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Better Days

Better Days
Studley?s Andy Lechter has been tearing it up on the tenant rep side, so we figured we?d better go see him and find out if all his business means we're in recovery mode.
Studley?s Andy Lechter
We snapped this yesterday at his Buckhead office. A long-time Studley broker who now runs its Atlanta shop, Andy says the mood in the marketplace is improving. A year ago, businesses didn't want to commit to leases, even for a good deal. ?Now, the economy has stabilized, the favorable real estate deals are still there, and people are more in a frame of mind to take advantage of them.? From Andy's viewpoint, opportunities are particularly sweet in Atlanta, where building quality is high and rents are low, relative both to other cities and pro forma.
Better Days
Andy reps a lot of law firms, including Thompson Hine, which (as we reported) recently singed a deal at Two Alliance Center. We asked him for real estate trends in this niche, and he shared a foursome: (1) Firms are taking advantage of the market and getting favorable terms. (2) Having dramatically slowed hiring from law schools, firms are less likely to take extra space in anticipation of growth. (3) Firms are spending less on build out. They might still spend $100 PSF on a few high-profile spots—then just $30 per SF on the rest. (4) Firms are taking less space per attorney. Attorney offices often are smaller and support staff is allocated less space.