A new luxury office tower in Midtown has induced Smith, Gambrell & Russell to relocate its Atlanta headquarters from the Promenade building at 1230 Peachtree St.
Smith Gambrell has signed a lease with Selig Enterprises to become the anchor tenant for a new building three blocks southwest at 1105 West Peachtree St., where it expects to move in mid-2021.
Smith Gambrell’s chairman, Stephen Forte, called it a “transformative move that paves the way for the future of the firm.” With about 225 lawyers, including 110 lawyers in its headquarters, Smith Gambrell is one of Atlanta’s largest and oldest firms, marking its 125th anniversary in 2018.
“We are attracted to the building’s prime location, new, modern design, and the extensive amenities that comport with SGR’s evolving culture,” Forte said in a statement. It’s the first lease announced for the new building and one of the largest office leases this year for Midtown.
Smith Gambrell is taking 102,320 square feet on floors nine through 12 of the tower, which features an acre of green space adjacent to the ninth floor with a rooftop bar, restaurant and pool. The almost 3.6 acre site—the entire block between West Peachtree Street and Peachtree Walk and between 13th and 12th Streets—will have a 31-story, 660,000-square-foot office tower, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel and 64 luxury residential units.
“Relocating to a new trophy project at 1105 West Peachtree gives the firm the ability to custom design our office space and access the development’s comprehensive amenities,” said partner Jay Schwartz, who heads Smith Gambrell’s relocation committee. “This will be beneficial in attracting and retaining talent as the firm continues to grow.”
Smith Gambrell has been located at Promenade since the building opened in 1991. Its deal with Selig to anchor a new building is a departure from Atlanta’s other large firms in Midtown that opted to stay put and restack when their leases came up.
King & Spalding extended its lease to 2031 at 1180 Peachtree St., where it has been the anchor tenant since the building opened in 2006, and Troutman Sanders did the same further south at the Bank of America Plaza at 600 Peachtree St. Both firms this year completed extensive overhauls and restacks where they reduced square footage and created space with more open floor plans.
Eversheds Sutherland similarly decided last year to remain at 999 Peachtree St., where it’s the anchor tenant, and undertake a renovation instead, which includes paring back its space from almost 200,000 square feet to about 175,700.
Alston & Bird completed its own consolidation and restack at One Atlantic Center, located at 1201 West Peachtree St., in 2014.
Smith Gambrell has been expanding its turf over the last two years, adding a Miami office earlier in December—its 10th—after opening offices in Los Angeles, London, Southampton and Munich and expanding its New York office. The firm reported $101.7 million in revenue in 2017.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Shea Meddin, Andrew Ghertner, Carla Williams and John Izard with Smith Gambrell real estate partner Eric Mandus represented the firm in lease negotiations. Chris Ahrenkiel and Steve Baile of Selig represented the developer.