Madoff Treasure Hunters Scavenging

45 rockefeller plaza Madoff Treasure Hunters Scavenging Tishman Speyer and a major law firm are sharpening their skates for yet another high-stakes renewal duet at Rockefeller Center.

Baker Hostetler, the world’s 85th-largest law firm, which represented Bernie Madoff’s victims in their search for lost treasure, now occupies 100,000 square feet at 45 Rockefeller Plaza. But with its leases expiring in 2012, Baker is trying to lock down the space, sources say.

The firm subleased the 9th, 10th and 11th floors from Ropes and Gray beginning in 2006. Last year, flush with billable hours courtesy of the fallout from the Ponzi schemer, Baker triumphantly added new partners and quietly added 20,000 square feet of Rock Center space. That short-term lease also expires in two years.

The Commercial Observer spoke briefly with CB Richard EllisJohn Maher, who is representing the tenant. Flummoxed, he said he would call us back and did not respond to further requests for comment. Tishman Speyer declined to comment through a spokesman.

Asking rents in Rockefeller Center can climb into the $80s, but as of January, the firm had received $128 million for its Madoff work, so that’s unlikely to be a sticking point. Sources say the firm is likely to ink a deal soon.

But if previous Rockefeller Center experience is any indication, they’d better not play too hard to get.

lkusisto@observer.com