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News release

BALTIMORE, MD

National Trend Toward Legal Sector Rightsizing Spares Baltimore

JLL’s Law Firm Perspective Shows Less Than 10 Percent of Market Occupied by Law Firms


BALTIMORE, MD, NOV 3, 2014 - While space reduction continues to guide the office strategy for the U.S. legal sector nationwide, activity in the Baltimore market has been relatively limited, especially compared to the major reshuffling in the downtown market between 2010 and 2011, according to JLL’s newly released Law Firm Perspective.

Nationwide, law firms have been giving up an average of 17 percent of their space in relocations this year, JLL's report says. Rightsizing moves were behind 15 of the top 17 U.S. law firm office leasing transactions this year.

"The diverse nature of Baltimore's office occupiers has shielded this market from the major reconfigurations seen in many other markets nationwide," said Mark Levy, Managing Director, Baltimore Market Leader, JLL. "That being said, the law firms in this market that are looking for space are trending toward flexible, more efficient spaces that best represent rapidly changing workforce and work styles."

Law firms account for a little less than 10 percent of Baltimore's office market occupancy, and just eight firms occupy more than 50,000 square feet in the market. While their activity here has been limited since 2012, law firm deals that are taking place are making a steady migration to the south and east, which mirrors the overall market. This trend has left the highly desirable Pratt Street corridor with only three Class A availabilities above 30,000 square feet and none greater than 50,000 square feet.

The trend of converting Baltimore's Class B office inventory into apartment units is also impacting local law firm office options. Conversions have taken a total of 800,000 square feet of Class B supply off the market.

The largest of these conversions is 10 - 12 North Calvert, where numerous law firms, most of which require less than 5,000 square feet of space, have been pushed into the market. This activity has helped the Charles Street Corridor, a submarket with elevated vacancies despite its close proximity to the courthouses.

"The large block availability at 750 East Pratt when Exelon moves to Harbor Point, which will also deliver new Class A space into the market, is forcing owners to continue to be aggressive in concessions," said Levy. "Landlords are acutely focused on tenant retention in this market."

About JLL
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual fee revenue of $4.0 billion and gross revenue of $4.5 billion, JLL has more than 200 corporate offices, operates in 75 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 53,000.  On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3.0 billion square feet, or 280.0 million square meters, and completed $99.0 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2013. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $53.0 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit www.jll.com.​