Pennsylvania Bar Institute

Client Situation

The Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) provides continuing legal education seminars and classes for attorneys, as required by the State Bar Association. For the past several years, because PBI couldn’t accommodate a number of courses in its facility in the Wanamaker Building, it had been renting auxiliary facilities outside the Wanamaker Building

Consideration Analysis

PBI engaged Studley (now Savills Studley) to identify and analyze all available space options in Center City Philadelphia that could accommodate PBI’s classrooms and offices, including those at Wanamaker and other rental space. After an extensive space analysis, the Wanamaker Building, with its high ceilings and large column-free space, offered the most suitable facility.


Studley negotiated an expansion of PBI’s facility from 16,087 square feet to 24,538 square feet.  The additional 8,451 square feet will allow PBI to accommodate more than 400 people in one classroom, as well as provide additional classrooms for smaller groups, new offices and conference rooms, and a new food-service area for guests.  Studley also negotiated a clause that would allow PBI to rent its facility to other professional organizations outside the legal community to offset costs associated with the expansion.

The most important issue negotiated by Studley was a contraction right, providing PBI with the flexibility needed to complete this transaction.  At year seven in the lease, should PBI determine for any reason that the additional space is not needed, the right to contract would allow PBI to maintain its 400-person classroom and an additional smaller classroom.


Summary Information

  • Property: Wanamaker Building, Philadelphia , PA
  • Transaction Size: 25,000 SF
  • Transaction Type: Lease Expansion
  • Service Line: Office