SunTrust Center lands another law lease

A law firm is switching downtown office towers. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

A law firm is switching downtown office towers. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

A downtown law firm is moving two blocks up Main Street for some extra legroom.

Eckert Seamans, a Pittsburgh-based firm that has operated in Richmond since 2009, will be setting up shop in the SunTrust Center at 919 E. Main St. in late March with a 10-year lease on 13,000 square feet.

It will vacate its current 7,000-square-foot office at 707 E. Main St.

The firm’s Richmond staff has grown every year since it opened, said Matt Kirsner, who co-runs the Richmond office. It currently has 15 lawyers, 11 of which work full-time in Richmond, along with support staff.

“In five years, we’ve grown from two to in excess of 20,” Kirsner said of the Richmond staff. “We’ve grown substantially, and so we’re literally out of space.”

Eckert Seamans is one of at least two new law firms moving into the 24-story building over the next year. LeClairRyan is preparing to move into the top three floors in August.

According to Commonwealth Commercial, the brokerage handling the center’s leasing, there are about 35,000 square feet still available in the roughly 458,000-square-foot building. Its current occupancy rate is more than 90 percent.

McGladrey LLP, an Iowa-based CPA firm offering tax consulting services, will also settle into the SunTrust Center this year with 8,813 square feet.

Back in early December when LeClairRyan announced plans to move into the building, Commonwealth Commercial broker Jamie Galanti said space in the center was going for about $22 per square foot per year.

Kirsner said the firm’s current lease is up in April and it had started looking for a new office last spring. Its new 13th-floor space is currently being renovated. RGI General Contractors is working on the project.

“It’s going to be much better suited to supporting client needs and just collaborating inside the office,” Kirsner said.

He did not share the cost of the lease, but said it was very competitive for the market.

Eckert Seamans’ Richmond office handles civil and criminal litigation as well as government relations, including work with hospitals, energy and environmental fields and alcohol and beverage control.

The firm was founded in Pittsburgh in 1958 and now employs 375 attorneys in 14 offices along the East Coast.

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