Burnham Brown Consolidates Office Space Lease
Cushman & Wakefield has represented preeminent law firm Burnham Brown in a new direct lease for 32,000 square feet of Class A office space in Oakland, California.
The law firm, whose deep roots in Oakland date back more than 100 years, has right-sized its occupancy at 1901 Harrison St in the city’s Uptown neighborhood from previously 40,000 sf in two-and-a-half floors to currently two full floors.
Burnham Brown was previously subletting a portion of its multi-floor space in the 17-story high rise, but its new lease term now runs on a direct basis with the building’s landlord, Starwood Capital Group. The law firm’s new agreement also reflects a commitment to occupancy on one of the floors for at least another several years. Cushman & Wakefield’s Chris Johnke handled the complex and creative transaction on behalf of Burnham Brown.
“This was a lengthy but rewarding process that began pre-pandemic, but finalized over the summer,” commented Chris Johnke, Managing Director with Cushman & Wakefield’s Tenant Advisory Group and also a member of the firm’s Legal Sector Advisory Group. “Our primary goal was assisting our client in helping reduce fixed costs and overhead through real estate, which we were able to work closely with the landlord to consolidate footprint while also negotiating an attractive deal package—all which has allowed Burnham Brown to navigate through the challenges of COVID-19 that has made it a far more difficult business environment to survive.
“Thinking a bit outside the box in this transaction led to what we believe to be a win-win result for both our client, which as a staple of Oakland has recommitted to the city for many more years, and the landlord whose commitment to this deal and their tenant was also important in this successful negotiation.”
Sherry Cushman, who leads Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group, added: “Prior to the pandemic, the legal sector was experiencing major workplace shifts at an accelerated pace, including investment in technology and office density. Now that the virus has impacted countries and economies on a global scale, the disruption has caused a dramatic pause in the legal sector, forcing firms to reconsider their business strategy as well as reimagine the future of the law firm workplace itself.”
Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group consists of over 450 global real estate specialists who implement strategic real estate solutions guided by law firms’ financial and operational objectives. The group balances the proprietary intelligence captured from its proprietary national legal sector benchmark survey with extensive industry experience, to provide insights on the challenges facing the legal sector—and the solutions required to achieve attorney consensus to affect change.