Century City is winning the leasing game for law firms—at least compared to Downtown Los Angeles, the other major a L.A. hub for law companies. According to the annual law firm report from JLL, Century City office vacancy rates are at a historical low of 8.8% with limited availability of full-floor spaces and no new construction. By comparison, Los Angeles has a nearly 20% vacancy rate with nearly 300,000 square feet of space coming onto the market in the next 18 months.

“In terms of transaction economics, it is a simple matter of supply and demand,” Tom McDonald, EVP at JLL, tells GlobeSt.com about the Century City market. “The class-A sector of the Century City off market is slightly more than 7.7 million square feet, compared to the LA CBD’s top-23 buildings, totaling 21 million square feet. Century City’s current direct vacancy rate is 7.1%, while downtown’s tops 21%.”

Location is a major driver of law firm leasing activity in Century City. Many who work in the sector live in West L.A. cities. “For those in the legal service sector who reside in West Los Angeles, Century City offers a significant geographic advantage over downtown Los Angeles,” adds McDonald. “Commute time, to and from home, is anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes less than traveling to the CBD.  This translates into several more billable hours each week. While Century City rents are as much as $9.00 per square foot higher per year than similar quality high-rises in downtown, the annual rental difference can be made up in short order via the enhanced productivity, and therefor billable hours.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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