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Monthly Archives: November 2013
Here’s a snapshot of some of the more notable leasing activity in the central business district. The market is fluid and ever changing.
161 N CLARK ST
- Chicago Title and Trust is vacating the building and moving to 10 S LaSalle St.
- Grant Thornton will be vacating 175 W Jackson and moving into 137,000 sf of former Chicago Title and Trust space at 161 N Clark St in 2015 and secured naming rights to the building. This puts occupancy at this building back up to 95%
- With so few significant leases set to expire in the next couple of years and occupancy at 95%, Tishman sold the nearly 1.1 million sf tower for about $325 per sf ($348 million) to John Buck and South Korean investors. This amount was unheard of when they purchased the building in 2007.
1000 W FULTON ST
- Google agreed to lease about 200,000 sf at 1000 W Fulton St (which is currently undergoing massive renovations) in 2016. It currently occupies about 150,000 sf of office space at 20 W Kinzie. This is on the heels of the Motorola Mobility (now under the Google umbrella also) just completed at the Merchandise Mart for 572,000 sf.
- The presence of Google in buildings just north of the Chicago River has boosted the area’s reputation as a technology hub.
205 & 225 N MICHIGAN AVE
- Recent relocations to the 1.9 million sf property include a 19,000 sf lease to Corbett Healthcare relocating from 111 E Chicago; a 51,000 sf lease to Energy BBDO from Chicago’s Wrigley Building; a 15,000 sf lease to TPN which relocated from 500 N Michigan Ave.; and a 15,000 sf lease to Resolutions Media relocating from 314 W Superior. Energy BBDO, TPN , Corbett Healthcare and Resolutions Media are all members of Omnicom Group totaling 212,000 sf at 225 N Michigan.
222 MERCHANDISE MART PLAZA
- Google’s Motorola Mobility signed a 15-year lease for 572,000 sf at the Merchandise Mart last year and is currently working on building out the space. In 2013, it added 32,000 sf to this deal. It is planning on moving about 2,000 employees to this office from the suburbs. However, Allscripts has filed a lawsuit claiming the build out is affecting their employees in a negative manner and has sent a Cease and Desist letter to no avail.
- GoHealth, an insurance brokerage, subleased 93,800 sf of space from Career Education. This is an expansion for them in the city.
- To make room for Google, The Merchandise Mart relocated many furniture and giftware showrooms within the building. The tenant mix is now about 45% office space and 55% showrooms with overall occupancy around 96%.
- High-tech uses, including the 1871 incubator, have made the Mart one of Chicago’s technology epicenters.
225 W WACKER DR
- South Korean investors Mirae Asset Global Investments paid about $335 per sf for the 650,812 sf building at 225 W Wacker Dr. They purchased this from an investment arm of JP Morgan Chase which paid $153 million ($235 per sf) for the tower in 2003.
- The building is well-leased (91%) even though one of its largest tenants, Kaplan Higher Education recently moved out. AEP Energy subleased 2 of Kaplan’s floors for a combined total of 51,010 sf. AEP moved its headquarters there from 363 E Erie St in 12/2012. The other 25,505 sf floor was subleased to Call One which moved its headquarters there from 123 N Wacker Dr in 6/2013.
222 S RIVERSIDE PLAZA
- After mulling a move, Trading Technologies decided to stay put in its West Loop headquarters, but reduced its space by about 1/3. The company, which produces software for electronic trading, renewed its lease for 5 years at 222 S Riverside Plaza, where it will have about 73,000 sf, down from about 108,000 sf.
233 S WACKER DR
- United Continental Holdings moved the rest of their headquarter operations to 233 S Wacker, taking an additional 205,000 sf. This upped its total space in the high-rise to nearly 830,000 sf. Its 240,000 sf of space at 77 W Wacker is up for sublease and 109,071 sf of it has already been taken.
- ShopperTrak moved into about 52,000 sf in the tower. It moved its headquarters from 200 W Monroe where it leased about 44,000 sf.
- Sales Empowerment Group leased 12,000 sf at 233 S Wacker Dr. It is moving from 1,400 sf office at 351 W Hubbard St.
- Law firm SNR Denton (now known as Dentons) signed a 15-year lease to move within the tower. It will shift as much as 144,000 sf within the building.
77 W WACKER DR
- The 51-story, 959,000 sf tower, formerly known as the United Building, was recently renamed 77 West Wacker after United Continental Holdings moved its headquarters to 233 S Wacker Dr. The building has a recently renovated fitness center, a new outdoor café, and a new penthouse conference center and is approximately 80% leased.
- McGuireWoods signed a 10-year lease extension for 114,760 sf at 77 W Wacker Dr. The law firm dropped about 22,900 sf on the 47th floor, but will continue to occupy floors 41 through 45.
- DTZ is subleasing 43,587 sf of the former United headquarters space at 77 W Wacker Dr until 2022. It will move there in 3/2014 from 161 N Clark St where it had about 39,000 sf.
- Capital One is subleasing 65,484 sf of the former United headquarters space.
111 W WASHINGTON ST
- Harbor Group International sold 111 W Washington for $94.63 million to an affiliate of the Shidler Group, Alliance Partners. Harbor purchased the building in 2007 for $79.5 million. During its tenure, Harbor attracted new tenants including GrubHub and the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, which occupy 59,469 sf and 102,387 sf.
