Case Study: Sacco & Fillas: A Smart Expansion with Prime Law Firm Office Space

16 August, 2023 / Bobby Samuels

The opportunity arose to take advantage of a tenant market with reduced rents. Sacco & Fillas, Queens’ largest law firm, saw the potential and wanted to find law firm office space in Manhattan. The goals were clear: help the firm grow, cater to existing clients, and find a convenient location for staff commutes. So, how did the transition unfold? It focused on a careful choice of space and a 7-year lease agreement with advantageous terms.

The Tenant: Sacco & Fillas LLP

Sacco & Fillas is the largest law firm in Queens, New York. They operate over 25,000 square feet in Queens County and New Jersey and employ approximately 90 legal professionals. Moreover, since its inception in 2004, it has consistently grown into a renowned name in general business law.

The Opportunity to Expand

Sacco & Fillas were experiencing continued growth. However, they faced a balancing act. On the one hand, they wanted to cater to existing clients. At the same time, expanding their reach was a strategic necessity. Thus, they needed to find law firm office space to align with this vision. It had to fit their ongoing mission, provide room for further development, and offer an opportunity to grow the firm.

Objectives and Goals

The relocation had multiple objectives:

  • Proximity to Clients: Moving to Manhattan would offer a more convenient location and reduce the commute time of staff that lives in areas like New Jersey, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
  • Space for Expansion: The firm sought a space that would cater to its current needs and allow for future growth.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: With a subdued market, the opportunity to find value and negotiate advantageous terms was vital.
  • Reflecting the Firm’s Image: The new space had to symbolize the professionalism, excellence, and prestige that Sacco & Fillas has come to represent.

The Search for the Right Space

Finding the right space for a large, dynamic law firm like Sacco & Fillas is a complex task. The process involves pinpointing a location that not only has an efficient layout but is also office-intensive and tailored to suit the unique needs of a law firm. So, here’s how the search unfolded.

Understanding the Client’s Needs

As the broker representing Sacco & Fillas, understanding the law firm’s unique needs was the first step. Their space needed to accommodate 4-6 partner offices, a conference room, and an open area for paralegals. Additionally, there had to be potential for expansion during the lease term. The location also needed to be convenient for commuting. Consequently, this understanding guided the identification of suitable properties.

Collaborative Exploration

The search was an active collaboration between the broker and the firm, touring a half dozen Lower Manhattan office buildings, and evaluating them against the firm’s objectives. Moreover, it was a nuanced exercise in balancing functionality, aesthetics, location, and cost.

The Winning Space: 32 Broadway

The Lawrence Group, well-known landlords in Lower Manhattan, manage significant buildings like the Woolworth Building, 42 Broadway, and 45 Broadway. They also oversee 32 Broadway, where they had a space perfect for Sacco & Fillas. First, they oversaw a streamlined process. Second, their expertise in accommodating law firms served as the game-changer in ensuring that the property precisely fit the firm’s specifications.

Negotiating Favorable Terms

Using years of experience in commercial real estate, we negotiated favorable terms with Lawrence. First, we carefully addressed every detail. This process included the monthly electric cost, the commencement date, and specific landlord work. Then, we aimed to align with the firm’s interests. As a result, our negotiations led to a 7-year lease term. Additionally, we secured Lower Manhattan real estate incentives and important modifications.

The Modifications

Sacco and Fillas discovered an office space with elements suitable for a law firm layout. However, they brought in an architectural planning firm to add some personal touches and make it perfect. The landlord was willing to make the necessary renovations, transforming the walls, floors, and lighting to align with the firm’s vision. Even the conference room and reception area received special attention. The result? A space tailored to their exact specifications, ready for the dynamic work of a modern law firm.

Key Takeaways

The case of Sacco & Fillas is a prime example of how firms outside of Manhattan can capitalize on a soft commercial real estate market to find value and lock it in for the long term. Working with The Lawrence Group allowed the law firm to secure a space that met their current needs and provided the opportunity for expansion within the building during the term of their lease. With a strategic approach, Sacco & Fillas relocated and positioned themselves in a space that would allow for the potential for expansion into Manhattan and greater convenience for their staff and clients.

 

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