BOSTON-Washington Mutual Bank is leasing 7,162 sf at 101 Federal St. in a deal that, while small, is good news for a building that is about to lose one of its anchor tenants. Average asking lease rates for the building are currently about the high $30s per sf, down from the $50s per sf it was getting two years ago.

Andrew J. Maher, vice president, and Nathanael G. Kessler, associate, of CB Richard Ellis/Whittier Partners represented Washington Mutual Bank in the transaction while property owner, Equity Office Properties was represented by its in-house representatives Ryan Enright and Lauria Brennan.

Maher tells that the 551,000-sf building, located in the heart of the city’s financial district, is about to have a 58% vacancy because Nixon Peabody LLP, which was leasing 264,000 sf in the building, is relocating to 100 Summer St., another building owned by Equity. The law firm recently acquired Hutchins, Wheeler and Dittmar and is in the process of consolidating the two firms. With this vacancy, the building will have 317,000 sf available.

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