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Chicago’s Four Hottest Office Developments

Chicago Office

Hint: They’re all surrounding the fork in the Chicago River, blocks from River North, the Merchandise Mart and burgeoning Fulton Market. Let’s take a look:

1. 150 N Riverside


O’Donnell Investment Co may have two more years until the 1.2M SF 150 N Riverside (financed by a $296M construction loan) delivers, but leasing’s been lightning fast. Its latest coups: Hyatt Hotels will move its 250k SF HQ into the tower (from 71 S Wacker) in 2017, and Polsinelli signed a 13-year lease for 112k SF. O’Donnell also has key leases from William Blair (318k SF), Victory Park Capital Advisors (26k SF) and the Pritzker Org (42k SF). Millennials like their offices close to public transit, John O’Donnell told us this fall, and technology continues to help them adapt to high-density work situations (whether that’s HVAC, electrical or WiFi).

2. River Point


The 1M SF River Point (444 W Lake St), Chicago’s first spec office tower (future home to McDermott Will & Emery and DLA Piper) in more than a decade that some say could sell for $700/SF in five years. We took this shot on our way to an Oktoberfest event on the newly finished riverwalk in October. That kind of sale price, astronomical as it seems, is cheap for a foreign, long-term investor, LaSalle Investment Management’s David Schreiber said. It’s a collaboration of Hines, Ivanhoé Cambridge and The Levy Org (designed by Pickard Chilton), and Ivanhoé’s even copying the building’s method of straddling railway tracks at its latest 2.5M SF project in Toronto.

3. Wolf Point South Tower (Phase II)


Here’s a shot of the future 48-story apartment tower on the way at Wolf Point from River Point’s riverwalk, taken in the fall. On the same site, 1.2M SF of office could break ground in the next few years as the three-tower, $1B project (a JV among the Kennedy family, AFL-CIO Investment Trust, Magellan Development and Hines) progresses. The planned South Tower, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, would be the site’s tallest at 950 feet and would likely include a mix of office, hotel and retail. As we’ve seen with the neighboring towers already underway, the key to getting a green light will be snagging anchor tenants in this increasingly competitive luxury office landscape.

4. 151 N Franklin

151 North Franklin, where Facebook recently leased 263K.

Property management is involved in building design from day one, especially when you’re working with a 32-story blank canvas like The John Buck Co’s 151 N Franklin, principal Betsy Traczek told us. (Think flexible HVAC to isolate floors and bill directly to tenants.) Buck’s plans first materialized in late 2013, when the firm raised $145M in equity for the project. With any luck, the firm will have major tenant moves to report by this summer’s Spring Fling. Also on TJBC’s drawing board: 200 N Michigan Ave, 41 stories of multifamily that broke ground in October.