The space at 990 Stewart Ave. in Garden City had everything expanding law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein wanted: conference rooms with molding and wood paneling, large private offices, ample filing space and a library.
Nixon Peabody, which is close to inking a deal for about 41,000 square feet at 50 Jericho Quadrangle, set it up perfectly. Now Meyer Suozzi plans to move in.
‘It was laid out for lawyers by lawyers,’ said Meyer Suozzi Partner John Klein. ‘It’s a great layout for us.’
A Nixon Peabody spokesman said employees were told the law firm ‘may’ be moving to Jericho. ‘I would say we’re fairly close,’ he said, declining to comment further.
That frees up 37,500 square feet for cramped Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, which just signed a decade-long lease. The new space is 60 percent bigger than its longtime 23,500-square-foot Mineola office.
The 45-year-old firm should relocate by next October, said Jeff Nemshin of real estate services firm Paragon Group LLC, who worked for Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein.
For months, Nixon Peabody has scoured the Island for space to replace its 17-year-old Garden City office that houses more than 40 attorneys.
In July, it said it was eyeing 68 S. Service Road, a 300,000-square-foot trophy Melville building being built by Reckson Associates Realty Corp. But sources say Reckson, thinking a deal was close for Citibank to fill the building, cast Nixon Peabody aside.
Now word is that Citibank wants less than 200,000 square feet, leaving plenty of space for the law firm.
That surplus 100,000 square feet remains unfilled.
‘If I were [Reckson], I might wish things went differently,’ said Theodore J. Stratigos, a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield in Melville.
Reckson couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.
Several sources said Nixon Peabody should be in the new 135,000-square-foot building next year, when it is slated to open.
It is being erected in an area with only 5.4 percent third-quarter vacancy for premium space, according to statistics by The CoStar Group, which compiles real estate numbers nationwide.
‘It’s kind of like the ‘Field of Dreams,” Stratigos said. ‘If you build it, they will come.’
The We’re Group, which is building 50 Jericho Quadrangle, didn’t comment. Ray Ruiz, the CB Richard Ellis senior vice president working for Nixon Peabody, also declined to comment.
Paragon’s Nemshin, who worked with colleague Gerald Widen, said it’s unusual for leases to be signed about a year in advance. But the Nixon Peabody space requires little modifications, saving the landlord money. In turn, that earned the new tenant a reduction from the building’s $29-per-square-foot asking rent. No one would reveal the exact figure, but Klein said it is below $29.
‘It was just a perfect fit,’ said Nemshin. ‘The landlord has minimal work to do.’
Except maybe to distribute tissues.
‘It’s a business and emotional move,’ said Klein of Meyer Suozzi. ‘The emotion is we’re leaving a place that’s been our home for 26 years.’