After exploring a number of leasing opportunities in Manhattan, Jones Day will be relocating its New York City office downtown. The global law firm has signed a 20-year lease with Brookfield Office Properties for 330,000 square feet at 250 Vesey St., at Brookfield Place. The move is expected to take place in early 2016.

Since March 2002, Jones Day has been a tenant at 222 E. 41st St. The firm also has space at 220 E. 42nd St. and 605 Third Ave. for other functions. Altogether, the firm currently leases about 425,075 square feet.

Consolidating the three locations to 250 Vesey St., Jones Day has leased the top portion of Brookfield’s 34-story, 1.8 million-square-foot tower. Its offices will occupy the 27th through 34th floors; some of the floors have terraces.

In deciding whether to renew its current lease, the firm “explored available opportunities” that would allow it to “design a more efficient, state-of-the-art facility and provide for future growth,” said Wesley Johnson, partner-in-charge of the New York office.

As Jones Day learned more about “downtown’s ongoing redevelopment plans,” the firm saw “a future for its office in this exciting area of the city,” Johnson added.

Jones Day was represented in-house by Brian Sedlak, partner, and associate Trisha Mowbray, in the Chicago office.

Brookfield was represented in-house by Kathleen Kane, senior vice president and general counsel; Monica Lawless, vice president leasing counsel; and Ralph Toussie, vice president and associate counsel. Meyer Last, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, and associate Jennifer Yashar were outside counsel for Brookfield.

The asking rate for class-A office buildings in the downtown area near Brookfield Place is about $54 per square foot, according to Studley Inc.’s November report. Studley brokered the lease for Jones Day.

“Jones Day’s decision to relocate from Midtown is yet another example of a firm migrating downtown for its unique lifestyle and transit offerings paired with appealing economics,” Dennis Friedrich, Brookfield’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The $250-million repositioning program of Brookfield Place, which spans 945,000 square feet, includes retail and common areas with the opening of 14 fast-casual eateries, six sit-down restaurants, a waterfront marketplace and more than 30 retailers. The complex’s new glass pavilion entrance on West Street connects to the World Trade Center transit hub, which opened to the public last month.

Brookfield presented a “competitive economic package” with “flexible expansion options” Johnson said. The firm is assembling a project team of architects, contractors and consultants to design the new space that includes large floor plates with impressive views. One of the firm’s goals was to “reduce occupancy costs by designing a more efficient space,” he added.

Jones Day, which dates back to 1893 with the founding of Blandin & Rice in Cleveland, has grown to 40 offices worldwide. The firm provides a full range of legal services to local, national and global clients.

The New York City office, the firm’s largest, opened in 1986. As of October, 280 attorneys were based in Manhattan with an overall total of 2,550 attorneys firmwide.

The new lease “reflects Jones Day’s commitment to the sustained growth of our New York office and practice, and our conviction that New York City will continue to be the hub of the world’s most sophisticated and high value legal work in the years ahead,” said Johnson.

Brookfield’s portfolio has interests in 114 properties, totaling 85 million square feet in two dozen cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and Sydney.

Mitchell Steir, chairman and CEO of Studley, and Matthew Barlow and David Goldstein, executive vice presidents and directors, acted on behalf of Jones Day.

Brookfield’s Larry Larkin, senior vice president, and David Cheiken, vice president, leasing and asset management, internally handled the lease.