Thomas Properties Group Signs Law Firm Fulbright & Jaworski At City National Plaza

LOS ANGELES – Thomas Properties Group, the national real estate investment and development company founded by well known Los Angeles business leader and developer James A. Thomas, has leased 63,014 square feet to the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski. The firm signed a 12- year lease and will occupy floors 40, 41 and a portion of 42 in the 555 S. Flower St. tower.

“Arco Plaza holds a unparalleled location in downtown Los Angeles. Our efforts to upgrade and reaffirm the property's position as a premier downtown location are proving successful with continued leasing activity with top firms such as Fulbright & Jaworski,” said Thomas, CEO of Thomas Properties Group.

In November 2003 City National Bank signed one of downtown Los Angeles' largest, and most sought after lease transactions that includes renaming the project City National Plaza in 2005 and the 555 S. Flower St. building to City National Tower in September of this year.

Thomas Properties led an investment group that acquired the property in January 2003. In July 2003 the company unveiled a $125 million improvement program that will transform the future City National Plaza into a vibrant gathering. Place. In addition to restaurants and revitalized retail establishments, the plaza will feature new fountains and state-of-the-art building systems.

“The Plaza will be a great location for us,” said David Ebershoff, Partner in Charge at Fulbright's 75 attorney Los Angeles office. “The decision to relocate our offices to the Arco Plaza was based upon two principal factors: our need to acquire a larger space that will accommodate the Firm's continuing growth in the Southern California legal market over the next several years, and our belief that the Plaza is in the process of reclaiming its position as the premier office complex in downtown Los Angeles. Our new lease not only reflects Fulbright's long-term commitment to Southern California, but our confidence in the continued revitalization of the downtown area. We are very enthusiastic about the move as well as our new relationship with the Thomas organization.”

The expanding Los Angeles office of Fulbright is a full service office with a diverse and sophisticated litigation and business practice. Our practice areas include: bankruptcy and creditors' rights, corporate law, energy and real property, environmental law, family law, health law, intellectual property and technology, international law, labor and employment law, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, oil and gas, project finance, public finance and administration, real estate, securities, tax, technology and emerging companies, trusts and estates, and venture capital. In 2004, Chamber Global recognized Fulbright as one of the top three energy law firms and as having one of the leading health care practices in the U.S. Also in 2004, Intellectual Property Today named Fulbright one of the top four trademark firms in the U.S.

The firm opened its Los Angeles office in 1989 and currently has over 140 employees. It is moving from the TCW building to the 555 S. Flower St. tower in early Spring of next year. Jim Travers and Dennis Smith of Travers Realty represented Fulbright in the transaction.

Thomas Properties Group executives, Kent Handleman, managing director-leasing, and Charlie Smith, director of leasing, represented the company in the transaction.

Arco Plaza, soon to be known as City National Plaza, is 2.7 million square feet comprised of twin 52-story towers with a three-story “jewel box” building between them on the project's spacious plaza and an underground retail complex. Designed by A.C. Martin Partners and built in 1972, the buildings are sheathed in forest-green granite and glass. For more than 30 years, this property has been a defining feature of L.A.'s world-famous skyline.

Thomas Properties Group and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) are the major investors in TPG Plaza Investments, the entity that owns Arco Plaza. Kings Capital, a privately held company managed by Picerne Investment Management Corp., is a member of the investor group.