CHICAGO-The law firm of Nisen & Elliott has signed a renewal for 24,232 sf at 200 West Adams. The 26-member firm, founded here in 1946, has been a tenant since the office was built in 1985.

The firm considered several relocation options before deciding to sign a long-term renewal, according to Rick Schuham, executive vice president at Studley, who represented the firm along with John Goodman, executive vice president, and Eric Feinberg, associate director.

Equity Office is the current owner of the 677,222-sf site. Brian Atkinson, leasing representative for Equity, tells that “retaining tenants is always important to a landlord and we feel that we’re competitive with other class B buildings in the West Loop.”

“There are still many top-tier law firms in the Downtown market that are well served by older buildings, both from a cost and quality standpoint,” Schuham says. “The final renewal package yielded a competitive rental rate and the ability to renovate Nisen & Elliot’s space, without incurring the operational and financial costs that relocation would require.” He tells that the renovation could take about 90 days.

Schuham tells that “the evaluation process as whether to stay or renew for the law firm took approximately a year and a half. This is common for law firms of that size. Ultimately it made economic sense and the landlord was willing to step up to the plate to meet or beat market rates.” The value of the lease was not disclosed. Trammell Crow’s 2006 First Quarter Downtown Office Market Report lists the average asking price for West Loop office space at $29.31 per sf.

Corby Marx, a VP at Transwestern, tells that what one finds in the West Loop office market is a competition between class A and class B buildings. “Between the glut of office space and new buildings, the concessions landlords are offering are really high. He notes that in recent months a number of class B buildings have increased their amenity packages. “Many landlords have been buying the deal in terms of offering free rent and out of pocket capital expenditures. All this has helped to drive down rental rates in the market.”

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