LOS ANGELES-The law firm Cooper Phillips & Peterson LLP has signed a 17,621-sf sublease at 444 S. Flower St. that fills the last of the 500,000 sf of British Petroleum sublease space that was on the market, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The 500,000 sf was once occupied by the oil firm Atlantic Richfield Co., or ARCO, which became excess when London-based British Petroleum acquired ARCO in 2000.Cushman & Wakefield’s Kinden Mitchell, who represented the sublandlord and is based in C&W’s Downtown office, tells GlobeSt.com that Cooper Phillips, a newly formed law firm, will occupy the entire 33rd floor at the 48-story glass and chrome Citigroup Center. Total consideration for the nine-year sublease is $2.5 million, with the subtenant represented by John Anthony of Charles Dunn Co. Over a period of three years, Mitchell represented the sublandlord in leasing approximately 125,000 sf of space in the 444 S. Flower St. building, which is now more than 90% occupied. While sublease space remains in Downtown L.A., Mitchell tells GlobeSt.com that he believes the Downtown market has turned the corner with respect to sublease space. “Slowly but surely, the sublease space is being absorbed,” he says.At its peak ARCO occupied more than 50 floors of office space throughout Downtown, notes Mitchell, who has represented BP in the subletting of more than 350,000 sf of office space the firm had at Citigroup Center and ARCO Plaza. The acquisition of ARCO by BP resulted in redundant office space equal to a 25-story office building, which had a tremendous impact on the Downtown office market, Mitchell points out. The excess ARCO space added to what was already a market full of sublease space from consolidations in the banking industry and in other industries that represented some of the biggest tenants in Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown’s Library Tower, for example, was known for a time as First Interstate Tower because the bank maintained its headquarters there before it was swallowed up by Wells Fargo.

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