PHOENIX-Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP will relocate to the 2.5-million-sf CityScape, becoming the second office tenant to reserve a spot in the mixed-use development in the CBD. The prestigious law firm has secured 80,000 sf with a 10-year lease for the project’s 600,000-sf tower, which is due to deliver in late 2009.

Robert L. Matia, Phoenix managing partner for the Cleveland-based firm, says the move to 1 E. Washington St. isn’t an expansion as much as it’s a reconfiguration although the new lease does provide 10,000 sf more than what the firm now has. In weighing its options, the firm did consider renovating its existing office at 40 N. Central Ave., one block north of CityScape.

A recent expansion and tenant improvements “caused such a substantial disruption in service, it confirmed that we didn’t want to live through a renovation of four floors,” Matia tells GlobeSt.com. “This was a question of a complete redo of our space. Those who have ever lived through a renovation of an office they’re trying to work in know it can be difficult.”

Matia says the firm, with nearly 30 years in the Downtown, and CB Richard Ellis senior vice president Charles Nixon looked at potential sites all across the metro, with an emphasis on Scottsdale, Camelback Corridor and Midtown submarkets. But, the Downtown still won. He says CityScape’s location on the light rail line and its employee amenities also sealed the deal for the new tenant.

In inking the deal, Squire Sanders will be joining Wachovia Corp., which signed a 70,000-sf lease in October when CityScape broke ground. Square Sanders will get the top four floors of the 27-story tower. Wachovia is taking floors four through six. CityScape is being developed by Scottsdale-based RED Development LLC.

The CBRE team of executive vice presidents James B. Fijan and Jerry Roberts, are quoting $36.50 per sf, with $40 per sf for tenant improvements, for CityScape’s office space. “We’re working with three or four prospective tenants ranging from 20,000 sf to 100,000 sf,” says Keith Earnest, RED’s vice president of development, who added that activity is going well on the retail side too.

“We’re going through the merchandising roll on the retail side right now to make sure we have a good mix of credit tenants. We should be ready to make more announcements in the next 60 to 90 days.”