190 S LASALLE
- Tishman Speyer agreed to pay about $265 per sf ($211 million) for 190 S LaSalle St. CBRE Global Investors bought the 798,782 sf tower for $137 million in 2006, when less than half of the building was leased.
- U.S. Bank recently expanded by 43,370 sf to relocate its employees from 550 W Washington. This follows its 66,000 sf lease in March of 2011, and brings its total space leased to about 110,000 sf. The building will be renamed the U.S. Bank Building.
- Prudential Plaza, downtown Chicago’s largest zombie office property received an injection of $100 million of capital from New York investors. With this funding, the building will undergo redevelopment of retail space, renovation of One Prudential Plaza, and add a huge rooftop area and other amenities. Concerns about a loan default loomed in 2012 as the building faced the loss of big tenants including Baker & McKenzie and Integrys Energy Group. After Integrys leaves next year, the property will be about 40% vacant, mostly in One Prudential, with blocks of up to 350,000 sf available.
- Schuyler Roche & Crisham added space and combined offices in a 37,000 sf lease at Two Prudential Plaza (180 N Stetson Ave) in a new, long-term lease. The law firm brought together smaller offices in that building and One Prudential Plaza, where it had been a tenant since the building opened in 1955.
- Ryan Specialty Group signed an 11-year lease to shift its headquarters to 180 N Stetson Ave from 200 E Randolph St. They are moving into 18,007 sf on the 46th floor.
875 N MICHIGAN AVE
- Hearn acquired 856,000 sf of office space and 710-car parking deck at 875 N Michigan. The price was near $145 million. They are planning new outdoor gathering areas, aesthetic improvements, tenant improvements, and all-new mechanicals. The building’s office space is about 92 % leased, but expiring leases in the next couple of years will drop that to around 82 %.
- Draft FBC is set to move its Chicago offices from One East Erie to 875 N Michigan Ave in January 2014. It will occupy about 185,000 sf.
- Interpublic companies, GolinHarris & Weber Shandwick, recently moved its offices into 875 N Michigan Ave and is now occupying a total of about 140,000 sf there.
10 & 120 S RIVERSIDE PLAZA
- TIER REIT sold 10 and 120 S Riverside Plaza to the Canadian firm Ivanhoe Cambridge for about $260 per sf. The buildings, which have just over 1.4 million sf combined were about 98 % leased.
- 10 S Riverside stands to lose Zurich American Insurance as a tenant in 2014. It is leaving about 100,000 sf when it moves to 300 S Riverside Plaza. Zurich is taking a portion of the space being vacated by AIG whose lease for nearly 200,000 sf expires in mid-2014. AIG plans to move to 500 W Monroe St, where it will take just 75,000 sf.
- Plante Moran is moving all 350 of its downtown employees into new offices at 10 S Riverside in 2014. It will occupy about 85,600 sf on 2 floors. Plante Moran is moving from 225 W Washington.
- Belvedere Trading recently started a new lease at 10 S Riverside for 37,000 sf.
444 W LAKE ST
- Ivanhoe Cambridge is investing in the development of a new, 900,000 sf office tower at 444 W Lake St called River Point. They are mainly building it “on spec” and broke ground in early 2013.
- McDermott Will & Emery agreed to lease 225,000 sf at 444 W Lake. It will move from their current space at 227 W Monroe in March 2017. It currently occupies about 237,315 sf at 227 W Monroe.
- DLA Piper agreed to lease about 200,000 sf at 444 W Lake. It currently occupies about 200,000 sf at 203 N LaSalle St.
401 N MICHIGAN AVE
- SmithBucklin moved from 401 N Michigan to about 111,000 sf at 330 N Wabash.
- A Eicoff & Co renewed its lease for about 24,000 sf.
- The University of Chicago renewed about 42,000 sf of its space at 401 N Michigan.
- Kraft Foods Group is in advanced talks to open a 30,000 sf office on the top 2 floors of 401 N Michigan.
111 N CANAL ST
- Sterling Bay acquired 111 N Canal in 2012 when it was 70% leased. They proceeded to make multiple improvements including a redesigned lobby and extensive rooftop amenity areas.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved its Chicago headquarters from 111 N Canal to 231 S LaSalle St where it now occupies 67,600 sf.
- FieldAware, a software company, is opening a downtown Chicago office at 111 N Canal. It expects this office to grow to 80 coworkers by the end of 2013.
- In-flight internet provider Gogo is finalizing a lease for more than 230,000 sf at 111 N Canal St. It will shift more than 500 workers from Itasca.
In a recent article written by Eric Jaffe of The Atlantic titled: Google’s New Chicago Home Isn’t More Transit-Friendly, But It Is More Highway-Friendly Eric cites a study done by Lauren Ames Fischer, who lived in Chicago before coming to Columbia University as an urban planning doctoral student, where she disputes the notion that Google’s move was driven by the new transit hub at the Morgan Street Station.
In fact, Fischer ran a transit anlaysis and found her hunch backs up the idea that transit did not play the role everyone, including Mayor Emmanuel, has touted. Although Google’s new location at 1000 W. Fulton Street does have strong transit access its old location on Kinzie Street did too. Her study concludes the new headquarter loses on transit criteria or at best ties.
“I think there’s enough to celebrate in just saying that firms are choosing to stay in urban locations — and particularly with the West Loop, urban locations that are up-and-coming and not necessarily fully established as employment centers,” says Fischer. “We don’t have to take the next step and say that transit causes this.”
For a sneak peak at Google’s new headquarters have a look at Fulton 1K’s marketing video.