Cassidy Turley, JLL Secure Leasing Contracts Totaling 1.2MSF

Real estate companies and companies with real estate—they're all doling out third-party real estate services contracts, big and small, and Cassidy Turley and Jones Lang LaSalle are among the latest services providers to secure office leasing assignments.

Franklin Square

Real estate companies and companies with real estate—they’re all doling out third-party real estate services contracts, big and small, and Cassidy Turley and Jones Lang LaSalle are among the latest services providers to secure office leasing assignments. The firms have been awarded separate contracts involving properties totaling 818,700 and 300,000 square feet, respectively.

Cassidy Turley will oversee leasing and property management services at two trophy office properties, Franklin Square and City Center, in Washington, D.C., on behalf of TIAA-CREF. Located in the city’s East End submarket at 1300 Eye St., the 23-year-old Franklin Square is a 12-story tower featuring 467,900 square feet of office space, as well as the added bonus of 28,400 square feet of ground-level retail space. The list of building occupants includes leading law firms, economic consulting company Bates & White and the prestigious Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

City Center

The firm’s other new responsibility, City Center, sits just one block away from Franklin Square at 1401 H. St. Developed in 1992, the 350,800-square-foot building also features ground-level retail space and boasts a particularly useful amenity—it’s on the White House power grid. Investment Company Institute, Millennium Challenge Corp. and law firm Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver are among the names on the tenant roster.

A mere 9,000 square feet remain available for lease at Franklin Square, as per Cassidy Turley’s website and 13,600 square feet are up for grabs at City Center. Judging by the Cassidy Turley’s second quarter report, both buildings’ occupancy levels are well above average in the Washington, D.C., office market, which has a respectable vacancy rate of 10.4 percent. “We look forward to assisting TIAA-CREF in enhancing the value of their commercial real estate portfolio by providing our top-of-the-line leasing and property management services for these outstanding assets,” said Joe Stettinius, president of Cassidy Turley. TIAA-CREF and Cassidy Turley are hardly strangers. The national financial services organization appointed the firm to handle property management for its 657,600-square-foot Northern California industrial portfolio in 2010.

It’s been a busy summer for Cassidy Turley so far. The firm has won a handful of outsourcing contracts, including an assignment from ITOCHU Corp. to deliver portfolio management services to the international company’s portfolio of 136 office and industrial assets in North America.

JLL is also an outsourcing favorite. Most recently, AREA Property Partners tapped the firm to serve as leasing agent at One Cabot Road, a premier 300,000-square-foot business campus in Medford, Mass., just five miles outside of Boston’s financial district. The five-story building, which first swung open its doors in 1989, counts the First Marblehead Corp. and The Cross Country Group among its tenants. And there’s ample room on the roster for more users, as the property is presently only 77 percent occupied. However, JLL comes aboard during a time in the metropolitan Boston market that appears to bode well for success down the road.

“Boston has had an unemployment rate below that of the United states for the last 20 years [and] what makes this time in history unique is that with Boston at 5.7 percent unemployment and the U.S. at 8.1 percent, the spread between the two unemployment rates, 240 basis points, is the widest it has been over this time period by a factor of three,” as noted in JLL’s second quarter report. Improvement in the market combined with JLL’s track record and what the firm describes as One Cabot’s “tremendous upside potential,” may very well equal an occupancy level in the 90 percent range at the business park in the not-too-distant future.

Like Cassidy Turley, JLL has been getting its share of attention from commercial real estate owners. Its recent third-party contracts include a leasing assignment from Parmenter Realty Partners for Fifth Third Center, a Class A office high-rise featuring 678,000 square feet in Charlotte, N.C.’s central business district. Additionally, JLL was called on by Shorenstein Properties to assume the role of exclusive leasing agent for the 465,000-square-foot Seaport Center in Boston. The firm also extended its strategic alliance relationship with The Procter & Gamble Co. with a new agreement to serve as commercial facilities services provider for the company’s portfolio of owned and leased corporate facilities, which spans several million square feet across six continents.

Of course, Cassidy Turley and JLL are not the only firms bringing in the big real estate services assignments. In June, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Global Corporate Services was chosen by Caliber Funding L.L.C. to act as the mortgage lender’s strategic portfolio advisor in an agreement involving more than 100 locations in 28 states. June also brought Stream Realty Partners L.P.’s announcement that DRA Advisors L.L.C. had selected the firm to spearhead for a 7 million-square-foot industrial portfolio in Texas and Georgia. And at the beginning of this year, CBRE Group, appointed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, took on management and leasing responsibilities for the 4.2 million-square-foot Houston Center, an office and retail complex in downtown Houston, Tex.