CHICAGO-Builders Bank has signed a lease for 19,309 sf of office space at 225 W. Wacker Dr. The new space will be a slight reduction from their current location at 77 W. Wacker Dr., but is expected to be more efficient and economical while allowing the bank to stay in a class A office building with views of Lake Michigan, says David Burkards, assistant vice president for MB Real Estate.

Burkards and Andy Davidson, executive vice president and managing director of corporate services for MB Real Estate, represented Builders Bank. Monica Moor and Mark Gunderson, both of Jones Lang LaSalle, represented the building owner.

Builders Bank, which was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Chicago, has sub-leased about 22,000 sf on the 31st floor at 77 W. Wacker since 2001, Burkards says. The floor, however, is being leased by the law firm of Greenburg & Traurig.

Searching for a new location was somewhat difficult because of the bank’s requirements, Burkards says. “Being a prominent bank, they wanted a location either on Wacker Drive or on LaSalle Street,” he says. The bank also wanted to remain in a “premier class A building” and preferred the “nice views” of the upper floors, he says.

The bank will have slightly less space in the new building but is not downsizing, Burkards says. The bank will be able to design the space, which will make it more efficient, he says. Builders will be moving into the new space on June 1.

The bank received “an aggressive economic package” from the building owner including “a high tenant improvement package, [and] there as a good amount of free rent involved,” Burkards tells GlobeSt.com.

Burkards would not disclose the lease rate or the exact aggregate value for the long-term lease. “It is a very fair rate for such a nice class A building,” he says. “I would go as far as to say it was below market.” Space in the building is currently being advertised at $18.50 to $20 per sf net. Since Builders will be located in the high-rise portion, the asking rate would be “probably closer to $20″ per sf, Burkards says. “I would say that it was a good deal for both sides. The building got a great tenant and we got a great deal,” he says.

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