CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of June 23

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 June 23.

Rents On the Rise at High-End Chicago Office Towers 
Effective rents at Chicago’s upscale office towers are nearing pre-recession highs. According to commercial real estate services firm Savills Studley, average downtown rents have risen to $9.66/square foot for landlords and $28.39/square foot for tenants. Effective rents factor in additional building costs like property taxes, utilities and tenant-improvement allowances. Several office buildings scheduled to open in the next few years are expected to change the Chicago commercial real estate landscape considerably.

Local Engineering Firm Expands and Renews Lease at LaSalle Wacker
Knight Engineering has renewed its current lease in the LaSalle Wacker Building at 221 N. LaSalle St. The firm expanded office space to a second floor, leasing a total of more than 26,000 square feet. The historic LaSalle Wacker Building was designed by Chicago architectural firm Holabird and Roche (now Holabird and Root) and built in 1930. Knight Engineering is the building’s largest tenant.

Chicago Ranks Third in Green Commercial Space
According to the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index, a new study from CBRE and Maastricht University, 62.1 percent of commercial space in Chicago is certified as green. Researchers analyzed more than 34,000 buildings in the central business districts of the top 30 U.S. markets. Chicago ranked third among competing cities, following Minneapolis and San Francisco with 77 percent and 67.2 percent of green commercial space, respectively.

Debate Over the Location of George Lucas’ Museum Heightens
Moviemaker George Lucas has chosen Chicago as the site of his narrative arts museum, but some Chicagoans argue that the proposed museum violates the landmark Lakefront Protection Ordinance. The proposed 17-acre park site is currently occupied by two parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place. Advocates for the museum argue that it will expand the quantity and quality of lakeshore land, while critics want to preserve Chicago’s historic lakeshore.

250 South Wacker Drive Wins International TOBY Award
Congratulations to the management team at 250 South Wacker Drive, who received “The Outstanding Building of the Year” (TOBY) Award in the 100,000-249,999 Square Foot category from the International Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA International). Award winners were announced at the 2014Every Building Conference & Expo in Orlando on June 24, 2014. 

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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