Law Firm Real Estate: Is Downtown the New Midtown? | Chappaqua NY Realtor

Once upon a time, most New York law firms had offices in downtown Manhattan, near the financial center that generated much of their business.

But in the 1980s many firms began the march to midtown, renting fancy digs in new buildings on Lexington and Third Avenues or the West 40s and 50s. These days a stroll up Avenue of the Americas is like a tour of the AmLaw 100.

That trend, however may be reversing–or at least diluting–as firms looking to save money on leases take a fresh look at downtown and further West, as WSJ’s Laura Kusisto reported today:

Law firms don’t like to pay too much for office space because even junior associates expect offices, and because rent money comes out of the partners’ pockets.

Now other large firms are looking Downtown and to the new Hudson Yards development, trading less-prime locations for cheaper rents and the benefits of being in new construction.

For instance, last month Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP moved downtown to shiny new offices at 7 World Trade Center after 13 years in midtown. Other law firms, such as Morrison & Foerster LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP, are leasing in new buildings that are wired for the 21st century–and offer a more efficient use of space.

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