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Law firm leases 67,000 s/f at 1 Battery Park Plaza.

In a significant boost to Lower Manhattan, a rapidly growing midtown Manhattan law firm has decided to relocate and grow its organization downtown.

In a transaction brokered by national commercial real estate services firm Studley, McKee Nelson LLP has signed a long-term lease for 67,000 square feet of office space at 1 Battery Park Plaza, the distinctive 35-story tower built and owned by the Rudin and Rose families.

The expanding five-year-old law firm, which is presently in 25,000 square feet at 5 Times Square, expects to move into its larger quarters in the spring of 2005.

"McKee Nelson's new space at 1 Battery Park Plaza will accommodate 68 attorneys immediately and up to 91 attorneys within two years," said Reed Auerbach, managing partner of the firm's New York office. "In addition to spectacular office space, this move provides expansion options to support our firm's planned growth to 130 attorneys in the New York office."

"We're delighted that the McKee Nelson is joining our growing roster of tenants at 1 Battery Park Plaza," stated Bill Rudin, president of Rudin Management Company, leasing and managing agent for the building. "This is the latest example of a trend that is seeing more and more firms seizing the tremendous real estate opportunities now available in the exciting Lower Manhattan marketplace," added Mr. Rudin, who noted that another former midtown law practice--Jones Hirsch Connors & Bull, PC--will be one of its neighbors.

Matthew Barlow, executive vice president, John Johnson, managing director and Nick Farmakis, assistant director of Studley represented McKee Nelson in the 15-year lease transaction. Tom Keating of Rudin Management represented the landlord.

"While the favorable economics of leasing office space downtown today is very enticing," stated Mr. Barlow, "the ongoing flexibility in the form of phased expansion rights solidified the transaction."

John Johnson considered the exceptional views from the tower floors, proximity to mass transportation and the outstanding ownership and management of the Rudin family as other contributing factors.

Mr. Barlow also noted that the leasing transaction was signed before the end of the year to take advantage of two downtown incentive programs, one of which is the Small Firm Attraction and Retention Grant (SFARG), which provides grants up to $3,500 per employee to organizations with less than 200 employees and is set to expire at the end of 2004.

McKee Nelson is a 122-attorney firm specializing in structured finance, tax litigation and tax planning for Fortune 200 businesses and major underwriters. The firm was recently recognized by International Financial Law Review as one of only 11 "World's Leading Financial Law Firms" in Capital Markets--Structured Finance. McKee Nelson's New York office, which opened in mid-2002, now has over 100 employees, including 43 attorneys.

Also known as 24 State Street, 1 Battery Park Plaza contains 750,000 square feet of prime office space and offers dramatic views, particularly of the New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty. It was built as a joint venture by the Rudin and Rose families in 1972.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 24, 2004
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