Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 27,000 square feet at Global Holdings’ Midtown East office tower, The Real Deal has learned. The firm is taking the entire fifth floor of the 750,000-square-foot building between East 52nd and East 53rd streets.
The move marks a massive downsizing for Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan, which occupies 48,000 square feet on 120 Broadway’s 14th floor. The law firm’s reduced space reflects the trend of employers seeking a smaller footprint in Class A offices to account for employees working from home more frequently.
Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan is expected to relocate to its new office by March. Howard Properties’ Howard Greenberg and Cresa’s Barry Lewen represented the firm in the transaction. A JLL team consisting of Paul Glickman and Diana Biasotti represented Global Holdings.
The law firm has been in Midtown before. Before moving to the FiDi tower commonly referred to as the Equitable Building, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan was a tenant at Global Holdings’ 99 Park Avenue.
Other notable tenants at the 29-story 875 Third Avenue include credit manager CIFC Asset Management, law firm Epstein Becker & Green, Deutsche Bank’s asset-management spinoff DWS Group and the law firm Troutman Pepper. Office rents in the building range from $69 to $75 per square foot.
Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan’s relocation to Third Avenue comes at an uncertain time for the office market. Leasing volume in Manhattan dropped by 4 percent in the second quarter to 7.3 million square feet, according to a report by Colliers. The vacancy rate in Manhattan for the quarter was 17.2 percent, virtually unchanged from February’s record 17.4 percent. Office supply has surged by more than 72 percent since the start of the pandemic.