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CHICAGO-In one of the largest Downtown lease deals in the past year, McDermott, Will & Emery has decided to stay put at the AT&T Corporate Center/USG Building well beyond 2005, renewing its lease for 235,000 sf at the 60-story office tower at 227 W. Monroe St. Although terms of the long-term lease renewal were not revealed, most recent published lease rates for the building managed by Tower Realty Management Corp. started at $34 per sf on a net basis, which would make the deal worth $8 million a year.

However, that rate is above the curve for class-A office space Downtown, according to U.S. Equities Realty, which sets the upper end of the range at $28 per sf. Jason Schulz of Levy Organization Real Estate Services, who represented the law firm along with Holly Duran and Richard Schulz, would only say, “the landlord was very competitive.”

The owners of the 1.54-million-sf building had to be, as the choices included at least three strong candidates in 111 S. Wacker Dr., a building being developed by Hines Interests at 200 N. Riverside Plaza and 130 N. Franklin St., Schulz tells GlobeSt.com.

“It was extremely competitive for the relocation alternatives,” he explains. “The landlord offered them a transaction that was comparable and alleviated the pain of moving.”

The move would not have been outside the submarket. “The majority of the partners and the attorneys come in and out of the Ogilvie Transportation Center,” Schulz tells GlobeSt.com.

Joseph Gordon, regional general manager of Tower Realty Management Corp., represented building ownership, which acquired the property in 1995 for $345 million. The lease keeps occupancy at AT&T Corporate Center/USG Building at 99%. Other tenants include CS First Boston, AT&T Corp., William Blair & Co. and JPMorgan Chase Bank.

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