By: Arianne Cohen
“The tenant: Buchalter, a growing practice with 135 attorneys in 95,000 square feet across several floors of a 22-story building where it’s headquartered. Buchalter wanted to bid adieu to the classic layout of secretarial pods surrounded by lawyers’ offices and downsize by almost a third, as more staff worked from home much of the time.The hunt: Even before the pandemic, renters had the stronger hand in downtown LA. In 2018 one landlord sent Buchalter an unsolicited offer to hold space for more than three years until the firm was ready to move. ‘When landlords eat that much downtime, it’s a soft market,’ says Steve Walbridge, the West Coast lead at SquareFoot, an agent on the deal. He requested proposals from various properties, including the building featured in the 1980s NBC series L.A. Law.
‘We actually thought the spaces might be too nice,’ says Adam Bass, Buchalter’s chief executive officer. ‘There should be some humility in our space—certainly very nice and professional,’ he says, but offices that are too flashy can set the wrong tone in a service business. The company’s architect ascertained space needs and costs, and the firm surveyed attorneys to determine their office desires.”
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