Bilzin Sumberg signs with 1450 Brickell

South Florida Business Journal – by Oscar Pedro Musibay

The competition for tenants in downtown Miami’s office market has turned a corner, with 1450 Brickell signing Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP as its first tenant.

In the downtown area’s largest lease this year, Bilzin Sumberg is taking 80,000 square feet of space marketed at the full-service, gross rate of between $40 and $50 a square foot. Bilzin Sumberg’s lease starts in January 2011.


The Miami law firm currently occupies about 100,000 square feet at the Wachovia Financial Center in downtown Miami.

The deal is the first for the 576,379-square-foot 1450 Brickell, which is scheduled for completion by first quarter of next year. The Alan Ojeda-led Rilea Group is developing the 35-story project.

Blanca Commercial Real Estate President and CEO Tere Blanca and Executive Vice President Danet Linares handled the deal. CresaPartners founding principal Barbara Liberatore Black and Matthew Goodman represented Bilzin Sumberg.

Blanca said the law firm’s decision to move is indicative of the opportunity in the marketplace for established tenants to relocate to new and efficient Class A space.

“As businesses seek to align their space needs with their business goals, many companies are choosing to relocate,” Blanca said in a statement.

Liberatore Black said companies are increasingly seeking operational efficiencies in office space in an effort to cut costs. 1450 Brickell features an innovative design that will save the tenant money.

“1450 Brickell’s column-free floor plates and beam-free slabs will enable Bilzin Sumberg to maximize its use of office space and design,” Liberatore Black said in a statement.

1450 Brickell is precertified gold according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, and has floor plates ranging from 24,000 square feet to 25,600 square feet. Bilzin Sumberg will be on the 21st through 24th floors.

“1450 Brickell will be a preeminent office building in South Florida for years to come, and we are looking forward to our new location,” Bilzin Sumberg managing partner John C. Sumberg said in a statement. “The building has strong ownership, advanced construction quality, and innovative and sustainable design that will enhance our quality of life and the efficiency of our operations.”

Bilzin Sumberg previously signed a deal for 115,000 square feet at the Foram Group’s Brickell Financial Centre, but it was mutually canceled early this year. Bilzin Sumberg had a 10.5-year, $58 million lease to occupy about 15 percent of Brickell Financial Centre, at 600 Brickell Ave.

The 600,000-square-foot Brickell Financial Centre, which is more than 70 percent complete, has yet to sign a tenant. Its leasing broker is Noel Steinfeld, a VP of brokerage services at CB Richard Ellis.

Nearly 2 million square feet of space is now under construction between Brickell Avenue and downtown Miami. The volume of Class A office space under construction is a lot to absorb in a market that is getting downward pressure on rents because of the growth of available space and competition from subleases.

The 753,200-square-foot Met 2 office building is the furthest along in tenant leasing, with three tenants – including Deloitte LLP and anchor law firm Greenberg Traurig – to its name. The building, which MDM Development is constructing on the north side of the Miami River, is 30 percent leased. The building’s leasing broker is Jack Lowell, VP of Flagler Real Estate Services in Coral Gables.

Met 2 is being built in tandem with a 41-story, 357-room JW Marriott Marquis Hotel and a Hotel Beaux Arts.

Linares said 1450 Brickell’s location in the burgeoning urban neighborhood that is the Brickell financial district was an important consideration for Bilzin Sumberg. The law firm is located in the neighborhood north of the Miami River, which has fewer retail amenities than the Brickell neighborhood.

“1450 Brickell is within walking distance to more than 30 retail businesses, restaurants and high-end hotels, and is just a one-block walk from the nearest Metromover station, which provides access throughout Miami’s central business district,” Linares said.

The leasing team is actively talking with other prospective tenants, both local companies and multinationals, with the bulk of the interest coming from locals.

Blanca said decision-makers are more confident about the economy today than they have been in the past, and she has seen interest in the building increase in the last four months. She said signing Bilzin Sumberg would make it easier to sign other tenants, which were likely to see what kind of commitment larger users would make to the building.

“It will create a domino effect with other things we have in the pipeline,” she said.