"They had a lease coming up in early 2009, and because of theiracquisition, they're still in the planning mode for growth," saysUGL Equis SVP Steve Schneider, who represented the company in thelease. "They wanted to understand their growth, what their needswere and future headcount projections before they made a long-termcommitment somewhere, and they weren't quite there yet. They areheavily packed-in right now, and there was existing sublease spacein the building that allowed them to relieve some of thepressure."

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Bridge, based in Chicago, currently has 50 employees, but islooking to hire more people. The firm will sublease the space onthe 23rd floor from Business.com for the remainder of its lease.Tishman Speyer, owner of the 36-story building constructed in 1992,was represented in-house by Ellen May.

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Asking lease rates in the building are around $23 per sf, net,Schneider says. The building is about 95% leased currently, but hassome substantial space being freed up in early 2010, when AmericanHospital Association moves out of 75,000 sf on floors 27 through33.

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Schneider says 1 N. Franklin may not be the only building in theWest Loop submarket facing increasing vacancies in the future. "Asof today, it's got a pretty high occupancy rate," Schneider says."However, with all these new buildings going up downtown, as wellas with financial institutions putting space on the market towardthe end of this year and beginning of 2009, we expect to see somesignificant vacancy in the next two years."

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