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 January 20.
Goodbye to a Riverside Staple
The Chicago Sun-Times will terminate its lease at 350 N. Orleans come the end of 2014. Wrapports LLC, owner of the Sun-Times Media Group newspapers, has been leasing 98,000 square feet at the riverfront property since 2004. No statements have been made as to whether or not the Sun-Times will move to another building or if the paper will reduce its space.
Tall Tower with Low Vacancy
A French reinsurance company, Scor S.E., has signed a 10-year lease for 30,000 square feet of space in the Willis Tower. The Paris-based company will be moving from west suburban Itasca. Including the Scor deal, Willis Tower finished 2013 with 12% vacancy, a rate below the 14.4% overall downtown vacancy in Q4 and the West Loop’s 13.4% vacancy rate.
Big Deal for Wrigley
Talent Partners LLC, a New York firm that supports the advertising industry, has leased 29,095 square feet in the Wrigley Building. This marks the tower’s biggest lease since it changed owners in 2011 and underwent a major renovation. Talent Partners, which is moving from 20,000 square feet at 541 N. Fairbanks Court, will lease the entire 14th floor.
Drupac Secures Tenant Before Ownership
The Drapac Group, an Australian company with headquarters in Los Angeles, purchased a 36,730-square-foot warehouse property at 1215 W. Fulton St. Ten days before the purchase of the property even closed, Drupac secured a tenant for the space – an event planning company named The Revel Group. According to Cook County records, Drapac paid $2.675 million for the property.
Commercial Property Taxes Hit Hard by Pensions
Within the next year, Chicago must generate a state-mandated $590 million increase in its contribution to police and fire pension funds. This hefty amount may cause Chicago to have the highest commercial property tax rate in the nation – all while leaving the city in need of making millions of dollars in spending cuts that could end many services. State legislators will be asked to restructure the city’s pension obligations within the next few months.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.