Wells Fargo Center signs law firm McDermott Will in new towers' battle
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Recently-named Wells Fargo Center has signed law firm McDermott Will & Emery — another strike in two new towers' tenant battle.
The 750,000-square-foot office building recently lassoed Wells Fargo & Co. for four office floors and named the building for the banking firm.
This follows competing tower 1450 Brickell's May announcement adding eight tenants to its roster.
At the 47-story office building at 333 Avenue of the Americas in downtown Miami, about 300,000 square feet have been leased, said Jack Lowell, the leasing agent.
This includes international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, which just signed to occupy one floor that's about 25,000 square feet, said Mr. Lowell, vice president of Flagler Real Estate Services.
The law firm's offices are now at Miami Center, 201 S Biscayne Blvd. McDermott Will & Emery office manager Marilyn Collazo was said to be on vacation.
Calls to tenant advisory firm CresaPartners' Barbara Liberatore Black, who represented the tenant, weren't returned.
The remaining 60% of the building isn't yet leased, Mr. Lowell said, adding he's working on several prospective deals that are in various stages of the leasing process.
"It's been an active month for us," he said.
In early July, MDM Development, the project's developer, announced it had leased four floors totaling about 100,000 square feet to Wells Fargo, which now owns Wachovia.
Wells Fargo hasn't disclosed the exact square footage it has leased but the building has 25,000-square-foot floor plans. The tenant also took the building's naming rights, as it becomes Wells Fargo Center.
So far, the tower has five announced tenants: McDermott Will & Emery; Wells Fargo; international law firm Greenberg Traurig; international accounting and consulting firm Deloitte; and Business Centers International.
Greenberg Traurig is to occupy its offices this fall. But the latest tenants inked, McDermott Will & Emery and Wells Fargo, are to move in next year as build-out has yet to begin in their spaces, Mr. Lowell said.
On the other side of the Miami River, 1450 Brickell has filled 200,000 square feet with 12 tenants on board and has several more leases in the pipeline.
With those pending leases, the 582,817-square-foot office tower is going to be over 50% leased, said Tere Blanca, president of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, the leasing agent.
"Our expectation is that we will be over 60% occupied by year's end," she said. "That's our internal goal, and our indicators are that we are going to make it."
Today, the building is about 35% leased. Leasing rates range from $40 to $50 per square foot on a gross basis.
1450 Brickell's largest tenant so far is law firm Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, which is expected to move into its 80,000 square feet of offices in October, Ms. Blanca said.
Several other tenants are to follow soon after, she said, as the goal is to have all signed tenants in the building by the first quarter of 2011.
Signed tenants at the 35-story tower include H.I.G. Capital, a private investment firm; Kempler Energy, a trading company specializing in energy supply and distribution; Spanish bank Bancaja; and law firm Ratzan & Rubio.
Puerto Madero, the building's full-service Argentine steakhouse and seafood restaurant, is already under construction and expected to open by November.
Negotiations are also under way, Ms. Blanca said, to bring to the building "an experienced operator to provide a breakfast and lunch menu that we will like to offer the tenants."