CHICAGO, IL-The Regus Group has just signed two new leases for a total of 38,000 SF of office space in and near downtown Chicago, and they have much more on the way.
“Our plan is to triple our Midwest footprint over the next few years,” said Paul Stekala, the group’s regional director of real estate. The firm rents out office space in many countries to companies that don’t want the headaches that come with managing property. “There are no upfront capital expenditures when you do a deal with Regus.”
Lately, Stekala has seen a far greater interest from many potential clients in offices not located in traditionally sleek, modern office towers. For example, one of the new leases, at 564 West Randolph, just west of Chicago’s Loop, is in a building built in 1908 and has exposed brick and high ceilings in its offices. It was fully renovated last year and Regus will open its space this summer.
“They like the aesthetic feel of that sort of building,” said Stekala of the many tech and creative workers populating new urban workspaces. Starbucks recently relocated its Midwestern headquarters to 564 West Randolph.
“A lot of these urban tenants are coming back” into the central business districts, he added, leading Regus to seek out downtown spaces once given up for dead. Regus has even begun looking for offices in downtown Detroit.
“We see a bit of revitalization in their CBD,” he said. In 2011, for example, Quicken Loans began moving thousands of its employees downtown.
Overall, American corporate culture has changed in ways that will help Regus expand. Companies that used to manage their own jumbo leases for 400,000 SF increasingly farm out their operations. “Now maybe their sales guys are being sent to a Regus office.” In the near future, Stekala also expects Regus will establish office spaces in smaller cities and towns across the Midwest that will complement the push into the older downtowns.
“We’re going to have quite a little wave of leases in the near future.”