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(To read more on the net lease market, click here.)

CHICAGO-Independent public relations firm Edelman has signed a lease for 118,187 sf at the East Loop’s 2.5-million-sf Aon Center. The transaction includes an expansion of 6,676 sf and a lease extension through 2020. The company will also be consolidating its operations onto floors 62 through 65 of the 82-story building.

CB Richard Ellis’ Kyle Kamin, who represented Edelman along with Todd Lippman, says with the company being headquartered in the tower since 1993, this was ideal situation for Edelman. “We were able to consolidate onto four floors, and negotiate future options for contiguous growth within the building,” says Kamin.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Steve Smith and Brad Despot represented the landlord, Wells Real Estate Funds, in negotiations. “Signing Edelman to a long-term extension and expansion is an important step in our strategy of this asset,” says Smith. “The on-going investments into Aon Center will continue to position this building as the headquarter choice.” Located at 200 E. Randolph St., the Aon Center is the corporate headquarters of AON Insurance.

According CB Richard Ellis’ second quarter stats, the East Loop experienced the largest vacancy rate decrease of the Downtown submarkets, dropping to 15.5% from 18.2% at first quarter 2006, as well as posting a positive net absorption of 264,861 sf. During the second quarter, Blue Cross Blue Shield occupied 134,724 sf, and the Art Institute of Chicago occupied 29,946 sf.

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