Portland market dominated by law firms

Law firms are on the move in Portland, Ore.

About 12.7 percent of Portland, Ore.'s class-A office space is occupied by law firms, according to a recent report from Jones Lang LaSalle, and six firms are housed in 50,000 square feet of space or more. The report showed that firms around the country are shrinking their footprints to make more efficient use of space.

The state's biggest law firm is Stoel Rives, which is the only one in Portland to occupy more than 100,000 square feet, and it's not stopping there: It is soon moving into an office that sprawls over 131,000 square feet.

The firm recently signed a lease to move into the Park Avenue West Tower, so developer TMT Development was able to secure a construction loan to resume construction in early 2014, The Oregonian reported. The development had been delayed by the stagnant economy since 2009, but it's now moving along.

The newspaper reported that Stoel Rives may now have to pay higher rent, but because the company signed on to occupy the building while it's still in development, it could influence how the rest of the building shakes out. The firm will occupy the tower's top nine floors, atop which will be a rooftop terrace where partners and attorneys can entertain clients.

The Jones Lang LaSalle report showed that about 9.5 percent of law firms in Portland are examining their options and considering moves to new spaces. Perkins Coie is on the hunt for about 70,000 square feet of space and Barran Liebman is in need of 16,000 square feet, The Oregonian reported. However, in the years to come, landlords will have the upper hand in terms of rent negotiations as these large firms look for new space.

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