SAN FRANCISCO-Farella Braun + Martel LLP, a law firm, has signed a long-term lease renewal at the Russ Building, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, and expanded its headquarters by more than 20,000-sf.

Farella will increase its space at 235 Montgomery St. from 92,000-sf to 112,000-sf under the terms of the new 10-year lease agreement. Farella will occupy the entire high-rise elevator bank of the building, which will be named Farella Tower.

“We are thrilled with the deal,” says Bill Schlinkert, managing partner of Farella Braun + Martel. “In the process of searching for space to occupy after our current lease expires in 2003, we met with BT and were impressed with their ability to assess our needs and help us strategize on issues that were important to us, such as long-term growth. BT was able to strike a deal that allowed us to expand at our current location on favorable terms, giving us a competitive economic advantage for years to come.”

BT Commercial Real Estate/NAI, the firm that represented Farella in the transaction, says that an extremely favorable long-term rate structure was negotiated for the space. BT Commercial declined to reveal what the rate was, but says that significant landlord funding was included in the deal for the improvement of the newly leased space and for the refurbishment of existing space.

“This deal gives Farella a variety of flexibility factors that will enable the firm to intelligently address the inevitable changes that 10 years may bring,” says Greg Fogg. Fogg, managing partner, and Frank Fudem, a senior vice president, of BT Commercial Real Estate were selected to act as Farella’s exclusive representatives in assessing the office market and negotiating the new deal. Adds Fudem, “We were delighted to help Farella obtain a transaction that combines an extremely attractive economic package and extraordinary flexibility, as it allows the firm to add more space as it grows. This was also an excellent deal for the landlord, as it enables them to keep and expand one of San Francisco’s largest and most important law firms.”

The Russ Building is owned in a partnership between the Shorenstein and Swig families, and is a California State Historic Landmark that was completed in 1927, and at 31 stories, stood as the tallest building west of Chicago for 30 years.

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