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ROLLING MEADOWS, IL-Residential lender Argent Mortgage Co. has leased 163,100 sf at Continental Towers here, catapulting occupancy in the three-building complex along the Northwest Tollway to more than 93%. The 925,090-sf complex had a 22.7% vacancy rate before the deal, the largest office lease signed in the suburbs in 2003.

Continental Towers had been the most underperforming asset in Prime Group Realty Trust’s office portfolio except for 33 W. Monroe St., which was left nearly 80% vacant as a result of Andersen’s demise. While details were not disclosed, Prime Group Realty Trust’s asking net lease rate at the property at 1701 Golf Rd. is $14.50 per sf, which would make the deal with Argent Mortgage Co. worth more than $2.3 million a year.

Occupancy in the REIT’s 1.7-million-sf suburban office portfolio rises to 93.9% as a result of the deal, according to executive vice president of leasing Faye I. Oomen. Efficient space, the Magnum Steakhouse restaurant on the ground floor, as well as an on-site health club were selling points, she says.

The mortgage company has 200 offices throughout the US and will use the Continental Towers space for its regional headquarters. The complex already is home to Fifth Third Bank, which leases 94,430 sf.

In square footage, the deal surpasses the 132,000 sf MidAmerica Bank recently agreed to take at The Alter Group’s Corridors III in Downers Grove.

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