The national headquarters of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund has expanded its space at 120 Wall St. by more than 5,000 square feet, for an overall total of 20,000 square feet. The organization has called the building home for about 15 years and now has signed a lease renewal for another 15 years.

120 Wall Street
NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

The 615,000-square-foot, block-long Art Deco skyscraper with a distinctive wedding-cake design, stands close to Front Street, along Wall, South and Pine streets. It is owned by Silverstein Properties’ affiliate 120 Wall Company.

Originally, the nonprofit legal services group leased partial space on the 15th and 20th floors. Under the new lease, it has consolidated its offices on the entire 19th floor.

“Having the staff together in one space is a welcomed change and better for the organization,” said Lambda’s executive director Kevin M. Cathcart. “We like the building, the location, and we were able to negotiate a good lease.”

The asking rate at 120 Wall St., also known as the Association Center, is in the low $30s but the lease’s rate was undisclosed.

Lisa A. Brabant and Stephanie Sklar, associates at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, represented the tenant pro bono.

Jeffrey A. Samuels, a partner at Wilk Auslander, represented Silverstein Properties Inc.

“We have a terrific relationship with Lambda Legal,” said Silverstein Properties’ executive vice president Roger A. Silverstein, who handled the lease. “We are thrilled by a continued relationship and look forward to working together in the future.”

Recognized by New York state as a nonprofit legal services organization in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest national organization pursuing litigation, education and advocacy on behalf of civil rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV, according to its website.

Lambda Legal has seven attorneys and 45 other staff at its Manhattan headquarters. The organization also has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, with an additional 10 attorneys.

In addition, 36 attorneys and/or law firms donated pro bono services to the organization in 2010, said Mr. Cathcart. Lambda Legal also has a legal help desk through its Cooperating Attorney Network that has a database of about 1,500 attorneys.

Lambda Legal’s new offices
NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

More than 30 nonprofit organizations are tenants at 120 Wall St., including one of its largest, the National Urban League. The law firm of Leahey & Johnson also rents space in the building.

Nicola Heryet, a senior managing director and principal at Cassidy Turley, and vice president Stephen Bellwood acted on behalf of Lambda Legal.

Investing in the Financial District, Colorado-based UDR Inc. has purchased Dwell95, an upscale apartment building at 95 Wall St., between Water and Front streets, for $325 million from the Moinian Group.

Once the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, the 22-story building was converted into a state-of-the-art residential building in 2008 with 507 luxury rental apartments. Public records show that the building was purchased by Moinian in 2004 for $180 million.

“Lower Manhattan has experienced a great deal of change over the last decade,” said H. Andrew Cantor, UDR’s investor relations vice president. “We want to participate in the positive changes that are taking place.”

In April, UDR acquired 10 Hanover Square, an apartment building one block from 95 Wall St., for $261 million. Over the last two months, it also has acquired Rivergate, a 706-unit high-rise complex at 401 E. 34th St., for $585 million and 21 Chelsea, a 210-unit apartment building at 120 W. 21st St., for $138 million. UDR owns or has ownership interest in more than 60,400 apartments across the country.

95 Wall St.
NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

The downtown residential population has doubled since 2001 to 56,000 in 2011, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc. There are now 10 residential buildings with Wall Street addresses compared to three a decade ago.

Robert J. Ivanhoe, chairman of Greenberg Traurig‘s New York City office and chair of its real estate practice, and Kristen J. Lonergan, a shareholder in the firm’s real estate practice, represented UDR. In addition, Greenberg Traurig shareholder Bennett I. Deutsch advised the buyer in tax-related matters.

Robert Sorin, a real estate partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, tax partner Richard A. Wolfe, and corporate special counsel Andrew Silberstein represented the Moinian Group. Fried Frank real estate associates Cyril Touchard and Michael J. Pesa-Fallon and corporate associate Courtney Zale also participated in the transaction.

The building is 93 percent occupied. Mr. Cantor said he views the current occupancy rate as an “opportunity to attract new tenants” since “perceptions of living in Lower Manhattan have changed.”

The size of the apartments range from 425 square feet to more than 1,300 square feet for studio, one- and two-bedroom units, according to UDR’s website. The property also has an on-site parking garage and two retail spaces that total more than 7,500 square feet. One portion is leased by Duane Reade and UDR is negotiating a lease with a bank for the second retail space, Mr. Cantor said.

Because the building is in excellent condition, the only immediate planned change is to rename the building to 95 Wall.

Douglas Harmon, senior managing director at Eastdil Secured, handled the transaction on behalf of both parties.