PHILADELPHIA-DeVry University leases 15,186 sf in the 20-story office building at 1800 JFK Blvd. for a new Center City education center it will open here next month. The space includes 4,500 sf on the first floor and 10,676 sf on the 12th floor of the 250,000-sf property.

Steven Cousart, George Cauffman and Michael McShane, first VPs in the local office of CB Richard Ellis, negotiated for the university. Jeff R. Seligsohn, a principal with locally based Seligsohn Soens Hess, represented the building owner, JFK Investment Associates LP 1, a private real estate investment partnership.

The value of the lease is undisclosed. Second-quarter 2004 data from the local office of Cushman & Wakefield says the average asking rental rate for office space West of Broad St. is $27.83 per sf, while a first-quarter 2004 report from Trammell Crow Co.’s Philadelphia office puts the average asking rate in the Market Street West submarket at $24.41 per sf. Area brokers, however, tell that discounting is prevalent and TIs are generous.

The building was completed in 1984. The architect was locally based Ballinger & Associates. Other tenants are CBRE, Esquire Deposition Services, the NAACP, RLI Insurance, Thomas Cook, and Travelex.

DeVry, based in Oak Brook Terrace, IL, operates 70 locations in 20 states and Canada along with DeVry University Online. The Center City location will complement a large campus in Fort Washington, PA and a center in Valley Forge, PA as well as its online operations. The new Downtown center will offer undergraduate degree programs and graduate degree programs through its Keller Graduate School of Management. It is specifically designed to bring convenience to students who live or work Downtown. Classes will be held during the day, in the evening, and on weekends.

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