DEERFIELD, IL-In addition to a campaign of opening one new store in the US every day, drug store giant Walgreen Co. is busy expanding its corporate headquarters here. The company has closed on 203,355 sf of office space in two buildings at 1411 and 1415 Lake Cook Rd., near the company’s current headquarters at 200 Wilmot Rd., where it now has bought 629,000 sf of additional space since 2002 for more than $61 million.

Walgreen paid Cornerstone nearly $20.2million, or $99 per sf, for the four-story buildings that are 20 and 21 years old. They have been known as Lake Cook Office Center I and II.

Walgreen acquired 1417 Lake Cook Rd. in April 2002 for $7.1 million, according to property records, getting a bargain at $68 per sf from Travelers Insurance Co. It then paid $34 million, or $106 per sf, for the former Hyatt Deerfield Office Complex on Wilmot Road north of Lake-Cook Road.

Direct vacancy in the north suburban office submarket is 21.4%, according to US Equities Realty’s most recent market report. However, it is 22.8% for class A space. Nonetheless, the north suburbs are the healthiest submarket outside of Downtown.

“It is a positive sign for the north suburban market when a company of this size invests in the area,” says CB Richard Ellis senior vice president Sean Kropke, who has now represented Walgreen Co. in three purchases here. “Since Walgreen Co. already owned one building in this complex, it made sense to purchase these two buildings for their growth needs and to keep their operations close.”

Paul Lundstedt of Cushman and Wakefield represented Cornerstone.

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