Atlanta Law Firm Considers Law Office Move for Quality or Better Deal?

bld_proscenium_lr.jpgAnother Atlanta law firm has made the decision to move from its current office space, negotiating a new lease at Midtown’s 24-story Proscenium Building. Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP has been operating its law offices in The Bank of America Plaza since the 1990’s, during an Atlanta law firm exodus from downtown. A move for this law firm after over ten years means better lease terms are certainly available in Atlanta with excess law space. Rob Binion’s (of LaVista Associates, Inc.) theory of “flight to qualify” may have been a factor in Paul Hasting’s lease negotiations.
Whether or not Paul Hastings tries to negotiate certain concessions from its current landlord or seeks a different level of quality at the Proscenium Building, the bottom line is law firms are taking the end of the lease term very seriously; lease costs hit the law firm’s bottom line. While the deal may have taken a good part of the past year, Paul Hastings seems to be shrinking its space in this sluggish commercial real estate market; its lawyers and staff are located in approximately 100,000 square feet. A new lease could save Paul Hastings $3.00 to $5.00 a foot, according to certain sources. Will The Bank of America Plaza retain its tenant, Paul Hastings, the 22nd largest law firm in Atlanta, with 68 attorneys and 115 total staff (it has 18 offices worldwide and more than 1,000 attorneys) or will the price and/or the quality offered at the Proscenium Building lure this law firm to its new law offices?
As we mentioned in a prior blog dated November 13, 2011, the owners of office buildings in Atlanta have their own headaches. The Bank of America Plaza was purchased by BentleyForbes Group, LLC from Atlanta-based Cousins Properties in 2006. Sources indicate that BentleyForbes has talked with its lenders for debt considerations hinting that the owner is seeking more favorable or workable terms.
While Paul Hastings has not signed on the dotted line, with its Bank of America Plaza lease expiring in 2012, it seems likely that Paul Hastings will entertain options for its leased law space. Paul Hastings joins Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP and Buckhead’s Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, a few of the largest law firms when considering a new lease deal this year.
Notes: Atlanta Business Chronicle, October 28 through November 3, 2011.
See Also: Law Firms with Unused Offices, A View From Law Students, The LawSpaceMatch Official Podcast