The law firm Reed Smith announced today that it will be sticking around its current office building at 1301 K St. NW through 2027. Why should we care? Because 1301 K St. is One Franklin Square, where the Washington Post recently signed a letter of intent to relocate. In breaking the news of the Post‘s likely move earlier this month, the Washington Business Journal suggested that the newspaper could displace Reed Smith.
So does Reed Smith’s new lease mean the Post won’t be coming? Almost certainly not. Reed Smith will be keeping its offices on the 11th and 12th floors of the building, and moving its seventh-floor offices up to the 10th floor. The net change, according to firm spokesman Tom “Hersh” Hershenson, is a negligible gain of about 140 square feet. The seventh-floor space the company is vacating is around 25,000 square feet.
The Post is looking for about 300,000 square feet. But according to the Business Journal, the nearly 600,000-square-foot One Franklin Square is already set to be 45 percent vacant by the end of the year, and that’s before the relocation of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ tax practice from the building to Metro Center. If anything, the Reed Smith move could allow the Post to occupy a consolidated section of One Franklin Square, including the vacated seventh floor.
“This renewal keeps us in excellent space, yet provides us with improved room for growth over the coming years,” politically connected Reed Smith lawyer and former D.C. Council candidate A. Scott Bolden says in a statement. “One Franklin Square’s central location has served Reed Smith and our clients well since 1995. Enhancing our presence here lets us both continue to focus on providing excellent service to clients and also to proceed with planned growth, without the disruption of a move to a new building.”
Officials with building owner Hines and broker JLL did not return calls for comment.
Screenshot via Google Maps