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Case Study

Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Situation/Process

  • Ogletree Deakins’ Los Angeles office was subleasing one of several floors originally designed for Pacific Enterprises in the US Bank Tower.
  • The space was very inefficient and did not support the operational needs of the firm, the aggressively priced sub-sublease was scheduled to expire mid-2010.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle initiated its efforts on behalf of Ogletree Deakins in the fall of 2007 with an exhaustive search of every available full floor in the Class-A sector of the CBD previously improved for law firm use.
  • The acquisition process required building consensus with Los Angeles-based shareholders, and senior management from the firm’s headquarters in Greenville, SC.

Results

  • Commencing the process thirty-three (33) months in advance of the sub-sublease expiration, enabled us gain total control of the transaction schedule and use the calendar to enhance our negotiating leverage.
  • We concluded that the terms offered by the landlords were not desirable and recommended putting the deal on hold for 120-days.
  • During that hiatus, the following two (2) critical events occurred: A competing landlord submitted an unsolicited revision to their proposal slashing previously offered rents by nearly twenty percent (20%), and O’Melveny & Myers’ exercised its option to terminate three (3) floors of its lease at 400 South Hope. Until this point, a single landlord controlled all non-sublease, full floors in the downtown market that had been previously improved for law firm use.
  • We engaged the client’s design/construction team to evaluate the newly available floors at 400 South Hope, and budgeted for modifications. Upon receipt of the results we commenced negotiations with Tishman Speyer for 26,924 s.f.
  • Our efforts resulted in an extremely aggressive lease transaction which included the following: three (3) years of rent abatement on twenty percent (20%) of the floor, the largest tenant improvement allowance granted by a CBD landlord in recent years, and a parking concession valued at $954,000.

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