Legal Aid Society expands to 77K sf in South Bronx

Nonprofit takes an additional 22K sf at Acadia’s 260 East 161st Street

By James Kleimann

The legal beagles at Legal Aid Society are expanding their footprint at an office building in the Melrose section of the Bronx.

The legal nonprofit, the nation’s oldest and largest, signed a 15-year lease for 22,070 square feet at Acadia Realty Trust’s 260 East 161st Street. Legal Aid Society will take the whole seventh floor of the 209,000-square-foot, 10-story building.

The nonprofit already lays claim to about 55,000 square feet between the eighth and 10th floors. Average rents at 260 East 161st Street, known as the Melrose Building, average in the mid-$30s per square foot, the Commercial Observer reported. Other tenants include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which runs a substance abuse clinic at the building.

Greg Smith and Ellen Israel of JRT Realty represented Acadia in the lease deal. CBRE’s Craig Reicher, Chris Mansfield and Greg Maurer-Hollaender represented Legal Aid Society.

Acadia, a real estate investment trust with holdings across the eastern seaboard, received bad news from the city council this week when legislators voted down its ambitious project in Inwood, which would have been the first application under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. It has as-of rights to develop a 14-story residential building with only market-rate units.