Global Law Firm Signs 440 KSF Lease at Premier Rockefeller Center Location

Powerhouse global law firm White & Case has signed a long-term lease for 440,000 square feet at the Class A tower at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, also known as the McGraw-Hill Building, in Manhattan.

White & CasePowerhouse global law firm White & Case L.L.P. has signed a long-term lease for 440,000 square feet at the Class A tower at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, also known as the McGraw-Hill Building, in Manhattan, it was announced Thursday by the landlord, The Rockefeller Group.

The lease includes the top floors in the 2.5-million-square-foot building, as well as below-grade space. White & Case will relocate to 1221, from 1155 Avenue of the Americas, a few blocks south, in 2017.

White & Case was represented by Ken Siegel, Tom Doughty and Lisa Kiell of JLL. The Rockefeller Group was represented by an in-house team led by Ed Guiltinan, senior vice president and head of leasing in New York, along with a Cushman & Wakefield brokerage team led by executive vice chairman John Cefaly.

“White & Case considered many locations throughout Manhattan, and their decision to lease space in 1221 affirms the desirability of midtown, and specifically the Avenue of the Americas,” Guiltinan said in a release.

The building is currently about 80 percent occupied, Guiltinan told Commercial Property Executive, and the White & Case will have no effect on that. “We were able to structure this deal to terminate McGraw Hill’s lease early at a time that enabled us to meet White & Case’s timing. We currently have a lot of activity that would bring the building to full occupancy.”

White & Case will initially take nine floors, but also has the right to increase to 9.5 or 10 floors for their initial space, Guiltinan added.

The Rockefeller Group noted that this deal brings total new leasing activity at 1221 Avenue of the Americas to more than 700,000 square feet over the past 18 months and new leases plus renewals to more than 1.5 million square feet over the past 36 months.

The building was completed in 1969 as part of the expansion to the west side of Sixth Avenue of the original 1930s-era Rockefeller Center. Sirius XM Radio Inc. is currently also a tenant. 1221 reportedly is among the largest Manhattan buildings to achieve LEED-EB certification.

White & Case has 40 offices worldwide and operates in 26 countries and was ranked by Law360 as the number-one global law firm in 2012. In addition, the firm was ranked in July 2013 by Business Insider as the 20th most prestigious American law firm.