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CHICAGO-Channel 2 will likely be the most visible tenant with a ground-floor studio. However, the CBS-Viacom owned-and-operated television station no longer will be the largest tenant at 108 N. State St., as investment research firm Morningstar has signed a letter of intent for 185,000 sf.

Arlington, VA-based Mills Corp., developer of the “Block 37″ mixed-use project, expects to have Morningstar’s office space, which will spread over seven floors, ready for a March 2008 move. Morningstar has a 15-year lease at 225 W. Wacker Dr. that expires in early 2009.

“We’ve spent the last 18 months conducting a thorough search for office space, including our current location,” says Morningstar managing director of design David Williams. “We believe we’ve selected a location that makes sense financially and that offers many benefits to our employees.”

Channel 2 will occupy the first five floors of the office building, which now could range from nearly 300,000 sf to 450,000 sf, at the corner of Washington and Dearborn streets. The station will get its own address, 2 W. Washington St., and a street-level studio overlooking Daley Plaza to the west.

The two deals put the office portion of the $336-million development ahead of the 417,000-sf retail piece, expected to be the focal point of Mills Corp.’s development of the long-vacant city block in the heart of the Loop. Banana Republic, David Barton Gym, Boggi Milano, Sisley and Andrew’s Ties have committed to opening shops at 108 N. State St., but details including space blocks are not final. Plans also call for 400 to 600 multifamily and hotel units.

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