Case Study
Center for International Private Enterprise


Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy.

West, Lane & Schlager initially negotiated on behalf of CIPE a favorable and rare “rolling” option to terminate. Over the course of 12 years, WLS was still able to maintain CIPE’s option to terminate its lease after multiple lease renewals, space contractions, subleases as well as numerous expansions as the organization grew. 


With CIPE’s lease set to expire in three years, the goal was to identify viable options that would pay the large termination penalty and provide enough concessions to offset all of CIPE’s relocation costs. Furthermore, CIPE wanted to improve building quality, mechanical systems, location, amenities and proximity to metro – without increasing costs. WLS developed a strategic plan to maximize their leverage in the event of a renewal/renegotiation with the landlord and identified prospective alternative options that could accomplish CIPE’s goals.  


WLS conducted a thorough search of the market while simultaneously negotiating with new building owners. Through experience and extensive market knowledge, WLS identified specific owners capable of providing the upfront concessions and termination payment required. Given the softness of the real estate market and negotiations with multiple owners, WLS was able to secure favorable terms for both a lease renewal and relocation. CIPE, its executive team and board, concluded that a relocation provided the best long-term solution for the organization.


The relocation helped avoid major disruption associated with an in-place renovation and increased space efficiency by consolidating onto one floor. The new building exceeded CIPE’s location and quality goals and offered improved proximity to metro and other amenities for its staff. WLS helped secure a below market rental rate and a large concessions package which allowed CIPE to redesign their new space and increase efficiency, visibility and the image of the association.

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