New York City Shared Legal Office Space - Current Observations

06-04-2016 | by Looking For Space

We are finding a very brisk demand for groups of 4 or more offices available for sublease within the premises of a law firm. If your firm has a group of offices you'd like to rent to a small or solo practice, you should contact us for a Broker Assisted Listing. This will allow you to take advantage of the marketing and negotiating skills provided by a seasoned commercial real estate broker familiar with the marketplace and the customers who are looking for space.

If you have 4,5, or 6 vacant offices, we work with many law firms seeking shared law office space. You can rent offices as a group and provide shared amenities (conference rooms, reception, kitchen, print/copy/scan/fax) and we will do everything required to secure an appropriate subtenant for your available offices. You can even be specific with us about the ideal practice area for the "Guest" firm - and we'll restrict respondents to your specifications.

In New York City there is currently a shortage of small commercial office space available for sublease. In fact, the availability rate has not been this low since the original dot com boom. Well funded Startups and TAMI tenants have, in the last 2 years, devoured most of the good small subleases, immediately as they come to market. It is hard for a small law firm to compete in the bidding from an entity using "OPM". Thus, there is a shortage of small space for law firms which is particularly exacerbated by the trend where Landlords building new spaces are more often than not renovating with an open office style, rather than the office intensive layout required by most law firms. So the competition causing the shortage of prime office sublets appropriate for small law firms is caused both by demand and design trends.

As a result, the dearth of private office space (in the 2000 - 5000 sq. ft. range) for sublease is pushing the demand for groups of 4-6 offices for sublease in shared law office space, where a small firm can move into a larger firm's space, almost on a Plug and Play basis. Frequently the spaces can be furnished or unfurnished so the "Guest" firm is free to either bring their own furnishings or relocate their existing furniture. This often depends on whether or not the "Guest" entity is a brand new firm or an existing law firm. If your firm requires 6 offices (2 partner, 4 associate) and you are looking for separately demised commercial office space of your own, you have to make a space allowance for:

  • Reception area
  • Conference room(s)
  • Workstations
  • Kitchen
  • Copy / Storage / IT closet
  • General circulation

Once you add the space required for these areas, you'll deduce that you require between 2,800 and 4,000 square feet of private commercial office space - depending on the depth of the space and the length of the window-line (i.e. a shallow "L" shaped space with windows on 2 sides will fit 6 windowed offices in less total space than a square office with windows on one side.) The group of available spaces in the "under 5,000 sq. ft." range is exactly the segment that is most impacted by the competitive influences causing the lack of supply.

The most effective alternative, if a suitable sublease or direct lease cannot be found in the appropriate size range, is to rent a group of offices in the premises of another law firm and share legal office space and amenities with a "host" firm that has a vacancy they wish to fill.

If your firm has extra offices you'd like to rent to a compatible attorney or other professional, we can provide the resources necessary to advertise your space directly to small law firms looking for shared legal office space, as well as vet the prospect, accompany you on space inspections, and negotiate your terms and conditions with the subtenant. We'll give you the full palette of professional services offered by our senior brokerage staff, to acquire new subtenants to share your space with - and we'll be there for every step in the process, from photographing and evaluating your space, to providing an agreed upon termsheet for the transaction. This represents an unprecedented opportunity to obtain professional assistance in a market area that is traditionally underserved by the brokerage community. This is our area of specialty and we are proud to offer this service to law firms seeking to rent groups of 4-6 (or more) offices.

Our most recent success story was serving the firm: Tressler LLP, in New York City. We rented a group of 4 windowed offices and 2 workstations, with dedicated file storage space to Gerber Partners, who relocated to One Penn Plaza as a Licensee of Tressler, on June 1. This above standard space is on the 47th floor and each office has panoramic views and great light. The offices were furnished and the shared amenities provided include conference room, reception services, print/copy/scan/fax, etc. We were able to execute the assignment for Tressler in the first month of the assignment - and both parties were very happy with the transaction we negotiated.

If you're considering subleasing extra offices to other attorneys and you'd like to speak to one of the principals from the transaction described above, for a very positive reference, please contact Neal Lerner at: 212 986 9100 or Contact Neal By Email. We manage a full service commercial real estate marketing service that caters to law firms with extra offices for sublease as well as law firms who are looking for new office space. With this unique service a law firm can receive professional assistance pertaining to individual offices that is not generally available for small office space acquisition or disposition - and instead of performing on your own, you can now avail yourself of a full palette of services to rent shared legal office space.

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