CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of August 18

By BOMA/Chicago

Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of August 18.

More Help for Yelp
Yelp Inc. has signed a lease for more than 50,000 square feet at the Merchandise Mart with plans to move into the space in January 2015. Most of the space will be filled with sales employees that Yelp plans to hire over the next 12 to 18 months. The Mart is owned by New York-based Vornado.

Move Along Wacker
Heath insurance company Aetna has signed a lease at 333 W. Wacker Dr. for 53,824 square feet that spans the 21st and 22nd floors. Aetna currently resides at 1 S. Wacker Dr. and plans to relocate in March 2015. 333 W. Wacker is owned and operated by Hines while 1 S. Wacker is owned and operated by Harbor Group.

Renewal and Expansion for Law Firm
Dale & Gensburg P.C., a Chicago based law firm, has renewed its lease for the 24th floor at 200 W. Adams and has also agreed to expand its space to accommodate growing operations. Sterling American Property and Lincoln Property Company own this property.

Glass Over the River
Zeller Realty Group, owner of the 35-story office tower at 401 N. Michigan Ave., has announced plans to construct a glass box on its southern edge. This box would overlook the Chicago River and would serve as an entrance to a new riverside restaurant below the plaza. Zeller recently took out a new $190 million loan and plans to spend $25 million in improvements for this property. The glass box is still awaiting city approval.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Posted in Chicago CRE Industry, Chicago News, Property Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of August 11

By BOMA/Chicago

Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of August 11.

Acquisition of Clark-Adams Building
A venture led by Chicago developer John Murphy has struck a deal to acquire 105 W. Adams for an undisclosed price. Sources close to the deal say that Murphy will pay more than the $48 million the seller, Musa Tadros, paid for it in 2006. According to Murphy, the plan is to reposition the Clark-Adams Building as a “high-quality, affordable office option in an outstanding location.”

Signal Signs Sublease on Canal
Signal, a software startup formerly called BrightTag, will be moving from 9,000 square feet at 440 N. Wells St. to 27,000 square feet at 111 N. Canal St. Signal will be subleasing this space from Braintree, as Braintree will be moving to the Merchandise Mart. The startup has grown to 115 employees from 76 within the past eight months and the company expects to have 150 employees by year end.

NORC Extends and Expands
NORC, an independent research organization at the University of Chicago, has signed an extension on its existing 88,000 square foot lease at 55 E. Monroe, a building owned by GlenStar Properties and Walton Street Capital. NORC has also agreed to a 30,000 square foot expansion. We last reported on this property when Punchkick Interactive, Inc., a mobile marketing company, signed a lease for 23,401 square feet of space at 55 E. Monroe.

Three Floor Lease on Jackson
Enova International, an online loan provider, has signed a 12-year lease at 175 W. Jackson Blvd. for 160,240 square feet. This lease includes the entire tenth floor along with more than 30,000 square feet on the fifth and sixth floors. The tower, also known as the Insurance Exchange Building, totals 1,452,390 square feet and is 23 stories high.

Seyfarth Shaw to Relocate to Willis Tower
Chicago law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP will be moving into 200,000 square feet at the Willis Tower after it relocates from its current 300,000 square foot space at 131 S. Dearborn St., also known as the Citadel Center. Seyfarth Shaw has signed a 15-year lease for the Willis tower and is exercising an option for the early termination of its 15-year Citadel lease in 2017. Melissa Copley, Seyfarth’s broker and a managing partner at Mohr Partners Inc., declined to disclose what Seyfarth will pay to terminate the lease.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Posted in Chicago CRE Industry, Property Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of August 4

By BOMA/Chicago

Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of August 4.

Moving Headquarters Across the Street
Online payday lender Enova International Inc. has signed a 12-year lease for 160,240 square feet at 175 W. Jackson Blvd. This is the fourth largest new lease in downtown Chicago for 2014. Enova will relocate from 200 W. Jackson, where it leases about 175,000 square feet, in early 2015.

Two Firms Move to Accommodate Increase in Workforce
Inventus LLC, an electronic legal services provider, has relocated from loft office space at 600 W. Fulton St. to the Citigroup Center located at 500 W. Madison St. The company is currently occupying 12,000 square feet at 500 W. Madison and will expand into 20,000 more square feet once construction on that space is complete. One of the reasons behind this move is due to the firm’s expectations to double its workforce within the next few years.

Chicago-based Valence Health plans to hire 500 new employees at its new West Loop headquarters located at 540 W. Madison St. The company signed a lease for 125,000 square feet and will move from its smaller headquarters located at 600 W. Jackson Blvd. later this year. Valence currently employs 325 people and plans to create 500 jobs in Chicago by 2019.

Fifth Purchase in the Chicago Market
Accesso Partners, previously known as Beacon Investment Properties, has purchased 230 W. Monroe St. for $122 million. The 623,564 square foot tower is currently 66% leased and received offers from 20 potential investors during the four months it has been on the market. This is the fifth office building Accesso Partners has purchased in the Chicago area within the past year.

