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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

MIAMI-Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP has signed a 10-year, 115,000-sf lease at the developing Brickell Financial Centre—the largest agreement signed in the South Florida office market so far this year. The total value of the deal is $58M, with rent valued in the low-to-mid $40 per sf range, says Danet Linares, senior vice president and director of real estate services for Foram Group, who handled the transaction on behalf of the landlord. Barbara Liberatore Black and Matthew Goodman of CRESA Partners and John Kuhn from Bilzin Sumberg represented the tenant. Janis Cheezem of Akerman Senterfitt was the attorney representing the landlord in this transaction.

Brickell Financial Centre is the first of the three new class A office buildings under construction in the Downtown Miami/Brickell market to land a major tenant. The others, Rilea Group’s 1450 Brickell and MDM Development’s Met 2, have yet to announce leases.

“It means so much especially because we were the last to come out of the ground and the first to sign out of the three new office buildings under construction,” Linares tells GlobeSt.com. “A lot of tenants were out there waiting to see what would happen with the new buildings, and now we have a prestigious law firm that has committed to moving their headquarters to our building. It adds credibility and shows what a quality asset the building is. There’s no stopping us now,” she beams.

As a special, surprise gift to the tenant, Foram presented a smart car for being the first ‘smart’ tenant in the building, which will seek LEED gold certification from the US Green Building Council upon scheduled completion in January 2010. “We think that the commitment to LEED energy conservation and the commitment of the owners to the quality of the buildings, which they intend to make their national headquarters, is significant,” says John C. Sumberg, managing partner at Bilzin Sumberg. Bilzin Sumberg is currently headquartered at the Wachovia Financial Center at 200 S Biscayne Blvd in Downtown Miami, where it occupies 85,000 sf.

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