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  • December 9th, 2015
  • News

As Seen in Chicago Business

Brand-new office space is becoming scarce in downtown Chicago after Navigant Consulting leased the largest remaining large block under construction.

Navigant leased 110,000 square feet in the 53-story tower being built at 150 N. Riverside Plaza in the West Loop, the consulting firm and the building’s developer confirmed.

In October, Crain’s reported that Navigant was in advanced negotiations to move to the 1.2 million-square-foot tower being developed by Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development.

The four-floor headquarters deal brings 150 N. Riverside to 75 percent pre-leased about a year before its scheduled completion. The only remaining unencumbered spaces—those that do not include options for larger tenants to claim the space years down the road for potential expansions—are for single floors, said Riverside CEO John O’Donnell and CBRE Executive Vice President Drew Nieman, who handles the building’s leasing.

The tower is scheduled to open in January 2017, O’Donnell said. Thirty-four floors have been constructed, and it is expected to top out in March.

“We’re well ahead of where we expected to be,” O’Donnell said. “Our goal was to be 80 percent pre-leased at opening. Demand for the building has been exceptional.”

Just to the north, a venture of Houston-based Hines Interests has pre-leased 70 percent of its space in the 52-story River Point tower, which also is about a year from completion. Those are the only new office buildings currently being built.

Navigant is moving from about 120,000 square feet at CME Center, 30 S. Wacker Drive.

2017 MOVE PLANNED

“As our firm grows, it is important that our office space inspires collaboration and connection among our workforce,” Chairman and CEO Julie Howard said in a statement. “The space at 150 N. Riverside Plaza is designed to support our growth plans through the next decade as we continue to build, manage and protect our clients’ business value.”

The firm plans to move in the second quarter of 2017, said spokeswoman Megan Maupin. She declined to say how many people work in the headquarters of Navigant, which she said has 5,000 employees in more than 50 cities throughout the world.

Navigant was represented in the lease by brokers Jeff Samaras and Ari Klein of Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield.

Other large tenants at 150 N. Riverside include investment firm William Blair, hotel chain Hyatt and law firm Polsinelli.

O’Donnell is also believed to be seeking office tenants as part of a mixed-use development Riverside plans at 700 W. Chicago Ave. along with the property’s owner, Tribune Media. O’Donnell confirmed the venture with Tribune, which Crain’s first reported in March, but he declined to comment on plans for the site at Chicago and Halsted Street.

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