Long Term Lease on LaSalle
Wintrust, a Rosemont, IL-based financial corporation, has signed a 20-year lease at 231 S. LaSalle St. The lease will start in 2015 and includes 179,332 square feet for the second, third, fourth and 13th floors. Other major tenants of this building include The Northern Trust Co. and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Posted in Chicago CRE Industry, CRE Trends, Property Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of July 28

By BOMA/Chicago

Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of July 28.

Another Sterling Bay Acquisition
Sterling Bay Cos. has purchased 87% of the office space at the LaSalle-Wacker Building, located at 221 N. LaSalle St, for $53 million. Sterling Bay bought the tower from Cape Horn Group LLC, which paid $53 million for the building in 2006 before selling off individual pieces that now house retail space and a parking garage. The 360,000 square feet Sterling Bay has purchased in the building is 80% leased.

High Occupancy Amid Renovations
300 S. Wacker Dr., purchased by Beacon Capital Partners last year, is now 88% leased. Three of the building’s tenants, Swoon Technology Resources, NextGen Global Resources and Ironshore Inc., have signed new leases that will double or almost triple their footprints. Beacon has also launched a multi-million-dollar building renovation initiative that will include a redesigned lobby, upgraded corridors and restrooms, a new state-of-the-art fitness center, conference facilities and new spec suites.

InStep Moves to Wacker Drive
InStep Software LLC will be relocating from about 17,500 square feet at 200 W. Jackson Blvd. to nearly 19,000 square feet at 225 W. Wacker Drive in order to make room for additional employees. InStep has signed a sublease from AEP Energy Inc. that will end in early 2022.

Lofty CPS Headquarters
A venture of Blue Star Properties currently has a contract to purchase 125 S. Clark St., the current headquarters of Chicago Public Schools, for an undisclosed price. Blue Star plans to invest more than $30 million to renovate the 507,920 square foot tower into loft office space once CPS moves out later this year.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Posted in Chicago CRE Industry, Property Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of July 21

By BOMA/Chicago

Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of July 21.

High Profit Expected for Low Occupancy Tower
Golub & Co. and Archon Group L.P. have placed the 15-story tower at 311 W. Monroe St. up for sale just months before BMO Harris Bank vacates most of the building. The tower is expected to fetch $50 million or more despite the fact that vacancy will rise to 82% when BMO Harris moves out of 250,000 square feet in December. Golub and Archon paid $44 million two years ago for 311 W. Monroe.

Underlying Value on Wacker
A venture of Howard Hughes Corp. has paid $12.3 million for the 43,000 square foot parcel underneath the building at 110 N. Wacker Drive, the headquarters of General Growth Properties Inc. Howard Hughes reportedly plans to redevelop the property, a move which is more likely now that the company owns both the building and the land the building sits on.

More Meatpacking Purchases for Sterling
Sterling Bay Cos. has purchased a 13,000 square foot building at 172 N. Ada St., formerly owned by Takis Royal Foods Inc., for $3.85 million. Sterling Bay now owns more than two dozen buildings in Chicago’s meatpacking district, a neighborhood that is losing more and more meatpacking, food wholesalers and cold storage companies as the property values rise.

Hearn Boots Occupancy on Monroe
Walker Sands Communications has signed a 10,000 square foot lease at 55 W. Monroe St., a tower owned by Chicago-based Hearn Co. The tech public relations firm will vacate its 8,000 square foot space at 121 N. Jefferson St. next month for the Monroe Street office, where the company will be able to house its 45-person staff on one floor. The new lease is for seven years and will bring the occupancy rate at 55 W. Monroe to 92%.

Retrofit Chicago Update
Earlier this week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the further expansion of Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative. The new building participants, which include 11 higher education facilities, four commercial office buildings, and one cultural institution, have committed to at least 20% energy efficiency improvement within five years. With the addition of these buildings, the total program reach is now 48 buildings and 37 million square feet. This makes Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative one of the largest private sector voluntary efficiency programs in the country.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Posted in Chicago Infrastructure, Chicago News, Property Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BOMA/Chicago Website: One Year Old & Still Your One-Stop Shop for CRE Information

By BOMA/Chicago

2014 BC Website

Can you believe it has been one year since we launched one of our most comprehensive and valuable member resources – the BOMA/Chicago website?

Placing relevant industry information at your fingertips has been our primary objective over this past year. And the stats show that we are succeeding in this goal. Since the new website launched on July 18, 2013, we have averaged more than 10,000 pageviews each month. This means that about 330 of you are visiting our website every day. Analytics also tell us that each of you stay on our website for an average of five minutes.

Based on these stats, we have asked ourselves what drives each of you to the website and keeps you there for precious time during your workday.

