The firm will occupy approximately 44,000 sf on the 27th and28th floors and will also occupy approximately 2,800 sf on theupper concourse, says Mark Buth, SVP and managing director ofleasing services with MB Real Estate. "The lobby space will be usedmainly for meeting rooms," Buth says. "By taking the lobby space,it affords them much greater identity than they would otherwiseachieve." Since 1999, the firm and a predecessor had beensubleasing 36,728 sf on the 11th floor from Midas in 225 N.Michigan Ave., part of Michigan Plaza.

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Buth and Kathleen Bertrand, with MB Real Estate, represented thebuilding ownership in the lease transaction. Joseph Lerner, withStudley, represented the tenant.The company is expanding the amountof space they are leasing because "their business has grownorganically and they have acquired other firms in the area aswell," Buth says. The firm chose the new location to keep theconvenient location and views in addition to the floor plates of22,000 sf at 205 N. Michigan Ave., he says. Amenities to thebuilding include a concierge, 500 parking spaces, a bus thattravels to and from the West Loop train stations and retailers suchas a bank, Starbucks and other food options. Virchow Krause expectsto move into the new space June 1, Buth says. The asking lease ratefor Michigan Plaza is between $28 per sf and $32 per sf, gross.

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The two-building complex, which has a total of nearly twomillion sf, is owned by New York City-based Loeb Partners RealtyLLC, which acquired the property in December 2004 for approximately$273 million, sources say. The plaza is 81% leased. The largesttenant in the complex is Blue Cross Blue Shield Association(BCBSA), which occupies all of the second through the sixth floorsat 225 N. Michigan in addition to parts of the eighth and ninthfloors. Other major tenants include Cramer Krasselt, FoxTelevision, Unilever and a number of business units of Omnicom.

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The buildings, constructed in 1982, were designed by FujikawaJohnson & Associates. The plaza is in the midst of a renovationthat is expected to be complete in May, Buth says. Renovationsinclude a "new entry way, new revolvers, new frameless glass entry[and] upgrading the finish levels of the retail spaces on the lowerconcourse," he says. A turnstile near the elevator banks and asecurity desk will also be added, he says.

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