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City's oldest law firm to remain in Lower Manhattan: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft set to spend $75m on renovation.

The Partnership of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, the City's oldest continuous law firm and a resident of New York's Financial District since 1792, announced in a press briefing that it intends to remain in Lower Manhattan, moving its offices and 800-person legal and administrative staffs to One World Financial Center in the first quarter of 2005.

Joining Cadwalader at the press briefing was the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, and George Pataki, the Governor of New York State.

Earlier this year Cadwalader, one of a handful of law firms to own its office space, announced that due to space constraints it was selling its headquarters building located at 100 Maiden Lane and would be moving to a new location.

The new 450,000 square foot World Financial Center space was selected because it allows the Firm to remain in the city's financial center and also affords expansion possibilities for the firm which is now in its ninth successive year of record breaking revenues, profits and attorney growth.

"New York's Financial District is the premier financial center in the world. As one of the world's premier law firms it was logical to stay where the action is, has been and will continue to be for years to come," stated Robert O. Link, Jr., Cadwalader's Chairman.

"The decision to move to One World Financial Center was a long and thought-out process. While we evaluated space in many areas of Manhattan the Partnership felt that One World Financial Center best met our needs.

"It is an extraordinary building and has all of the features we need as a growing law firm--access to state-of-the-art technology, the ability to customize a work environment tailored to the needs of a 21st century law firm and easy accessibility to and for our clients. Our intention is to grow to 750 lawyers--a goal that can comfortably be accommodated in One World Financial Center," Link added.

"Today's announcement represents one of the largest leases signed downtown since the tragedy of September 11th," said Mayor Bloomberg.

"Cadwalader's determination to stay in Lower Manhattan sends a strong signal to the entire New York City business community that downtown's recovery is well underway. The pace of the progress downtown has been breathtaking: this fail, PATH service to downtown will be restored. Construction of a new ferry terminal at the World Financial Center will begin."

Bloomberg added, "Preliminary designs of the new Fulton Street Station that will connect the PATH to the nine subway lines that come downtown will also be completed. And today, the revised design for the entire World Trade Center site, which will produce an international landmark right across the street from Cadwalader's new offices, will be released to the public. I look forward to the next episode of downtown's inspired recovery."

"Cadwalader joins the esteemed ranks of business that include Merrill Lynch, American Express and DeutscheBank who have made the commitment to stay in Lower Manhattan," Governor Pataki said. "In signing the largest lease downtown since the horrible attacks of September 11th, Cadwalader underscores the fact that Lower Manhattan is, and will continue to be, the Financial Capital of the World."

"By keeping 800 employees jobs in Lower Manhattan's business community, we will be that much closer to achieving the mayor's vision for downtown to remain a global business center and become a vibrant round-the-clock community," said Andrew M. Alper, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

"The unprecedented spirit of cooperation among the public and private sectors has enabled us to make remarkable strides in revitalizing Lower Manhattan."

Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development, "The work of the Governor and Mayor to retain Cadwalader is a tremendous victory strengthening downtown's reputation as the premier address for law firms.

"Today is also a victory for the small businesses of Lower Manhattan who rely on customers and foot traffic created by firms like Cadwalader."

Cadwalader's move to One World Financial Center is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2005.

The total cost to Cadwalader is expected to approach approximately $75 million including renovation on fourteen floors in the building. The potential to add another 250,000 square feet of space also exists. Cadwalader put its 325,000 square foot 100 Maiden Lane building on the market earlier this year.

One World Financial Center is owned and managed by Brookfield Properties Corporation. Studley is representing Cadwalader in its lease negotiations. Jones Lang LaSalle is representing Cadwalader in the sale of 100 Maiden Lane.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Sep 24, 2003
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