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BOSTON-In what is being touted as the largest downtown lease this quarter, Nixon Peabody, one of the largest multi-practice law firms in the country, is leasing 167,000 sf of office space at 100 Summer St. Lease rates for this deal were not available, but average asking rents for similar space in the city is at about $42 per sf.

The deal will most likely leave Equity Office Properties, the owner of the one million sf building, with mixed feelings. Nixon Peabody recently acquired Hutchins, Wheeler and Dittmar, both of whom were previously located in 264,000 sf at 101 Federal St., another building owned by Equity Office. The move will enable the two firms to consolidate, but will leave about 58% of the 562,000-sf 101 Federal vacant.

Steve Murphy and Tim Lyne from Insignia/ESG represented Nixon Peabody and Bill Anderson represented Equity Office in the transaction.

The deal is an important one for the city which continues to experience relatively high vacancy rates, According to Codman Co.’s most recent report overall availability rates is at 16.9%. The figure includes over 3.5 million sf of sublease space.

Nestor M. Nicholas, managing partner of Nixon Peabody says, “Our firm’s expansion this year drove the search for space that would not only accommodate this recent expansion, but enable us to fulfill our plans for future growth.”

Other office tenants in the building are Fidelity Investments, Sherin & Lodgen LLP and Thornton & Naumes LLP. Nixon Peabody is taking over space that Fidelity gave up.

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