Arent Fox, one of the most diverse general practice law firms in the country, held a 224,000 square-foot lease at 1050 Connecticut Avenue which was due to expire at the end of 2012. In 2006, facing a scarcity of large blocks of space within the District, the firm turned to Studley (now Savills Studley) to evaluate its real estate options.
Studley quickly began to survey the commercial office market for potential existing buildings or development sites. Subsequently, as a result of a failed lease transaction for a competing law firm, office space at 1000 Connecticut Avenue NW unexpectedly became available for lease. While Studley’s client, Arent Fox, voiced reservations about the financial viability of the new building given its prominent corner location, adjacent to its existing location, Studley prepared an extensive site analysis which proved otherwise. Not only did the analysis determine that the new space would be more efficient than the firm’s existing building, the new location would also provide Arent Fox prominent building signage, a private roof deck overlooking the White House, and far more growth opportunities than the current office building. Timing, however, remained a major impediment to the feasibility of the new office space as 1000 Connecticut was scheduled to deliver to the market close to two years prior to Arent Fox’s lease expiration.
After a series of negotiations, Studley was able to present Arent Fox with an innovative real estate solution which would secure a 255,000-square-foot lease of office space in which Arent Fox could relocate and expand its headquarters to 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW. The developer agreed to delay the completion of the building until the beginning of 2013 under two conditions. First, the negotiations must be kept confidential and, second, the lease had to be negotiated and ready for execution within three months from that time - a breakneck speed for any negotiation, especially one of this magnitude. If the terms could not be met, the developer was prepared to start construction as scheduled, leaving Arent Fox to find an alternate relocation and expansion space.
Studley’s law firm practice group worked tirelessly to meet the developer’s lease terms and the transaction was completed in May of 2008. As a result, the corner of Connecticut and K Streets, perhaps the best corner in Washington, sat as a vacant pile of dirt waiting for the shovels to break ground until 2010 as negotiated. This transaction has been praised by industry and media professionals and, more importantly, exceeded the client’s expectations.
1000 Connecticut Ave NW,
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Executive Vice President, Director, Co-Regional Manager
Executive Vice President, Co-Regional Manager
Executive Vice President