Holland & Knight, the Miami-based law firm that recently laid off 243 employees nationwide, is looking for new space in New York City, but not because it’s contracting.
Bill Honan, the new executive partner for Holland & Knight’s New York office, said the firm now has about 105,000 square feet on the 23rd, 24th and 25th floors of L&L Holding’s imposing 195 Broadway, and is looking for space of a similar size.
“We did lay off some lawyers and some staff, like most other law firms,” Mr. Honan said. “But that was done strategically. At the same time, we’re looking. We just hired a partner in the corporate group. … We’re attempting to grow in this market.”
The firm’s lease is up in April 2010. Mr. Honan doesn’t seem all that eager to move: “We like this building, and we have a good landlord, and we’re comfortable here,” Mr. Honan said. And just listen to him rhapsodize about the historic old AT&T Building’s lobby: “I think it has the nicest lobby of any [building] in New York, with columns that soar two floors high,” Mr. Honan said. “It’s very dramatic.”
But the firm hasn’t ruled it out. “If we were to move, it would be in a grade A building, either downtown or uptown,” he said. “We’re looking for a good deal.”
There is, of course, no shortage of awesome office space and cut-rate prices in today’s doozy of a marketplace. “We’re encouraged by the market, not just to save money, but also it allows us to get better-quality space and furnish it more nicely,” Mr. Honan said. (Class A asking rents downtown, for what they’re worth as a measure, averaged nearly $52 a square foot at the start of February, according to Colliers ABR.)
Michael Cohen of Williams Real Estate, a FirstService Company, represents Holland & Knight.