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RFR and SIGNA Group are executing their vision to invigorate and improve the 77-story Chrysler Building, one of the most important architectural icons in the New York City skyline. As work progresses, the building continues to attract high-profile firms with RFR announcing that intellectual property law firm Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP has signed a long-term lease at the legendary office tower in the heart of Midtown. The firm will occupy a 11,000-square-foot full floor, and RFR will build out the space to tenant specifications.
An in-house team of AJ Camhi, Paul Milunec and Rob Weller represented RFR and SIGNA Group and Michael Gottlieb, Jennifer Ogden and Drew Persson of Avison Young represented Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP. Asking rent was $90 per square foot.
“Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein was attracted to Chrysler in part because of its landmark Art Deco aesthetic, its sweeping city views and the boutique full-floor options it offers,” said AJ Camhi of RFR in a statement. “But this commitment is really a testament to the draw of Chrysler as an architectural gem in a perfect location and a nod to the power of RFR’s incomparable design sensibility as we continue on a path to re-energizing this beloved building.”
Both existing and new tenants are enthusiastic about ownership’s improvement plans. From enhanced lighting in the historic lobby and modernized elevator cabs to flexible and functional floorplates and exposed beams that add a modern sensibility, the transformative undertaking will seamlessly mix classic and contemporary elements and introduce a modern ambience that is at once polished and striking. High quality prebuilt suites flooded with natural light include above standard pantries, kitchen spaces and stunning views while terrace opportunities at the tower’s setbacks offer private outdoor space for tenants.
Since the acquisition, the partnership has taken a meticulous approach to executing a comprehensive program that will reimagine the food, wellness and personal service experiences throughout the building and elevate the overall tenant experience. With a location second to none, the combination of old and new will usher in a new era at the Chrysler Building with contemporary workplaces that exude style and functionality as companies return to in-person work.
“Our firm has been a leading New York intellectual property boutique for almost 70 years,” said Anthony Lo Cicero, Partner, Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein. “We look forward to relocating for the next chapter in our history to the iconic Chrysler Building, a structure which itself is a nationally and internationally recognized architectural brand.”
In addition to upgraded mechanical systems, elevators, windows, bathrooms and common corridors, the full-floor “Chrysler Club” on the 27th floor, designed by master architect Gensler and RFR, has been transformed for the exclusive use of building tenants. It includes a well-appointed boardroom, town hall meeting space, living room with game tables and myriad seating options as well as private phone rooms, a library, a pantry/café and a dedicated yoga/meditation studio. Simultaneously, planning is underway on Chrysler’s 61st and 62nd floors to create an elegant, publicly accessible space designed in partnership with Ken Fulk. And, the arcade level, designed in partnership with Rockwell Group, is being programmed to include specialty food, beverage, daily-needs and personal care options as well as an event space.
“We appreciate the excellent help and guidance that Avison Young provided us to find our new home with the Chrysler building,” said Charles Macedo, Partner, Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein. “Thanks to their experience and expertise, we got the right space to help our firm to continue provide excellent legal advice, with a gorgeous view!”
Tenants have reacted with confidence to ownership’s plans by committing to long-term leases and renewing and expanding their existing office commitments. The in-house RFR leasing team, led by AJ Camhi, has already transacted on 215,000 square feet of renewals and new deals since RFR and SIGNA took over the ownership of the Chrysler Building in April 2019. Among the most notable transactions, longtime tenant Creative Artists Agency (CAA) signed a 25,029-square-foot lease expansion for an entire full floor and is currently the building’s largest tenant, with a total footprint of 123,781 square feet. The prestigious talent and sports agency now occupies five full floors.
“We were thrilled to help Amster Rothstein reshape their law office needs for the future,” said Michael Gottlieb, Principal, Avison Young. “Relocating to the Chrysler Building, with its amenity space, enabled them to upgrade the quality of their space, have phenomenal views of the city and still save money in the process. Working closely with RFR’s leasing team, we were also able to structure a financial transaction that worked for both parties. “
Originally constructed in 1930, The Chrysler Building is one of the most beloved New York City skyscrapers, admired both here and abroad, an architectural manifestation of the Art Deco era and the automobile age.