CHICAGO—The East Loop has sometimes suffered in comparison withthe hot neighborhoods of River North and the West Loop, butGlenStar Properties, LLC just signed a significantlease in the submarket with a sought-after tenant.

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Punchkick Interactive, Inc., a mobile marketingexpert, will occupy 23,401-square-feet at GlenStar's 55 East Monroebuilding. The fact that Punchkick was a River North firm could be asign that amenities like Millennium Park and the growing popularityof the submarket as a residential neighborhood are attracting moreoffice workers to this side of the CBD. The firm will make the movefrom 22 West Ontario St. later this year.

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“Punchkick is representative of high growth potential technologytenants that landlords covet,” said GlenStar managing directorChristian Domin, in a prepared statement. He wasnot available by press time, but GlobeSt.com will post an update onMonday. “As these newer firms mature they come to a point whereadditional resources, access to amenities and diversetransportation options become critical to sustaining operations andrecruiting a talented work force.”

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“The East Loop is a hot area for tech companies as evidenced byother notable tech deals recently signed in the submarket,” Dominadded. “I think it just proves that today the East Loop has all theingredients necessary – including proximity to top-ratededucational institutions – to be successful in today's neweconomy.”

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GlenStar and partner Walton Street Capitalplayed their part in this transformation by embarking on theredevelopment of 55 East Monroe in 2005. The partners converted thetop nine floors of the 1.6-million-square-foot property into luxurycondominiums. The project, the largest partial conversion of anexisting office building into luxury residential condominiums inChicago history, was completed in 2013.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.