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BOSTON �— Rates for prime commercial space used by law firms in Boston climbed sharply last year, with square foot rates hitting $65 to $75 in the second half of 2007 compared with $40 to $65 during the first half, according to a recent report from real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. New York Class A Midtown rates, meanwhile, dipped on the high end to $110 per square foot in the second half of 2007, compared with $175 in the first half. Jones Lang’s most recent biannual legal market report noted the higher rates in both Boston’s Back Bay and Financial District neighborhoods in Boston for so-called Class A space. Class A space is typically new construction after 1980 with top amenities, possibly including 24-hour security and underground parking, said Bill Motley, Jones Lang’s managing director for Boston. Jones Lang’s Class A rates include sublease rental rates. Motley said new construction is more expensive in Boston than in many other cities. He also noted that only five buildings in the city can accommodate the 11 law firms which use more than 100,000 square feet of space. “One of the primary factors [in Boston] is the limited new supply that’s being delivered to the market,” Motley said. New York’s Class A rates fell in Midtown to $60 to $110 in the last two quarters, compared with $60 to $175 in the first two quarters; Downtown Class A rates were virtually unchanged, finishing at $44 to $72, compared with $35 to $70 in the first two quarters. In Los Angeles, Class A rates declined on the high end with a range from $28 to $54 in late 2007, down from a $28 to $75 spread in the first half of the year. Class A rates in San Francisco dipped on the high end and spiked on the low end with a range of $35 to $85 per square foot in the last two quarters, compared with $19 to $97 in the first two quarters. Chicago’s rates jumped on the low end, ending at $28 to $55, compared with $15 to $50 at the start of 2007. Other markets were more stable: Atlanta’s Class A rates ranged from $16 to $30 during the last two quarters of 2007, compared with $17 to $30 for the first two; and Washington D.C.’s Class A rental rates ranged from $47 to $75 during the second half and $45 to $70 for the first half. Jones Lang’s Legal Market Smart analyzes the commercial real estate market for law firms in11 cities, including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

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