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Anne Arundel law firm moves to city

A small law firm based in Anne Arundel County moved to Baltimore City last month  -- one of a handful of companies relocating to be closer to the urban center.

Miller & Zois, LLC, founded in 2003, signed the 7,368-square-foot lease at 1 South Street, known as the Alex Brown building, in July, said Terri Harrington, a senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle, who represented the tenant. The personal injury firm, which has 12 to 15 employees, was previously based in Empire Towers.

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"Our goal has always been to be available to clients all over Maryland," Ronald V. Miller, Jr., co-founder and partner at Miller & Zois, said in a statement. "This move reflects our desire to be at the true center of Maryland in order to best serve our clients."

Office vacancy rates in the downtown business district have remained elevated since the recession, closing the year around 19 percent, according to a fourth quarter market report by JLL. Older buildings, farther from the water and Pratt Street, have particularly suffered.

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But there are signs the vacancy rates could come down, as interest in the city rekindles, businesses rebound and developers convert older space into apartments.

The firm's move to the city follows others, such as Pandora, First National Bank, MAIF, Mindgrub and KAO USA Inc.

With the Miller & Zois lease, 1 South Street has reached about 90 percent occupancy, said Harrington, who also represents the building, a Class A space with concierge services, an on-site garage and a fitness center.

Harrington said more companies could relocate downtown, as people move into the new residences and the area grows more vibrant.

"With all of this residential coming in, it's going to lead to more retail," Harrington said. "Downtown is going to become more of a destination for businesses because there are more amenities for employees."

nsherman@baltsun.com

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