Big Law, Big Lease


While the theme struck in downtown Los Angeles has been that most professional firms are contracting and putting more space back on the market, one firm is bucking the trend.

Manning & Kass Ellrod Ramirez Trester, the 26th largest law firm in Los Angeles, last month renewed its lease for more than 80,300 square feet at the 801 S. Figueroa building, keeping the same footprint it has had there since 2006, when it moved in. The deal for four full floors in the 24-story building was the largest lease renewal for a law firm in Los Angeles in the past year.

Luke Raimondo, corporate managing director in the downtown L.A. office of Savills Studley, represented the law firm in the deal. He declined to disclose financial terms of the lease other than to say that it was a long-term extension.

According to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc., asking rents in the building are about $3.24 a square foot a month. At that rate, a 10-year lease would be valued at more than $31.2 million.

Raimondo said the lease deal is more indicative of the strength of the law firm than of the strength of the downtown L.A. office market, which has seen many law and financial services firms downsize in recent years.

“There’s no question the trend has been toward consolidation,” he said, “but this commitment really demonstrates the strength of the firm and its importance to downtown Los Angeles.”

The lease was signed just before Hollywood landlord Mani Brothers Real Estate Group sold the building. On Sept. 30, real estate investment management company Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors of Hartford, Conn., purchased the pink-granite building for about $175 million.

John Eichler of Cushman & Wakefield represented the building’s former owner in the deal.

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