Cozen O’ Connor
Location1900 Market Street; 1650 Market Street
Size203,000 Square Feet; 200,000 Square Feet
Cozen O’Connor, ranked one of the 100 largest law firms in the country, hired SSH Real Estate in 2008 to evaluate its real estate options. Working closely with Cozen’s in-house real estate team, SSH conducted a comprehensive search to explore all options, including renewal, relocation, and a new construction for the Philadelphia-based law firm.
After an in-depth review of its options, Cozen decided to renew its lease. The first step was to negotiate for a five-year renewal at favorable terms. However, if unsuccessful, the firm had the ability to exercise its five-year option through binding arbitration, which would set lease terms at “fair market value.” After a comprehensive review, the law firm opted for binding arbitration and won when it was determined that the renewal offered by the landlord was significantly above fair market value. .
This win allowed the firm to reduce its occupancy costs by millions of dollars annually. While binding arbitration is available in most leases as an alternative resolution, tenants are often reluctant to use it, fearing the results if they lose. However, SSH’s comprehensive, reasoned approach gave Cozen the confidence it needed to pursue and secure the favorable outcome.
Within months after winning the arbitration at 1900 Market Street, SSH was re-engaged by Cozen O’Connor to begin evaluating its long-term options in the market. While enjoying substantial occupancy cost savings for the next five years, the firm decided it wanted to relocate to a trophy office building which would better reflect the firm’s image.
Knowing that several large law firms would face lease expirations in a similar time frame, SSH assisted Cozen O’Connor through a myriad of scenarios, which helped the firm understand that it would need to enter the market early to take advantage of the next opportunity.
SSH reached out to the brokerage team at One Liberty Place and several other trophy buildings to inform them of Cozen’s interest should they be able to assemble 200,000 square feet within a three-year time frame. When the law firm of Reed Smith decided to relocate to Three Logan from One Liberty Place, ownership was able to make several contiguous floors available to meet Cozen O’Connor’s space requirements.
A lease was successfully negotiated at terms highly favorable to the firm with a move date in June 2015 which coincided with its current lease expiration at 1900 Market Street. This resulted in the firm securing a long-term home for its corporate headquarters. This arrangement will allow the firm to continue to grow, prosper and attract top level talent for the next 20 years.
Due to this successful experience, Cozen has chosen SSH to represent and assist them several more times, including a 8,227 SF lease renewal at 1201 North Market Street in Wilmington DE and a 5,078 SF relocation at 17 North 2nd Street (Market Square Plaza) in Harrisburg PA.
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