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LONG BEACH, CA-Five office tenants have signed leases for more than 65,000 square feet of space in a series of deals at Landmark Square, a 24-story, 443,000-square-foot office tower at 111 W. Ocean Blvd. in Downtown Long Beach that is owned by Brookfield Properties. The leases ranged from a 38,000-square-foot headquarters renewal by Perkowitz+Ruth Architects to a new lease for 2,000 square feet by a local law firm.

Mike McKeever of the Downtown L.A. office of UGL Equis, who represented Perkowitz+Ruth, tells GlobeSt.com that the architectural firm, which has been in the Landmark Square building since the 1990s, signed an early renewal for its space. The new lease is for slightly less space than the firm previously leased and includes a consolidation of the architectural firm’s Orange County operations into the Long Beach headquarters.

“The tenant and the landlord worked together to restructure the lease,” McKeever says. He says that the new deal provides rental relief for Perkowitz+Ruth for the next two years in exchange for the long-term commitment by the architectural firm, whose previous lease was due to expire in 2011. Leases like the Perkowitz+Ruth deal benefit both the tenant and the landlord, McKeever says. The tenant is stronger financially, and the landlord doesn’t have to face a renegotiation in late 2010 or 2011, when the market will be at least as challenging if not more so, he explains.

“Landlords who are doing things to retain tenants now rather than waiting 12 to 36 months are smart because the market is going to be flat at best over the next couple of years,” McKeever says. In addition, he points out, “There are not a lot of new tenants out there, so it’s smart for landlords to work with the tenants they have.”

Terms of the Perkowitz+Ruth lease and the other four deals were not disclosed. In the other four deals, Halbert Hargrove Investment Counsel renewed its headquarters office lease for 12,500 square feet; Merrill Lynch renewed its lease for approximately 7,500 square feet; Plains All American Pipeline signed a new lease for nearly 6,000 square feet, relocating its Western Region Marketing headquarters from Anaheim; and local law firm Matsuk, Fuller & Montes de Oca signed a new lease for nearly 2,000 square feet. Halbert Hargrove was represented by Kimball Wasick and Bob Alperin of Cushman & Wakefield; Merrill Lynch was represented by Kamil Agha of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Brookfield Properties was represented internally in all five of the leases by Toliver Morris and John Barganski. According to Brookfield SVP Bert Dezzutti, the building is now at 92% occupancy. “Given these challenging economic times, it’s a welcome accomplishment to see so much activity,” Dezzutti says of the office tower, which is part of a Brookfield Southern California portfolio of six properties totaling 5.7 million square feet.

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