The office space for eight out of 11 major law firms that signed leases for new D.C. offices between 2011 and 2014 have yet to be filled by replacement tenants, according to data from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.
Law firms are the second-largest tenant in Washington after the federal government, and the legal industry’s push to downsize in real estate to save money is leaving a gap in the local real estate market. Those 11 firms shrank, or plan to shrink, an average of 22 percent in square footage when moving to new offices, according to Cushman.
For many of the eight office spaces, the current leases have yet to expire, meaning the firms have signed leases to relocate to new buildings and will continue paying rent at the previous buildings until later this year, 2016 or 2017 — but that new tenants have yet to sign on to move in after they leave.
Two of the largest law firm moves in recent months resulted in significant vacancies that have yet to be filled. Pillsbury , whose previous lease expired in 2014, left behind 160,000 square feet at 2300 N St. NW when it moved to 1200 17th St. NW last month. And Covington & Burling , whose previous lease expires in 2016, left behind 450,000 square feet at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW when it moved to CityCenterDC last month.
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Where they moved to, where they moved from and what has happened to the space that was left behind.
|Firm||Date new |
|Date old lease expired||New building||Previous building||New SF||Old SF (original lease)||Status of previous space|
|Venable||Q3 2014||Q1 2017||600 Massachusetts Avenue NW||575 7th St. NW||245,000||285,000||Tenant to vacate in 2017.|
|Nixon Peabody||Q4 2013||Q2 2015||799 9th St. NW||401 9th St. NW||66,000||92,000||Tenant to vacate in 2015.|
|Norton Rose Fulbright||Q4 2013||Q2 2016||799 9th St. NW||801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW||65,000||109,000||Tenant to vacate in 2015.|
|Miller & Chevalier||Q4 2013||Q3 2016||900 16th St. NW||655 15th St. NW||84,000||118,000||Tenant to vacate in 2016.|
|Sheppard Mullin||Q2 2013||Q1 2014||2099 Pennsylvania Ave. NW||1300 I St. NW||59,000||64,000||APTA and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board to occupy in 2015/2016|
|Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman||Q1 2013||Q4 2014||1200 17th St. NW||2300 N St. NW||95,000||240,000||Space remains available.|
|Arnold & Porter||Q4 2012||Q3 2015||601 Massachusetts Ave. NW||555 12th St. NW||376,000||455,000||Building/space underwent upgrades and modernization.|
|Covington & Burling||Q4 2012||Q4 2016*||800 & 850 10th St. NW||1201/1275 Pennsylvania Ave. NW||420,000||390,000||Building/space to undergo upgrades and renovation.|
|Sullivan & Cromwell||Q2 2012||Q1 2014||1700 New York Ave. NW||1701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW||57,000||74,000||Small portion re-leased.|
|Holland & Knight||Q2 2011||Q3 2012||800 17th St. NW||2099 Pennsylvania Ave. NW||123,000||130,000||Some space remains available.|
|McDermott Will & Emery||Q1 2011||Q4 2012||500 N. Capitol St. NW||600 13th St. NW||172,000||203,000||Backfilled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, National Association of Children's Hospitals, Chevron and the Financial Services Roundtable.|
Source: Cushman & Wakefield. Note: *Covington received rent abatement at CityCenterDC to cover remaining term.