased space in the building for its headquarters in 1989: two years before it was completed and long before RXR acquired it in 2012 from a Dubai-based investment firm, according to Commercial Observer and the New York Times. Upon buying the property, RXR renegotiated the law firm’s then 650,000-square-foot lease.

The latest iteration of Davis Polk’s lease accompanies a $300 million capital investment from RXR that will upgrade 450 Lexington’s common areas, as well as the legal outfit’s spaces, with designs from Gensler, according to the landlord.

William Elder and Andrew Ackerman acted as in-house brokers for RXR, while CBRE (CBRE)’s Lewis Miller, Andrew Sussman and Munish Viralam represented the tenant in the deal. 

“Having undertaken an in-depth review of all viable alternatives in the market, Davis Polk’s decision to remain at 450 Lexington Avenue was driven by RXR’s commitment to undertake a major renovation of the building, the ability to accommodate the firm’s growth, the highly efficient floors and superior location,” Miller said in a statement. 

The 910,473-square-foot, 39-story building sits between East 44th and East 45th streets, and was built within the pre-existing Grand Central Post Office, which was constructed in 1906.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.