Chicago’s Arnstein & Lehr Finds Space Cutting as Real-World Advice

A law firm’s planned transfer to a 50-story Loop firm tower continues an industry pattern of lowered firm sizes.

Arnstein & Lehr prepares to move next year to about 65,000 square feet at 161 N. Clark St., stated Handling Partner Michael Gesas. Arnstein & Lehr presently leases about 100,000 square feet at 120 S. Riverside Plaza in the West Loop, the firm’s home given that 1990, Gesas said.

Most of the area Arnstein is taking at 161 N. Clark will be subleased from Polsinelli. That law firm prepares to relocate February to a 53-story office tower in the late stages of building and construction at 150 N. Riverside Plaza along the Chicago River.

Arnstein & Lehr is following a law market trend of cutting expenses by minimizing property. Numerous firms are moving toward smaller individual firms and removing libraries and records that can now be kept digitally.

” We chose to make the move because we’re in space that, for the functions of our company, is old,” Gesas stated. “The plus is we will not have the large equity partner offices that we have here (at 120 S. Riverside).

” My workplace is like a castle. It’s absurd.”

About 60,000 square feet will be subleased from Polsinelli on the 42nd, 43rd and 46th floors. Arnstein & Lehr likewise will rent about 5,000 square feet straight from the property owner on the 13th floor for the company’s management offices, Gesas stated.

161 N. Clark is owned by an endeavor of CBRE Global Investors, which bought it in on behalf of a group of South Korean financiers for about $331.3 million in October 2013. The tower has to do with 96 percent leased, according to realty information supplier CoStar Group.

The Polsinelli lease that Arnstein & Lehr is assuming runs up until October 2027, Gesas said.

Arnstein & Lehr was represented in the offer by Costs Rogers, a managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Polsinelli is among numerous firms moving their Chicago offices to smaller spaces in towers now under construction. Others include McDermott Will & Emery, DLA Piper and Hinshaw & Culbertson.

Other companies are switching from one existing building to another to upgrade their firms in less general area, such as Seyfarth Shaw’s deal to relocate to Willis Tower from the Castle Center.

General downtown workplace openings reached a 15-year low during the 2nd quarter, but pending relocations by tenants from existing structures to new building and construction are expected to drive up vacancy in the next number of years.

Founded in 1893, Arnstein & Lehr has about 90 lawyers in the Chicago firm and about 60 in Florida, where it has offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Gesas said. The firm likewise has a little Springfield workplace that its Chicago lawyers utilize when traveling to the state capital.

Arnstein & Lehr plans to finish the move from the West Loop by next April, Gesas stated.

Aside from some minor cosmetic changes such as brand-new carpet and paint, the Polsinelli space is furnished and move-in ready, Gesas stated. Offices are 225 square feet for partners and 150 for partners.

Its current area has partner workplaces from 235 to 310 square feet and associate firms of 150 feet, the company said. In spite of the general decrease in space, the new office consists of room for new hires, Gesas stated.