Small to midsized firms have their choice of deluxe D.C. sublets in the sky
February 25, 2011


When Douglas Husid realized that his law firm, Goulston & Storrs PC, had already stretched out as far as its K Street office allowed, the co-managing director began looking at D.C.’s power strip for a new home.

Months later, Goulston became one of the latest tenants to cut an aggressive deal in D.C.’s subleasing market, taking 21,500 square feet originally allotted to Mayer Brown LLP at 1999 K St. NW. Mayer Brown, a tenant in the 243,000-square-foot glass building for 15 years, realized — as did many firms during a tanking economy — that it did not need quite that much space. In one swipe, Goulston removed from the market higher-end space that had been pining for a subtenant for nearly two years — and got it at a lower rate than the firm was paying at its old 2001 K St. NW digs.

...“Even if the amount of space available has declined, there’s still so much of it out there,” says Wendy Feldman Block, managing director at Studley Inc.

...Feldman Block has probably seen much of that space herself. She says when she’s out with tenants hunting in the 5,000- to 20,000-square-foot range, she gets bombarded by sublessors trying to woo her to their buildings with unsolicited offers. While a subtenant won’t headline a building, it can still benefit from the brand boost that comes with already lavishly furnished spaces, a perk that often translates into a better build-out than a small tenant could afford if it signed a lease directly with the landlord.