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Law firm Silver & Freedman ready to kiss Century City goodbye

November 17, 2010 |  7:29 pm

In an unusual move in the commercial real estate world, a Century City law firm announced Wednesday that it is looking for new offices outside of the neighborhood.

Businesses contemplating a move usually stay mum about their plans and let their real estate brokers work behind quietly behind the scenes. Silver & Freedman, however, announced in a press release that it is ready to flee its gilded coop in Century Plaza Towers.Century City Towers

The law firm specializing in business matters has been in Century City for 35 years. The area's  appeal has worn thin for partners Barry Weisz and Ken Field, who insist they are not just trying to squeeze a better rent deal out landlord JPMorgan Chase & Co. by publicly proclaiming their intentions.

“There are a number of things we don’t love about Century City,” Weisz said.

Substantial new residential and office construction is planned, which would be disruptive, the partners said. It can still take an exasperating amount of time to get to a freeway from Century City, even after a large-scale widening of Santa Monica Boulevard earlier in the decade. Then there is the dauntingly tight security in the 1970s-era twin towers, which were designed by the same architect who designed the World Trade Center in New York. Thorough vehicle inspections during entry to the underground garage can slow visitors down.

The lawyers are trying to find a subtenant for their 26,000 square feet on the 19th floor of the north tower while they look for a similar space closer to the 405 Freeway, they said.

Century City remains one of the region’s most expensive and desirable office markets, with average asking rents of more than $3.87 per square foot a month, according to a report by brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. Vacancy there was more than 13% in the third quarter, up slightly from a year earlier but well below the Los Angeles County average of 18.5%.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo: Century Plaza Towers. Credit: CB Richard Ellis Co.