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NEWARK, NJ-Many observers have been saying that the legal profession is the most active tenant category in a generally slow office market, and a major lease just inked at one of this city’s top office buildings does nothing to dispel that notion. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP, a leading national law practice, has just signed a new lease for 52,148 sf comprising two full floors at One Newark Center.

In the transaction, building owner the Gale Co. of Florham Park, NJ was represented in-house by Tim Greiner, associate vice president of leasing. Kirkpatrick & Lockart was represented by Tom Palestina of Palestina Properties, Bloomfield, NJ. No financial details of the transaction were released, although available space at One Newark Center has been listed by Gale at $34 per sf. Length of the term was also not disclosed.

“This lease transaction points to the desirability of One Newark Center, especially among law firms, given the proximity of the Newark Club and the Seton Hall Law School, both of which are situated within the building,” according to Greiner.

Built in the early ’90s, One Newark Center is a class A mixed-use building totaling some 635,000 sf of space on 22 floors. The asset, whose floorplates generally average slightly over 25,000 sf, currently has 50,000 sf available for immediate lease, according to Greiner.

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart is a national organization of approximately 700 attorneys, including 257 partners. The firm opened its New Jersey office in 2000 with four partners and will move into One Newark Center with approximately 30 lawyers and room to grow to more than 70. Besides Newark, where it had previously occupied space at the Newark Legal Center, the firm has offices in Boston; Dallas; Harrisburg, PA; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.

For its part, Gale currently maintains a portfolio of more than 50 million sf and a tenant list that includes names like GlaxoSmithKline, UPS, General Motors and Siemens. The company also maintains joint venture investment relationships with Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, UBS and Praedium Fund.

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