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Renovations of law firms today often involve far more than a new coat of paint and updated furniture; Heller Ehrman experienced complications bringing 21st-century technology into a 19th-century building; larger and larger law firms raise tricky questions involving real estate; and public-private partnerships are helping renew some of D.C.’s neighborhoods.
• Time to Make Some Changes? Renovations of law firms today often involve far more than a new coat of paint and updated furniture. In fact, conference rooms with wireless Internet access, centralized reception areas, and �town center’ lounges show that firms are using renovations to redefine who they are and what they care about. • A Preservation Renovation Heller Ehrman wanted to make its debut in Washington with an office that said, �We’ve been around a long time and we’re here to stay.’ That’s why it bought a historic town house on Rhode Island Avenue and constructed attorney offices behind it. There were a few complications, though, with bringing 21st-century technology into a 19th-century building. • As Firms Merge and Grow Mergers are creating larger and larger law firms. While that may be good for a firm’s overall financial strength, it also raises trickier questions involving real estate. In a tight market, how do merged firms handle leases, terminations, and growth in the future? • A Story of Targeted Renewal The renewal of some D.C. neighborhoods is happening thanks to public-private partnerships that are far more complex than traditional real estate transactions. The players need to navigate the maze using tenacity, patience, wit, and good legal advice. The new Columbia Heights project, anchored by Target, is a case in point.

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