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Walgreens Will Be Old Main Post Office's First Tenant

The Post Office, Chicago

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced it is nearing a deal with the 601W Cos. to lease 200K SF at the Post Office, 601W's redevelopment of the Old Main Post Office, the Chicago Tribune reports. The deal would be a momentum generator for 601W's efforts with the 2.8M SF redevelopment — the largest repositioning in the U.S. — and would continue an uptick of leasing activity in the southwest Loop started by the repositioning of Willis Tower.

The drugstore giant will make an official announcement and unveil renderings for the space at an on-site event with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Walgreens said its Post Office space will accommodate 1,800 workers; 1,300 of those jobs will relocate from the suburbs. Workers at the company's Technology Center of Excellence at Sullivan Center will relocate to the new space. The company added 20K SF at Sullivan Center last October for a total footprint of 114K SF.

Walgreens will maintain its headquarters in suburban Deerfield, where it employs 3,200 people.

The 601W Cos. received a $500M construction loan for the redevelopment last December, and has raised $250M in equity since acquiring the property in May 2016. The $800M redevelopment is one of 10 sites in Chicago's bid for Amazon's second headquarters. The Telos Group President Brian Whiting, whose firm handles leasing for the building, told Bisnow in September that ownership is not approaching leasing the building with Amazon HQ2 in mind.

The Post Office's repositioning has a target completion of March. Tenants could move in, if all goes according to plan, in May. Walgreens is represented by JLL's Meredith O'Connor, Steve Stratton and Bill Rogers. Ownership is represented by The Telos Group's Matt Pistorio and Steve Smith. The Telos Group declined to comment to Bisnow about negotiations. Bisnow has reached out to JLL for comment, but has not received a response.