And we have a simple answer to this question. The fluid, intuitive design of our website allows you to quickly find the information you need when you need it. And once you find the initial information that brought you to our website, you are then drawn into other related stories and resources that are relevant to your CRE profession. We strategically place related content on the website so that you do not waste time getting answers.

Also – the 24/7 self-service functionality of our website puts the power in your hands and allows you to manage your own information. In fact, when you log into the website, you are given a personalized “My Profile” box on the right-hand side of the screen. This box allows you to complete multiple tasks, from customizing your profile, updating your company information, adding a profile picture, printing your invoices and much more.

Since the launch of the website, we have made several major enhancements based on constructive member feedback. Our biggest enhancement involved redesigning both our Building Member and Find a Service Provider directories. These two directories now allow you to quickly and easily find the contacts you need. Whether you are looking for the primary contact at a downtown building, a specialty matting company, the address of a CRE colleague or a list of HVAC specialists, our directories have you covered. Find out more about these directories by visiting this webpage.

We have also made enhancements to the BOMA/Chicago Job Bank, where you can post a resume, view resumes, post a job and view open jobs. Research shows that between 60% to 80% of new jobs are found by networking, which is why we redesigned this no-cost tool – so that we can help connect each of you with new employment and networking opportunities.

Besides these beneficial upgrades, there are many other helpful features of our website that have been readily available to you since we first launched. Here is an overview of just four of our countless tools that make your fast-paced professions a little easier to manage:

Resource Library
Are you looking for a labor agreement, a Brown Bag application or our 2014 education calendar? The BOMA/Chicago Resource Library houses a comprehensive list of all of the resources and documents you need. Click here to check out the dozens of resources we have available.

Homepage News
We update the BOMA/Chicago website on a daily basis. You can stay on top of all of our updates simply by viewing the “News” column on the left-hand side of the homepage. This News column is a chronological list of webpages we have created or updated. All you have to do is scan through this list to see the latest BOMA/Chicago happenings or news.

Search Box
Looking for information on a specific topic or a resource to help you answer your CRE questions? Finding information on our website is an easy task with our comprehensive search toolbar functionality. Simply click in the toolbar that says “Search” on the upper right-hand corner of the website and type in the key words of the information you need. A complete list of documents, resources and webpages with those key words will display on the next page.

Events Calendar
Are you looking for the next BOMA/Chicago event or educational course? Then all you have to do is visit our homepage and scroll down to the “EVENT” calendar that displays directly in the center of the page (below the “Education” block). Any day highlighted in light blue indicates a BOMA/Chicago event or course. Once you click on that date, you are taken to a webpage that tells you what event/course we are holding. If this is an event/course you would like to attend, simply click on the title again and then press “more” in the pop-up box. You will then be taken to the registration page.

We are always looking for ways to enhance your BOMA/Chicago website experience. Please email info@bomachicago.org if you ever have any comments or suggestions.

How has our new website been a valuable tool for you over the past year? Leave us your comments below.

Posted in BOMA/Chicago Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of July 14

By BOMA/Chicago

Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of July 14.

CBRE Acquires US Equities
CBRE Group, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate firm, announced on Wednesday that it acquired US Equities Realty, LLC and that the two companies will combine their Chicago area operations. Under the terms of the agreement, CBRE has acquired US Equities’ national operations along with about 400 of the firm’s Chicagoland professionals who will continue to service their clients under CBRE. The acquisition is expected to boost CBRE’s leasing and management portfolio, as U.S. Equities has maintained desirable leasing and management agreements with prominent Chicago properties, including Willis Tower.

No Mayoral Run for President Preckwinkle
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle confirmed on Tuesday that she will not run for mayor.  Preckwinkle’s decision has left many of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s detractors eager to find a credible candidate to defeat his planned second term in office. According to Preckwinkle, she will not run for Mayor because she does not believe that she has completed all of the responsibilities of her current position. In regards to other challengers to Mayor Emanuel, the bets are high – the latest campaign finance report filed this week shows him with $8.3 million in the bank.

Long-Term Tenant Resigns Long-Term Lease
Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council renewed its long-term lease of nearly 30,000-square-feet at 222 S. Riverside Plaza, where it has resided for several decades. The Council sought other office space in the surrounding area before re-signing, but faced difficulties in finding buildings with large-enough floor plates.

Sterling Bay and J.P. Morgan Partnership
Sterling Bay Companies and J.P. Morgan have formed a strategic partnership to develop the Fulton Market district. The joint venture will involve Sterling Bay making contributions to the Fulton Market assets it has acquired over the past year while J.P. Morgan will co-invest and co-develop the properties with Sterling Bay.

Vacancy Rates on the Decline
In a recent Q2 report, Cushman & Wakefield reported that office vacancies across the country have dropped to their lowest point in five years. This report also states that office vacancies are expected to decrease even more in the coming months. The increase in office demand has caused rents to increase by 3.1% from Q2 of 2013.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Posted in Chicago CRE Industry, Chicago News, Property Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment