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 October 22.
- J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. put 225 W. Wacker Dr. up for sale this week, just as one of its largest tenants, Kaplan Higher Education, prepares to move out. The 650,812-square-foot, 31-story riverside office tower is about 91 percent leased, and could draw bids of $175 million or more. Because Kaplan’s lease doesn’t expire for another 10 years, it’s possible that the company’s departure could boost the value of the building by giving the new landlord an opportunity to find a large tenant with strong credit.
- The Chicagoland area’s largest private employer, Presence Health, is moving its headquarters downtown to 200 S. Wacker Dr. from suburban Mokena, bringing approximately 200 corporate employees to the Loop. In addition, Marketing Store WorldWide LLC is joining the suburbs-to-city migration in a bid to attract urban talent by signing a lease at 55 W. Monroe St., and Nokia will move its Mobile Phones Xpress Internet Services division to 425 W. Randolph St. from Itasca. Moving downtown has become an increasingly popular option for many firms with suburban offices that want to hire younger, tech-oriented employees who live in the city and don’t want to make the daily commute to the suburbs.
- With the election only weeks away, many commercial real estate professionals are considering the current state of the market and searching for signs of recovery as they contemplate their final electoral decisions. BOMA International released its Experience Exchange Report (EER) showing that, while market growth has been slow, the commercial real estate industry is recovering and is better off now that it was four years ago. Since 2008, average total rental income earned per square foot (psf) has increased by $1.56, while total operating expenses—including fixed expenses—have decreased by $.20 psf.
- This week, Crain’s Chicago Business featured the contemporary and creative office spaces of five Chicago organizations for their annual “Chicago’s Coolest Offices” section. Braintree, Prophet, 1871, Girl Scouts of Chicago and Northwest Indiana and Baker & McKenzie made this year’s list. Take a tour of “Chicago’s Coolest Offices” here.
- Chicago-based Sterling Bay Cos. purchased 1040 W. Randolph St., a 56,000-square-foot building in the meatpacking district, for $4.7 million. The Art Deco building is just a few blocks from a large warehouse that Sterling Bay already purchased and is converting into trendy office space. Sterling Bay’s founding principal cited Randolph Street restaurants and the new CTA Green/Pink Line stop as key factors for investing in the area.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Or do you have comments or further thoughts on the five items noted above? We highly encourage you to post a comment.