SAN DIEGO-National law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP has leased 120,000 sf in a 26-story high-rise office and mixed-use development by Lankford & Associates Inc. Construction is scheduled to begin Downtown in mid 2002.

The firm’s 250-person San Diego office will occupy the top six floors of the project, dubbed, Broadway 655. The office previously signed a letter of intent in June for the city-approved, $150 million development. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“This is the right project, in the right location, and with strong sponsorship,” says John Stoia, a managing partner of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. “This is a very gratifying step of the process and will enable the personnel of the San Diego office of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach to occupy state-of-the-art office space enjoying some of the most commanding viewsavailable in downtown San Diego.”

The agreement to take about 30% of the leasable square footage “reinforces our expectation to break ground for the project as scheduled in spring 2002, with completion anticipated in 2004,” says Rob Lankford, president of San Diego-headquartered Lankford & Associates.

Lankford says he is negotiating with several other potential tenants, whose combined commitment “will take us over the 50% preleased milestone nearly six months ahead of groundbreaking.”

The Southern California division of Greeley, Colo.-based Hensel Phelps Construction Co. is providing pre-construction services for the project and will be the general contractor.

The transaction was handled by Milberg Weiss¹s exclusive real estate representative, Jason Hughes, principal of San Diego-based Irving Hughes. Presently located at the One America Plaza building in downtown San Diego, the law firm will soon move to 100,000 sf of space in downtown¹s Wells Fargo Plaza until the completion of Broadway 655.

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