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SEATTLE-NBBJ’s effort to secure office space for the next decade has gone public.The international architecture firm — whose local projects include the Two Union Square office building and the Major League Baseball stadium Safeco Field — occupies about 90,000 sf in two Pioneer Square buildings, 111 S. Jackson St. and 83 King St.

The majority of the leased space is in the Jackson Street building, and the lease for that space runs out at the end of next year. Signing a deal now would remove concerns about the future and also likely save money, as current asking rates are likely at or below what NBBJ locked in at the last time it singed a lease commitment–especially if it stands to gain some design work from Allen as well.

NBBJ managing partner Scott Wyatt did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, but told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer this week it would “be hard” to leave, but the company must make its decision based the best long-term strategy for the firm. He said the firm is also considering the South Lake Union area, where billionaire Paul Allen has a heavy concentration of ownership, as well as other locations.

Local brokers are split on what the news really means. Some say NBBJ will likely stay put and is just posturing in hopes that the owner of the Pioneer Square building will offer up a lower lease rate or other concessions. Others say NBBJ can get a relatively cheap lease rate these days just about anywhere it wants, let alone free tenant improvements, and one of Paul Allen’s projects at the south end of Lake Union may be just the ticket.

The owners of NBBJ’s existing space say they are hoping to convince NBBJ to stay put, but at least one of them is doing a little posturing of his own. “Their space is very cool and someone else would lease it,” Martin Smith principal Greg Smith, owner of 83 King St., told the P-I.

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