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Firmspace Chicago Shutters On Short Notice, Leaving Tenants Without An Office During Holiday Week

Coworking company Firmspace abruptly closed its Chicago office at 145 South Wells St. on Monday, leaving tenants in the lurch in the lead-up to Thanksgiving.

Firmspace said it tried to renegotiate its lease with Moceri + Roszak, the owner and developer of 145 South Wells, to align with market conditions for office space but didn't have its calls answered, according to a notice to tenants obtained by Bisnow

However, Moceri + Roszak principal Michael Moceri, in a separate email to tenants that was also shared with Bisnow, said that the immediate closure “came as a surprise to us.”

145 South Wells St.

Firmspace said it sent multiple proposals to the landlord that received no response and that it was forced to cease operations on Monday. 

“We faced an uphill battle upon our opening in a city that was besieged by the virus and related lockdowns,” Firmspace wrote in the email. “As time passed, it was clear that our experience in Chicago would diverge from that in our other cities.”

Moceri told tenants that the landlord’s lawyers are contacting Firmspace in an attempt to minimize the disruption caused by the unexpected closure. 

Calls to Moceri and Firmspace weren't returned as of publication time. Firmspace had removed Chicago from its list of locations on its website as of Wednesday afternoon, while Google marked the business as “permanently closed.”

“We are actively working to resolve this unfortunate state of affairs, and get possession of the offices from Firmspace, if they choose to cooperate, and absent their cooperation, take other appropriate action,” Moceri wrote in the email to tenants. “We appreciate your patience and assure you that ownership is doing everything they can within their rights to provide clarity to this situation.”

Firmspace told its tenants it plans to return their deposits as soon as possible and that they have the next few days to retrieve any remaining property in the office space.

The Austin-based coworking company opened its doors in May 2021, targeting tenants who wanted more private spaces to work. The 34K SF office, which took up the 17th, 18th and 19th floors of the building, included floor-to-ceiling privacy glass, sound-masking speakers and sound-absorbing ceilings, according to Built In Chicago. It joined other Firmspace locations in Austin, Atlanta, Denver and Houston.

145 South Wells St. represented Moceri + Roszak’s first foray into office development. It opened in 2020.