The Real Deal New York

Gaming firm Atari shrinks space in move south

By Adam Pincus | January 09, 2012 04:30PM

The computer gaming company Atari that popularized early digital favorites such as Asteroids and Pong signed a new lease at Cohen Brothers Realty’s Murray Hill office tower at 475 Park Avenue South, cutting its space by more than 75 percent.

Atari, founded in 1972, is taking 7,998 square feet on the seventh floor of the 35-story building at the corner of 32nd Street, Henry Goodfriend, executive vice president at commercial firm NAI Global New York City, said. Goodfriend and Trent Dickey, a company associate, represented Atari in the transaction. Marc Horowitz, a vice president at Charles Cohen’s Cohen Brothers, represented the landlord.

The entertainment firm, which signed the lease in December, is consolidating from 35,000 square feet it occupied at 417 Fifth Avenue, at 38th Street, an office building Mexican businessman and billionaire Carlos Slim purchased for $140 million in 2010. In 2006, Atari signed a 15-year, $2.4 million-per-year lease for 70,000 square feet, but that was cut back to 35,000 square feet the following year, public records show.

That 2006 deal to keep the firm at 417 Fifth Avenue was considered so complex that CBRE Group brokers who represented Atari were nominated for one of the Real Estate Board of New York’s coveted “most ingenious” deals of the year awards, although it did not win.

Last year, Atari paid an undetermined amount to terminate its lease at 417 Fifth Avenue, an industry source said, which ran until 2021.

Atari, through a spokesperson, said the firm needed less space as it entered the mobile gaming market.

“The old office space was appropriately sized for the company when it operated as a publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and console gaming. However, in a move designed to accelerate the growth and success of our mobile strategy, 475 Park Avenue South was the right choice to join the other offices in Los Angeles and Europe,” the statement to The Real Deal said.

Representatives for Cohen Brothers were not immediately available for comment and the agent for 417 Fifth Avenue, speaking on behalf of the landlord, declined to comment.