Fried Frank decamps for Park Tower’s 535 Madison Ave

Law firm moves conference center from RFR's Seagram Building

Fried Frank's Jon Mechanic and 535 Madison Avenue (Getty, Fried Frank,
Fried Frank's Jon Mechanic and 535 Madison Avenue (Getty, Fried Frank,

Fried Frank, one of New York’s top real estate law firms, is making its own move in the office market.

The firm signed a lease for 14,000 square feet at Park Tower Group’s 535 Madison Avenue in the Plaza District, the New York Post reported. The company is moving and expanding its conference center, which will take the building’s entire 10th floor.

The move is set for 2024, when Fried Frank will give up its conference center at RFR Holding’s 375 Park Avenue, otherwise known as the Seagram Building. The move is an opportunity to consolidate from two floors into one; the company’s headquarters will remain at One New York Plaza.

Asking rent on the 15-year lease was not disclosed. Pen was put to paper at Fried Frank’s holiday party at Cipriani 42nd Street, where the law firm’s real estate chairman Jon Mechanic and Park Tower president Marian Klein Feldt sealed the deal.

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Park Tower’s property is 36 stories, spanning 444,000 square feet. The landlord scored a $160 million refinancing package from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in 2017, which consolidated a new $30 million mortgage and $130 million on unpaid balance for a loan issued by the lender a decade earlier.

Manhattan’s availability rate for office space fell to 16.4 percent in the third quarter, the lowest since March 2021, according to Colliers. While it was encouraging for the leasing market, the rate still sat nearly two-thirds above the availability at the start of the pandemic.

Law firms remain one of the more active participants in office leases as more companies consider the future of their space in a post-pandemic environment.

Fried Frank ranked as one of New York City’s top 20 law firms, representing the buyer on 24 deals from July 2021 to July 2022. The deal volume for the law firm during that span was nearly $665 million.

— Holden Walter-Warner