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PHILADELPHIA-Locally based Omicron Consulting inks a lease for 30,600 sf, the entire 23rd floor, of 1700 Market St., a class A, 32-story tower owned by Chicago-based Equity Office Properties, which is looking for a buyer. “There was nothing ordinary about this transaction,” Judson Wambold, who negotiated for Omicron, tells GlobeSt.com.

Wambold is a co-founder of Radner, PA-based Tactix Real Estate Advisors. He negotiated for Omicron with Equity’s Todd Monahan, who is based here. He has high praise for Monahan’s efforts, and Monahan tells GlobeSt.com the feelings are mutual. “Jud’s a great real estate attorney, and we explored a lot of issues that aren’t often explored,” says Monahan.

Omicron’s CEO, Randy Pritzker, insisted on an 8.5-year term, wanted exterior building signage, a full floor, and the owner to pay for and provide complete fit-out including furniture. “This term-length and the other requirements don’t mesh with real estate custom, so I told him he was trying to fit a round peg in the square-hole of traditional five- or 10-year leases,” Wambold says, “but I never second-guess a CEO.” Pritzker also wanted the renovation to begin the day the departing tenant moved out, “an extremely accelerated schedule,” Wambold says.

“The tenant didn’t want to pay for a month of holdover at Centre Square,” Monahan says, “so we negotiated a lease with a condensed construction schedule so the space would be ready in less than nine weeks, by August 1.” It calls for removing a staircase linking adjacent floors occupied by Deloitte, which is downsizing in the same building. “We are able to re-use some existing materials to stretch the (Omicron) TI dollars,” he adds.

To further complicate matters, in the midst of negotiations, Equity told Monahan of plans to sell the building. “Having touted the benefits of leasing from this owner, Monahan, to his credit, told us right away that Equity was going to sell. I think the forthrightness actually impressed Pritzker,” Wambold adds. “People like honesty.”

“This is too small a city to keep secrets,” Monahan says. “They could have walked, but it’s a beautiful space, and, with tenants like AIG, Deloitte and others here, a buyer will maintain the building well.” Both Monahan and Wambold confirm that the asking rental rate is $22 per sf and, without elaborating, say concessions were made. “The market is relatively soft, and this transaction is good for everyone,” says Monahan. Despite growing Downtown vacancies, with the Omicron lease, 1700 Market St. remains 95% occupied, and Equity’s other Downtown property, 1601 Market St., also handled by Monahan, is 99% leased.

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