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Deals & Dealmakers

School where Kathy Bates, Jeff Goldblum, Amy Schumer got their acting chops expands

The William Esper Studio has expanded its footprint with an additional 1,800 s/f of retail space and renewed its existing lease to now occupy 10,489 total square feet at 498 Seventh Avenue.

Michael Heaner, Partner with The Kaufman Organization, represented the tenant in the transaction while Andy Conrad represented the landlord, George Comfort & Sons, Inc., in-house.

“Theatrical training has a long and storied history in New York City and the industry-leading William Esper Studio remains a true gem for New York City,” said Heaner. “498 Seventh Avenue offers a prime location close to the Broadway and theater corridor and flexible spaces that are compatible for this legendary studio’s educational uses. Ownership is also investing in capital improvements that will add further value to William Esper’s retail frontage.”

Recognized as one of the most respected professional actor training schools in the country, William Esper Studio was established in 1965 by the late acclaimed acting teacher William Esper. The school offers full and part-time programs, as well as summer intensive courses instructing students in the key areas of basic acting techniques, movement, dance, improvisation and script analysis, to name a few.

Notable alumni of the school include Jeff Goldblum, Larry David, Amy Schumer, Kim Basinger, David Morse, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Jennifer Beals.


“We are pleased that William Esper Studio has made a long-term commitment to 498 Seventh Avenue and that we were able to accommodate its growth,” said Peter S. Duncan, president of George Comfort & Sons, Inc.  “We view this lease renewal and expansion as a validation of our efforts to provide high quality tenant services and a contemporary environment in the heart of Midtown.”

Owned by a partnership of George Comfort & Sons, Inc., Loeb Partners Realty and JP Morgan Chase Asset Management, 498 Seventh Avenue is in the midst of a major capital improvement program designed to transform the office tower into a more modern environment.  Improvements include a new façade on the first two floors, new destination dispatch elevators, as well as a new Gensler-designed lobby that will have three prominent street entrances.  Erected in 1920, 498 Seventh Avenue is a 25-story, 960,000-square-foot Class-A building in the Penn Station submarket. 498 Seventh Avenue is located close to the transportation hubs of Penn Station, The Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square 42nd Street subway station, as well as vast dining and retail options.

About The Kaufman Organization

With over 100 years of experience and seven million square feet of owned or managed space, the Kaufman Organization has long been considered one of the most prominent and well-respected real estate companies in the New York metropolitan area.  The company offers a fully integrated spectrum of leasing and management services to diverse owners and tenants and is continually looking to build its portfolio through property acquisitions. For more information, visit

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