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MIAMI-Locally based law powerhouse Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP will become the first tenant in the 35-story 1450 Brickell office tower, slated for completion early next year. The firm will move into 80,000 square feet in January 2011, after its current lease at Wachovia Financial Center expires.

Blanca Commercial Real Estate represented building owner Rilea Group in lease negotiations, while Bilzin Sumberg was represented by CresaPartners. The lease term is for 15 years but no financial details were disclosed.

“This law firm is a blue-chip tenant in our market,” Tere Blanca, president and CEO of Blanca CRE, tells GlobeSt.com. She expects interest in 1450 Brickell to pick up substantially now that the building has signed its first marquee tenant.

Actually, the 576,379-square-foot building has plenty of tenant prospects: “We have more activity than we can accommodate,” Blanca says. “A lot of prospects have been playing the wait-and-see game.”

One of three skyscrapers currently under way in Downtown Miami, 1450 Brickell is expected to open ahead of Met 2 and Brickell Financial Center. Blanca believes current tenants within the city’s central business district will be drawn to the newer buildings, which will add up to two million square feet of inventory.

Bilzin Sumberg will occupy four upper floors in 1450 Brickell, which features green elements as well as protection from hurricane-force winds. “The building has strong ownership, advanced construction quality, and innovative and sustainable design that will enhance our quality of life and the efficiency of our operations,” says John Sumberg, the firm’s managing principal.

Although class A office rents in the Miami CBD are still near $40 per square foot, Blanca declines to say whether Bilzin Sumberg received any breaks or concessions for being the first tenant at 1450 Brickell. “It was a fair transaction for both sides,” she says.

Blanca notes that the building’s strong financial position should serve as a draw to tenants during uncertain times. Financing is provided by a pool of banks led by Spanish-based Bancaja.

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