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HOUSTON-McDermott Will & Emery LLP will move to the 39th floor of Wells Fargo Plaza in late August or early September, inking a 25,580-sf, full-floor lease after months of occupying temporary space in the CBD trophy. Talks have produced a lease with at least five years on the term.

Mark O’Donnell, executive vice president for Studley’s Houston team, tells GlobeSt.com that the top-ranked law firm had five class A building options in the CBD when it opened the new shop on the 13th floor of Wells Fargo Plaza at 1000 Louisiana St. and jumped into talks for its 39th floor. Finish-out is underway. “It’s pretty fabulous,” he says about the interior design by Houston-based Gensler.

The deal points are off limits, but O’Donnell confides the three-month round of talks earned 30 parking spaces, more than the norm, as part of the perks. He says parking has been such an issue in the past that the Wells Fargo Plaza has brought on a valet service to remedy the problem and build in incentive for new tenants. According to O’Donnell the 71-story Wells Fargo Plaza, totaling 1.8 million sf, has the highest vacancy of the Downtown class A buildings.

McDermott Will & Emery began looking for class A office space in Houston at the end of 2007. The decision was based, in part, on the building’s image “to help them attract top legal talent,” O’Donnell says.

Law firm partners Scott Arrington, John Cogan, David W. Locascio, Robert Stephens, Jose Luis Vittor and James Wilson had O’Donnell and Studley vice chairman Lois Zambo working its deal. Bonnie Kelley and Dave Hanusa with CB Richard Ellis in Houston represented the owner, New York City-based Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., which has tagged its space in the high $20 per sf, triple net range.

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