International law firm Greenberg Traurig Maher (GTM) has made a major move into Birmingham, taking the entire second floor of Cathedral Place – the refurbished Grade II listed office building owned by Real Estate Investors.
GTM has taken 2,281 sq ft on a five-year lease at a rental of £57,000 per annum, equating to £24.99 per square foot.
Parent company Greenberg Traurig has offices in every major US financial centre, key US growth states and in leading centres for business and finance in Europe.
Neil Upton, formerly a partner at DLA Piper in Birmingham, has been recruited to head up the new operation. He is a UK and Europe utilities and energy specialist who also has extensive knowledge of African markets.
From the new Birmingham office he will head up GTM’s UK energy practice.
GTM partner Paul Maher said: “We are very pleased that Neil and his team decided to join us. This practice area is strategically important in the build-out of GTM’s business plan and this move is an important element for the support of this practice.”
REI chief executive Paul Bassi said: “This is a major coup for REI and Cathedral Placeand justifies our investment in this valuable piece of central Birmingham real estate.”
Cathedral Place at 42-44 Waterloo Street is the former headquarters of the Birmingham Midshires Building Society, which REI has developed into 11,500 sq ft of “Mayfair style” Grade A office space in the heart of the Colmore business district.
REI acquired Cathedral Place for £3 million in October 2007 and spent another £1.5 million on refurbishing the building.
Paul Bassi and his board, which now includes former Wragge & Co senior partner John Crabtree and non-executive director Will Wyatt, were so impressed with the final result they moved the headquarters of Real Estate Investors from West Bromwich into Cathedral Place.
REI is prepared to spend up to £100 million in 2010/11 and has recently begun its acquisition programme with the purchase of 75-77 Colmore Row for £4.5 million.