William Samuels, left, and Kenneth Katz at their new offices at 280 Madison Avenue (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
BNY Mellon, a corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, will be moving its world headquarters to Brookfield Place from 1 Wall St. BNY Mellon has a 20-year lease with Brookfield Office Properties Inc. for 350,000 square feet at 225 Liberty St.
Mellon, a leading global investments company, previously announced its plans to sell its existing headquarters to a joint venture of Macklowe Properties for $585 million. Mellon said the decision to sell the Wall Street building gives the company the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary space, streamline operations and improve efficiency. The sale is pending but still on schedule to be completed in the third quarter, said a source familiar with deal.
“New York City has been home to BNY Mellon since our founding by Alexander Hamilton in 1784,” chairman and CEO Gerald Hassell said in a statement. Mellon opted to remain “anchored” near its facilities at 101 Barclay St. to “create a corporate campus with state-of-the-art facilities to serve clients for decades to come.”
Raymond Sanseverino, a Loeb & Loeb partner and chair of its real estate department, and associate Sara O’Toole represented Mellon on the lease at 225 Liberty St.
Meyer Last, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, and associate Jennifer Yashar represented Brookfield.
Loeb & Loeb partners Kenneth Sold and Richard Nardi are counsel to Mellon on the sale of One Wall St., while Peter Olsen, a partner at Paul Hastings, and associate Gerd Alexander are counsel to the joint venture.
Mellon will occupy the 17th through 23rd floors of the 44-story Liberty Street property, which is one of five office towers in the 8-million-square-foot Brookfield Place complex, once known as the World Financial Center. The overall asking rate for class-A office space in downtown Manhattan is nearly $60 per square foot, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2014 second quarter report. Brookfield is in the process of completely renovating its retail, recreational and restaurant spaces in the complex, which is expected to be finished by 2015.
Before reaching its decision, BNY Mellon “evaluated a number of sites in several states where we have existing facilities, factoring in the quality of the work environment and amenities for our employees,” Hassell said.
Their decision to remain in New York “demonstrates our efforts to retain businesses here,” Kenneth Adams, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development, said in a statement.
BNY Mellon provides investment management and services across 35 countries in more than 100 markets.
Brookfield Office Properties, a division of Brookfield Property Partners, has a portfolio that includes interests in 113 properties totaling 88 million square feet in the downtown cores of New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, and in major cities in Canada and Australia.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s Peter Riguardi, president of the New York tristate region; Michael Shenot, managing director; and Michael Berg, senior vice president, handled the lease for BNY Mellon. Brookfield’s in-house leasing team included Jerry Larkin, executive vice president; David Cheikin, senior vice president; and associate Alex Liscio.
CBRE’s Darcy Stacom, vice chairman, investment properties, and William Shanahan, vice chairman, investment properties institutional group, are handling the sale of One Wall St. on behalf of BNY Mellon.
Boutique law firms Katz Melinger and W.R. Samuels Law have combined forces at 280 Madison Ave., relocating from 137 Fifth Ave. and 8 W. 40th St., respectively. The firms became acquainted with the building through a legal colleague at Margolis & Tisman, which joined Blank Rome earlier this year.
The 13-story, 74,100-square-foot Madison Avenue building, at East 40th St., is owned by Peter Benedetto and managed by Dom Ben Realty Corp., according to public records.
The law firms have split 1,750 square feet under a five-year lease that began July 1.
“As the practice has developed over the last several years, we needed a space that could accommodate and foster its growth,” said William ‘Bill’ Samuels, a partner and founder of W.R. Samuels Law.
Katz Melinger partner Kenneth Katz said that he and Samuels “have been working closely on several matters where our ability to provide quality service to our client was enhanced by our complimentary practices.” He added that, because of their “similar business goals and styles, sharing space would only enhance their ability to provide clients a wider range of services.”
Katz handled the lease for both law firms.
Michael Lynch, a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren and chair of its litigation department, and special counsel Susan Yeu advised the landlord.
The general asking range in the area of Madison Avenue at East 40th St. is about $51 per square foot, according to a Savills Studley’s July report. The new space was redesigned to accommodate six offices, a work-station room with four desks and a shared eight-person conference room. Each firm has four attorneys on staff.
For small firms looking to lease together and share space, Katz advised that building a professional relationship is important, along with patience and timing.
“Keep looking for the right set-up and space. Don’t force it,” he said.
Katz reiterated that the law firms have “complementary and not competing practices.” His firm handles employment and commercial litigation, commercial collections and judgment enforcement, and commercial and residential real estate transactions. W.R. Samuels is involved in all aspects of domestic and international IP matters, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, IP enforcement and defense, licenses and agreements, domain names, software services, counterfeit protection, unfair competition, and counseling and audit services.