ATLANTA (September 14, 2017) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that the firm served as legal counsel to Swedish company, Fotografiska International AB, in its lease agreement with RFR Realty for the entire 45,000-square-foot building at 281 Park Avenue South in New York City. Fotografiska will use all six floors of the distinctive Park Avenue landmark with plans of creating a franchise operation of its Stockholm contemporary photography center including a gallery, event facilities and an upscale restaurant operated by a prominent restaurateur.
Formerly known as the Church Missions House, the 281 Park Avenue South building was designed as an Episcopal Church. In 1979, it was designated as a city landmark and is included in the National Register of Historic Places as worthy of preservation. With an ornate façade and gabled, stained glass windows reminiscent of Medieval architecture and unique ceiling heights, the19th century building serves as the perfect counterpart to the Swedish photography center’s 20th century building in the artsy Södermalm district of Stockholm.
Fotografiska opened as a photography museum at Stadsgårdskaya in Stockholm in 2010 to showcase the work of well-known photographers including Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle and introduce new names in the photography world. Housed in an Art Noveau style brick, former customs hall, the museum was founded by brothers Jan and Per Broman, who were in born into the photography industry. One of Stockholm’s most popular attractions with more than 500,000 visitors per year, the museum hosts 15-20 major exhibitions each year, as well as photography classes, workshops and lectures. In addition to a gallery, the exhibition center includes a café, restaurant, museum shop and event facilities.
The SGR legal team included New York Real Estate Practice Partner Eliot Zuckerman with Partner Sean Altschul principally handling lease negotiations. Atlanta Partner John Spillman and New York Counsel Brenda Simensky handled the corporate aspects of the deal and Atlanta Partner Joe Mandarino and New York Partner Yoram Keinan handled the tax issues.
About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s more than 200 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, construction and employment law. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.