Womble Bond Dickinson had been in its Downtown Raleigh location for over 20 years in 2013. We began the process to evaluate a lease extension in the current location 2 ½ years prior to the lease expiration along with other potential alternatives given their size and available options which were few in the Downtown Central Business District. Our job as the firm’s real estate team was to research alternatives that the firm’s internal committee outlined as significant for their new Raleigh office which included a location that would enhance the firm’s presence, desired amenities, opportunity to create more contiguous interaction and outside awareness and greater firm efficiency and flexibility in their work environment through the use of technology and the need to “right size” given this trend in sound law firm management.
The client made the decision to relocate after a review of 6 potential new projects were reviewed and toured. Serious consideration was given to 3 new developments that were in design all of which desired a pre-lease commitment and lead time for new construction. Additionally, the current landlord was willing to take back space prior to their lease expiration and re-configure the space to create greater efficiency and generate more natural light opportunities. After months of negotiations and rounds of proposals and counter offers the decision was made to remain in the CBD taking the top two floors of Charter Square. This relocation would provide marquee signage on the building visible from the McDowell/Dawson corridor into downtown a much more efficient design that would lower occupancy cost as well as being more convenient to the myriad new restaurants, financial institutions, hotels and convention center activity on Fayetteville Street, main street in Raleigh’s CBD.