ssh real estate represents pond lehocky stern giordano in 52000 sf



ssh real estate represents pond lehocky stern giordano in 52000 sf
Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, the largest Workers Compensation and
Social Security Disability law firm in the region, engaged SSH Real Estate
in January 2013 to help evaluate and identify its new headquarters. The
rapidly growing firm was located in 30,000 SF at United Plaza, 30 S. 17th
Street, Philadelphia, PA, with 2 years remaining on its lease.
Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano was formed in 2010 and grew from 6
attorneys and 22 staff to over 180 employees within 3 years. The firm
expanded from 7,000 SF to 25,000 SF and was in the process of taking
additional space to occupy a full 30,000 SF floor.
Having been represented previously by a national tenant representation
only company, the firm was frustrated with the time, money and resources
they were utilizing to complete their short term expansions. They needed
to hire a real estate advisor capable of solving both the short term needs
and the big picture challenge of identifying and structuring a long term
lease in the best possible office building to accommodate their
continued growth.
Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano quickly realized that SSH Real Estate’s full
service platform would become their “in-house real estate department”,
which would save the firm money, valuable time and energy that was
being spent by the managing partner and key administrative employees.
SSH Real Estate’s in-house space planner and construction manager
went to work immediately completing space plans and overseeing the
construction of the 5,000 SF expansion.
Once the immediate need was satisfied we focused on the long term
goals, and invested the time, up front, to fully understand the firm’s
culture, history and future business plan. SSH’s in-house space planner
attended all meetings and was instrumental in helping produce programs
and sample lay-outs which incorporated the firm’s 2, 3, and 5 year growth
projections. Having an accurate picture of these needs for this dynamic,
growing firm was a critical first step in order to accomplish the long term
goals of the firm.
One result of this process was that the firm has two distinct business
units; the Workers Compensation group and Social Security and Disability
group. The Workers Compensation group required a more traditional law
firm layout with perimeter offices, impressive conference rooms and a
large reception area. A smaller floor plate with a high window ratio and
great views for this high-end practice would be ideal. The Social Security
and Disability group’s needs were the opposite: a large open floor plan
with limited private offices was required.
This led to an in depth evaluation of the following considerations: split
operations in 2 different buildings in the city, split to one suburban building
and one in the city, or stay in one building in the city.
After an extensive analysis including numerous test-fit floor plans,
demographic studies of employees transportation patterns, financial
analysis of suburban options, including lease/purchase analysis, it was
determined that the best solution was to have everyone in one building in
Center City Philadelphia. However, we concluded that the business groups
could be separated on non-contiguous floors which created more options
for the firm since large blocks of space have become scarce in Center
City Philadelphia.
SSH Real Estate helped identify and evaluate a full range of buildings that
could meet the firm’s needs in the Market West Submarket, starting with
a list of approximately 45 buildings, then inspecting 15 and ultimately
narrowing it to a short list of 5 including an expansion/renewal at United
Plaza. A major benefit to the firm during the building selection process
was having SSH Real Estate’s space planner present at all meetings and
tours in order to advise on the efficiency and desirability of the floor plates
of the various options.
“The SSH team are true professionals and made this very
challenging journey not only one that was painless, but one that
eventually was a total success. Their diligence, perseverance,
patience and expertise are unmatched and I have dealt with
many professionals over the years.”
– Samuel H. Pond, Managing Partner
After careful analysis, the firm chose to relocate to 52,000 SF on the 3rd,
18th and 19th floors of One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, a
trophy asset that offered all of the quality attributes, amenities and
flexibility for growth that the firm was seeking. The building also offered
the ideal combination of different floor sizes to accommodate the two
very different requirements of the distinct practice groups.
Since the 3rd floor space had limited views which made it more
challenging to lease for the landlord, we were able to structure extremely
favorable terms (rate, free rent, T.I. allowance) that when blended with
the high rise floors were comparable to the overall economics of the other
inferior buildings under consideration. Another challenge that arose was
the building abruptly sold to Brandywine Realty Trust after negotiations
had commenced. Having an excellent relationship and credibility with
Brandywine Realty Trust, we were able to keep the transaction on track
while smoothly navigating the ownership transition, SSH’s in-house legal
counsel handled the entire lease negotiation saving the firm additional
money and structuring advantageous lease terms.
SSH’s legal, space planning and construction management team
interviewed and helped the firm select and negotiate the contracts for
the various venders who will be completing the construction, including;
the architect and engineers. SSH will continue to provide oversight of
the architectural and construction process on behalf of the firm until the
move-in date.
Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano will be moving to their new headquarters
in late 2014 which will feature 52,000 SF on 3 different floors including a
dramatic outdoor terrace on the 18th floor for dining and entertainment.
SSH Real Estate structured expansion options on all contiguous floors
allowing the firm the ultimate flexibility for future growth.
“Choosing SSH as our broker was one of the best decisions that
our Firm has ever made. With all the thanks of our leadership and
the partnership, we are truly grateful and appreciative.”
– Samuel H. Pond, Managing Partner
Center City Philadelphia:
123 South Broad Street
8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19109
T (215) 893-3000
F (215) 893-1466
Suburban Philadelphia:
Two Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road,
Suite 107
Radnor, PA 19087
T (610) 995-1010
F (610) 995-1017

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