Katten Leases 125 KSF at Historic NYC Building

The law firm will occupy five floors of the 516,300-square-foot office tower in Midtown Manhattan.
50 Rockefeller Plaza. Image via Google Street View

Katten will soon make its home at 50 Rockefeller Plaza at Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan. The law firm has inked a long-term lease with landlord Tishman Speyer to occupy 125,000 square feet of Class A space at the 516,300-square-foot office building.

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50 Rockefeller first opened its doors in 1932 and was known for decades as the Associated Press Building for its first anchor tenant. Katten will set up shop on five floors of the Art-Deco-style property, which also features 40,000 square feet of retail space, and will count Bank of America and TV Guide Magazines among its fellow tenants. The firm cites the 15-story tower’s presence at Rockefeller Center as a main draw, pointing to the famed mixed-use complex as a key feature for attracting and retaining talent.

50 Rockefeller Plaza. Image via Google Street View

Katten is scheduled to relocate to 50 Rockefeller from its current offices a half-mile away at 575 Madison Ave. in spring 2022. The law firm relied on its partners and a Cushman & Wakefield team—John Cefaly, Robert Lowe, Jon Herman and Evan Algier—for representation in the lease transaction, while Tishman utilized in-house representation. 

Leasing lag

Katten’s new commitment at 50 Rockefeller follows a slow period of leasing activity in Midtown Manhattan. Midtown recorded roughly 3.1 million square feet of new leases in the third quarter of 2019, marking the lowest quarterly total in more than six years and a 41.9 percent decrease over the previous three-year quarterly average, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield. Midtown may have been low on leasing activity in the three months ending at the close of September, but it wasn’t without a big-ticket deal, as WeWork signed a lease for approximately 362,200 square feet at 437 Madison Ave. in the Plaza District. And looking ahead, a much larger deal appears to be on the horizon; as ABS Partners Real Estate notes in its third quarter report, Facebook is in talks to lease the entire 740,000-square-foot office segment at the newly rebranded Farley Building, Vornado’s redevelopment of the former James A. Farley Post Office scheduled for completion in 2020.