Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler is relocating its Baltimore office after about 40 years in the firm’s current space.
The firm will be staying downtown but taking a smaller space at 250 W. Pratt St. The firm is currently at 36 S. Charles St., where it was one of the first tenants in that building.
“I’ll tell you one thing, if you ever get the chance to go in [the new offices] it’s just a magnificent view from up there. It’s a very sunny space, you’re looking out onto the stadium, out onto the [Inner] Harbor,” Joel Sher, firm chairman, said. “It may be one of the most magnificent views in Baltimore.”
Sher said the firm considered moving to Harbor East but decided to stay downtown because it’s close to the court house and is convenient for employees because of the proximity to light rail and subway lines.
He also said the firm decided to take a smaller space because it can save money and because electronic data storage systems alleviate the need for many paper documents to be retained. The firm now has two floors and about 23,000 square feet of space. The new office will be about 15,000 square feet and take up one floor.
“When we weighed all the options 250 [W. Pratt St.] made the best economic deal for us frankly — plus we like this space, it’s very pretty,” Sher said.
Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, in an emailed statement praised the firm’s decision to stay downtown, and said it’s a call that more and more businesses are making.
“Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler join a number of businesses that have expanded or relocated within downtown over the past few years. It’s a very positive trend. Its central location with access to courts and clients works in downtown’s favor. But we also hear from companies across industries that they feel Downtown provides an edge when it comes to employee recruitment,” Fowler’s statement reads. “More and more, top talent prefers working in a dynamic urban environment with lots of amenities available to them outside the workplace.”
According to the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore annual report, the office market in a one-mile radius of Pratt and Light streets improved between 2012 and 2013. The vacancy rate fell from 17.8 percent to 16.1 percent. The average asking rent also increased between $1 and $2 for both Class A and Class B office space.
Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler practices in a variety of areas including real estate, sports law and white-collar criminal defense. The firm was also honored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake last month for its commitment to renovating kitchens and fitness centers at firehouses throughout the city.