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 December 9.
New Commissioner of the Department of Buildings
Mayor Rahm Emanuel named Felicia Davis Commissioner of the Department of Buildings. Davis will replace Michael Merchant in this role. During his tenure, Merchant created and invited BOMA/Chicago to sit on the Building Advisory Committee. BOMA/Chicago maintained a positive and collaborative relationship with Commissioner Merchant and looks forward to working with Davis. Davis was previously the Executive Director of the Office of Public Engagement and BOMA/Chicago worked with her during the NATO Conference.
Plus Three for Wrigley
Three new tenants have leased a combined 20,702 square feet of space in the newly renovated Wrigley Building, which will likely help to increase the leasing rate from 35% to 45%. Grisko LLC, an integrated communications company, will lease 9,777 square feet, Bluebeam Software Inc. will lease 9,339 square feet and SE10 Creative LLC, a public relations firm, will lease 1,586 square feet.
More Shops at North Bridge
The owners of 500 N. Michigan Avenue, a building also known as the Shops at North Bridge, plan to convert a portion of an adjacent office building into retail space. Macerich Co. announced that it plans to invest as much as $45 million on capital improvements to the 24-story building to accommodate the demand for more retail space. The Shops at North Bridge is currently 91.5% occupied, with Nordstrom as its most well-known tenant.
John Buck Steps it Up
The John Buck Company, along with its partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the INDURE Fund managed by National Real Estate Advisors, have committed $145 million of equity capital to build a new office tower at 151 N. Franklin. The building will rise 36-stories high and will house 825,000 square feet of space.
Future Shows Decline in Vacancy Rates
CBRE issued a report this week indicating that US office vacancy rates will decline to 14.3% in 2014 and 13.5% in 2015. Arthur Jones, Senior Managing Economist of CBRE Econometric Advisors, stated that, “We should see a broader and more sustained recovery in occupancy and rents in 2014 and beyond, as employers continue to hire office workers and more markets bounce back from the housing crisis.” CBRE also forecasts that office rents will increase by 3%, on average, in 2014, and rise another 4.4% in 2015.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.