CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of March 3

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 March 3.

Luck of the Threes
GlenStar Properties and Walton Street Capital have signed three new tenants to the building they own at 55 E. Monroe. Best Imaging Solutions, a Chicago-based graphics and printing firm, signed the largest of the leases for 16,450 square feet of space for 15 years. Photo stock agency, Getty Images, signed a lease for 15,319 square feet along with Acciona S.A., a civil engineering and renewable energy firm, which will lease a 15,882-square-foot space. These leases have brought the occupancy rate up by 5% to a total of 84%.

Lofty River North
A venture led by Chicago-based Wells Street Cos. has purchased 224-230 W. Huron, a 66,000-square-foot loft office building in River North. The Chicago investment firm paid $7 million for the building, which is currently 91.5% leased and includes tenants such as Parenteau, architecture firm Antunovich Associates and design firm idX Corp.

#Moving to the West Loop
Twitter, the San Francisco-based social media company, will be moving its Chicago offices to 111 N. Canal St. The company’s move from 5,500 square feet of space at 180 N. LaSalle St. to the West Loop is based on the need to accommodate its fast-growing staff. Twitter is expected to lease 16,000 square feet on the 10th floor at 111 N. Canal, which is the home to several other tech companies.

Fitness Comes to CBOT
GlenStar Properties and USAA Real Estate Company, owners of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, have debuted the latest amenity that is part of their $25 million capital-improvement campaign – a 10,000-square-foot fitness center managed by Fitness Formula. The gym comes with its own shower facilities and offers personal training services and massage therapy. Fitness Formula manages 12 other health clubs in Chicago.

Concealed Carry Survey Results
With the State of Illinois poised to begin issuing permits under the recently passed Illinois Concealed Carry Act, building owners are in the process of determining policies for their buildings. In late February 2014, we conducted a short survey to determine how many buildings have already adopted a policy and whether that policy is to permit or prohibit concealed weapons.

From these results, we learned that about half of BOMA/Chicago member buildings have decided to exercise their right to prohibit concealed weapons and have either already posted the required notice or are in the process of doing so.  A bit more than a third of member building owners have opted to permit concealed carry.  About 15% are still considering which policy to adopt.

Tenant preference and safety are among the major factors being considered by building owners when adopting a policy.   As expected, liability is also a concern, but remains an open question. Unlike many other states, the Illinois Concealed Carry Act is silent on the issue of liability and the law is too new to have been tested in Illinois courts. Many buildings address firearms in their existing rules and regulations. Depending on the policy the building owners adopt or the applicability of current language with the new law, rules and regulations may need to be revised.

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

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About BOMA/Chicago

The voice of Chicago's office building industry since 1902.
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