D.C. Law Firm Does Due Diligence
Dana Rubinstein Feb. 1, 2010, 4:35 p.m.
WilmerHale, the D.C.-based law firm that, working with the Innocence Project, last year helped free Dewey Bozella from a Dutchess County jail 26 years after he was wrongly convicted of murdering a 92-year-old woman, is looking for new office space.
The firm has sent out feelers to brokerages indicating it’s hunting for between 200,000 and 225,000 square feet, say industry sources, a significantly larger space than it now occupies at Boston Properties’ 399 Park Avenue.
At the present, according to a broker charged with leasing space at 399 Park, the firm has 163,000 square feet, most of it on floors 27 through 31, and 37. If WilmerHale really wants to beef up, as its request for proposals indicates, it’s going to have to look elsewhere, because in 2009-one of the worst commercial real estate years on record-399 Park actually had a pretty good year. C.V. Starr, the investment firm led by former AIG head Hank Greenberg, took 120,000 square feet there. And Moelis & Co. took about 96,000 square feet. In short, space is tight.
Studley, the firm that represents WilmerHale, along with pretty much every other space-hunting law firm in Manhattan, declined to comment. So did Byrnam Wood, which is serving in an advisory role here and in Boston.