SYRACUSE — The Utica–based law firm Passalacqua & Associates, LLC is opening a Syracuse office in the former Lakeland Boat Works building.
The office, located at 499 S. Warren St., will help the firm handle its growing Syracuse–area caseload, says Managing Attorney Nicholas Passalacqua. He spoke with CNYBJ on Aug. 22. Online marketing efforts in recent months have helped the firm grow, he says, and the next logical step was to set up a physical presence in the Salt City.
Passalacqua & Associates (www.cnytriallaw.com) focuses on litigation and trial work, primarily personal injury, criminal defense, and DWI defense work.
Passalacqua says that when he began looking at properties nothing felt like quite the right fit. “The more I looked at space in downtown Syracuse, the more I realized we’d be nothing more than a name on a directory,” he says.
Passalacqua wanted a building that gave the firm some prominent exposure. “I remember seeing this Lakeland Boat Works [property] as vacant a number of times,” he says. The building, at the corner of South Warren and East Onondaga streets provided just what he was looking for — a prime spot on a busy corner with plenty of foot and vehicle traffic. In addition, the building is within walking distance of the courts.
An entity called 499 Syracuse City Centre, LLC, based in Brooklyn, owns the property. Passalacqua declined to disclose the specifics, but says he was able to negotiate a favorable lease for just over 4,300 square feet of ground floor, corner space.
“I love the exposure,” he says. He’s already installed some signage and plans to add more. The site is still under construction with Diesel Construction of Utica as the general contractor. Passalacqua has invested about $40,000 in renovations including dividing the space into two conference rooms, three offices, and a reception area. With a bit more work to go, he hopes to open the office in early September.
Passalacqua hired one full-time receptionist/paralegal and plans to add more staff as the practice grows. He declined to provide revenue figures, but says the firm has grown 100 percent year-over-year from when he founded it in May 2013 through 2018.
Ultimately, Passalacqua sees a roster of 10 attorneys for the firm, with primary markets in Utica, Syracuse, and Albany.
Passalacqua says the firm is already marketing online in the Albany area. He plans to have at least a rented conference room and a post office box in the Albany area within the next year, as a precursor to opening a full-service office there.
Currently, the firm has three attorneys, including Passalacqua, and three support staff at its 5,000-square-foot Utica office at 612 Charlotte St.
Prior to founding his firm, Passalacqua was an attorney at Getnick, Livingston, Atkinson & Priore, LLP in Utica. His practice areas at the firm include criminal defense, DWI defense, and personal-injury law. In addition, he is a licensed real-estate broker and property/casualty insurance broker.
Christopher Hameline joined Passalacqua & Associates, LLC in July 2017. His practice areas include criminal defense, DWI defense, and Department of Motor Vehicle hearings.
The firm’s third attorney, Mark Chieco, came on board in January 2018. His practice areas include personal injury law, civil litigation, medical malpractice, and DWI defense.
The firm’s three lawyers have more than 30 years of combined experience.