Midtown Keeps Book Giant; Trammell ‘Like a Morgue’

020507 article koblin Midtown Keeps Book Giant;  Trammell ‘Like a Morgue’Bucking a recent trend for media and publishing, Simon & Schuster isn’t moving. For now.

The publishing titan has renewed its lease of 292,000 square feet at its headquarters at 1230 Avenue of the Americas.

It will keep space on floors 4, 9 through 14, and 17. The five-year renewal is a short one, lasting through 2014, for $62 per foot with two months free, said a source.

Sure, 1230 Avenue of the Americas might be named after Simon & Schuster, but when hundreds of tenants are looking for midtown space, no one is safe.

Most remarkably, Simon & Schuster is staying in midtown despite the media’s massive search for cheaper rents. Consider other recent moves: Clear Channel and CBS Radio are both consolidating their midtown offices and moving to Hudson Square; Viacom has a major lease out in Hudson Square; New York magazine is looking to move to Hudson Square from Madison Avenue; Time magazine is furiously redeploying space amid layoffs; and VNU Media is looking to get out of midtown south and is even considering Brooklyn.

But not to worry, bookworms! Simon & Schuster is safe at home—at least for the next seven years.

Tishman Speyer owns 1230 Avenue of the Americas, across the street from Rockefeller Center, and the firm managed the deal.

Scott Gottlieb, Michael Lag­inestra, Andrew Sussman and Michael Wellen of CB Richard Ellis represented the tenant. They declined to comment.

“IT’S LIKE A MORGUE HERE," said one Trammell Crow broker, describing Trammell’s former office on Madison Avenue. “It just sucks.”

As The Observer reported in December, a large portion of Trammell’s 24 New York–based brokers won’t be making their way to CB Richard Ellis’ headquarters at 200 Park Avenue in the coming weeks. The two brokerages merged in December, and Trammell’s old Madison Avenue digs will soon close with the move to 200 Park.

For these hapless Trammell dealmakers, their final days have been full of polishing résumés and scrambling for interviews for new jobs.

A spokesman for CBRE wouldn’t say how many brokers were given offers, he but wrote in an e-mail: “Because of our very strong brokerage capability in Manhattan, we have been selective about which TCC sales professionals we retain.”

He continued: “In Manhattan, we expect to retain approximately 80 percent of the former TCC workforce, including staff and on-site personnel.”

Of course, that’s just vague enough so that you can’t distinguish between receptionists and brokers. One source said he expected fewer than half of the 24 brokers to join CBRE.

That also includes those who declined the firm’s invitations. Former Trammell broker Bob Hackett was given an offer but decided to take a job at rival Jones Lang LaSalle, a source said. Mr. Hackett confirmed that he had joined Jones Lang LaSalle, but wouldn’t say whether CBRE asked him to stay.

CBRE bought Trammell for $2.2 billion because of its vast resources, such as its project-management work. As a result, there isn’t room for all of Trammell’s New York brokers, especially when CBRE already has so many superstars as it is.

But hey, it’s not all bad news for Trammell employees, especially outside the city. Trammell will retain about 90 percent of its New Jersey office, and CBRE will hold onto the overwhelming majority of Trammell employees nationwide.

IT’S BEEN A BIG YEAR FOR THE PITTSBURGH-BASED lawyers at Reed Smith, and now they’re ready to prove it.

The firm is expanding by 50,000 square feet at 599 Lexington Avenue, with an option to increase by an additional 25,000 square feet by spring. Reed Smith, which specializes in financial services, already controls floors 27, 28, 29 and 38 in the building. It will expand to floors 22 and 26, and has an option on the 30th floor in May.

Reed Smith’s move expands their total presence in the building to 138,000 square feet.

New York, apparently, is an “attraction zone,” said Patricia Hiltibidal, the head of office services for the firm.

“We really, really want to focus on the New York market,” she said. “We will be adding lawyers there.”

She said the associates currently at 599 Lexington are “packed like sardines,” and this move will give everyone a little more legroom.

Indeed, the law firm is expanding by the minute. It just finished a merger with the British-based firm Richard Butlers and the Chicago-based Sachnoff & Weaver.

Reed Smith describes itself as a “top 15 international law firm.” Its lawyers average $615,000 per year, according to The American Lawyer magazine.

David Goldstein and Steve London of Studley represented the tenant. They were not available for comment.

ON A FINAL NOTE, Joseph Chetrit might have finally made a decision about what to do with the Toy Building: Sell it. Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured has been retained to market the building, according to a source.

The building, at 200 Fifth Avenue and 1107 Broadway, was on its way to going condo, but recent rumors had it remaining as office space. Mr. Chetrit has spent the last two years clearing tenants; he did not return a call for comment.