Goulston & Storrs will be the latest Boston law firm to uproot itself in favor of more contemporary digs.
The firm recently signed a lease for 100,000 square feet across four floors at One Post Office Square, a 40-plus story skyscraper that is in the midst of a multiyear, $300 million makeover.
Goulston & Storrs expects to relocate roughly a year from now from a similarly sized space at 400 Atlantic Ave., where it leases an entire six-story building, for floors 25 through 28 in the Post Office Square tower.
The lease is among the largest office deals downtown in recent months. While Goulston leases a similar amount of space at 400 Atlantic, it is also exiting a smaller area it occupies next door at Rowes Wharf as part of the move.
In this case, Goulston wants a more modern and densely-packed location, in which individual lawyers’ offices are all the same size, according to comanaging director Bill Dillon.
“The thing about density is it’s more efficient but also we think it’s going to energize the space more,” Dillon said. “When you’ve got more density, you’ve got more energy in the office, and it leaves us some space to build out our gathering areas and communal areas” as well as room to grow.
The four floors will be connected by internal stairs, and the 25th floor will also feature an exterior balcony that can be used for events.
“[The stairs are] part of the goal of making the space more interactive and making it easier for people to have those meaningful interactions in the office and make us feel a little more connected,” Dillon said.
The firm currently asks its lawyers and support staff to come into the office 60 percent of the time, the equivalent of three days a week. Staying downtown, Dillon said, made the most sense given the central location for suburban employees’ commutes. He said the firm had been located at 400 Atlantic for 40 years “but that building is really from another era.”
About 350 employees in Boston will be making the move, including the firm’s 188 Boston lawyers. The firm also has offices in New York and Washington.
Goulston & Storrs will join the likes of Sullivan & Worcester, a law firm that decided to stay in One Post Office Square, and Eaton Vance, a fund manager owned by Morgan Stanley that is moving there from Two International Place, a few blocks away. (One Post Office Square is owned by an affiliate of Morgan Stanley.) The tower is being remade with a glass façade replacing 1980s-era concrete.
Tucker White, who spearheads research and analytics in the Northeast for brokerage Avison Young, said so-called “trophy buildings” — the ones with modern designs and amenities — such as One Post Office Square and new towers at One Congress and Winthrop Center are drawing the most attention from tenants in the market, despite their higher rents. Most tenants are shrinking their office leases, he said, but that trend had started even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and working remotely was more widely accepted. In the case of One Post Office Square, the long construction process may have worked to Morgan Stanley’s advantage. He said the multiple phases of construction made it easier to hold onto existing tenants by shuffling them around throughout the buildout.