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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-Leasing momentum at the 300,000-sf CityPlace Tower continues with the signing of a 12,860-sf lease by Miami-based law firm Shutts & Bowen LLP. It is the third lease signed for the $110-million project, which began construction in May.

The law firm plans to relocate its West Palm Beach office from Clearlake Centre on Australian Avenue to the 11th floor of the 14-story CityPlace Tower when the building opens in early 2008. Bert Sanders, managing principal of the Atlanta and Miami offices of Newmark Knight Frank, represented Shutts & Bowen in the transaction. CityPlace Tower was represented by Crocker Partners senior vice president Angelo Bianco and senior vice president, director of leasing Jon Blunk.

“We picked this building for a number of reasons,” managing partner of Shutts & Brown’s West Palm Beach office Arthur Menor tells GlobeSt.com. “We believe this is going to be the premier office in West Palm Beach.”

Menor adds that the close proximity to CityPlace, with restaurants, shops and other offerings, was another factor as well as its hurricane-resistant qualities. “For our purposes, the superior technological capabilities that CityPlace Tower affords its tenants are the best advantage of all,” Menor says.

CityPlace Tower is a project by New York City-based the Related Cos. LP and Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners. It will be the first class A office tower built in West Palm Beach since 1989. Blunk tells GlobeSt.com that, in addition to Shutts & Bowen, InTech has signed a 51,000-sf lease for the top two floors of the building and Carlton Fields has signed a 26,648-sf lease for the 12th floor. It is anticipated that two more leases will be finalized this week, a 7,000-sf lease for the 10th floor and a 10,000-sf lease for the eighth floor.

With the leases, the building is approximately 40% preleased. “This is not typically a prelease market. Usually you begin with a vacant building and fill it up,” Blunk says. “To be 40% preleased at this stage is unheard of.”

Blunk attributes the leasing activity to tight leasing conditions in Palm Beach and the lack of new office construction. Developers plan to begin erecting steel by the end of October with topping out anticipated in March.

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