CHICAGO-Baker & McKenzie LLP has signed a letter of intent and is in negotiations to lease space at 444 W. Lake St., here. A joint venture between Hines, headquartered in Houston, and Chicago food service entrepreneur Larry Levy is developing the planned 1.1-million-sf office tower, called River Point. The law firm is in negotiations to lease between 250,000 sf and 300,000 sf at River Point starting in 2012, confirms Greg Van Schaack, SVP at Hines regional office here. The cost for the project is nearly $500 million, Van Schaack estimated for in March.

Baker & McKenzie currently leases approximately 240,000 sf at One Prudential Plaza, 130 E. Randolph St. The firm’s lease will expire in November 2012. The firm hired Jones Lang LaSalle and architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz early last year to draft an office strategic plan, as previously reported by

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