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In A Sea Of Vacancies, Trading Firm Triples Its Downtown Chicago Footprint

As many companies succumb to office shrinkages amid a rise in remote and hybrid work, Headlands Technologies is doing the opposite, nearly tripling the size of its downtown office for a high-end, highly expensive workspace.

The trading firm founded by former Citadel executives has leased around 45K SF on two of the top three floors in the 55-story tower at 110 North Wacker Drive. It is relocating from the roughly 16K SF it currently leases on the 46th floor of the office tower at 444 West Lake St.

110 North Wacker Drive

Headlands partner Chris Klopotowski told Crain’s Chicago Business the firm's growing headcount prompted the need for more space.

"We are excited to lease world-class, marquee space befitting our world-class talent," Klopotowski said. "We were looking for the best possible space in the city, and it became clear that this is the best space in the best building."

On trend with companies pivoting to amenity-rich workspaces, the move comes at a hefty price tag, with annual rent more than $50 per square foot before taxes and operating expenses — among the highest ever paid for a Chicago office.

Headlands will be on the 53rd and part of the 54th floor at 110 North Wacker. It will sit just below private equity firm Linden Capital Partners, which recently leased the top floor of the 1.5M SF building completed in late 2020 and formally known as Bank of America Tower.

The firm is marketing its existing space for sublease beginning in late 2023, according to a Cushman & Wakefield flyer, Crain’s reported. Its 10-year lease at the building runs through October 2029.

Headlands' relocation is a shot in the arm for downtown's office market as vacancy rates hover around 18.6%, according to MB Real Estate’s Q3 Market Index, which tracks vacancy among the most recently built 30 Class-A office buildings greater than 300K SF in the city’s Central Business District.