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CHICAGO-CB Richard Ellis, based here, has been chosen to lease up and manage 250 S. Wacker Dr. AEW Partners V, headquartered in Boston, purchased the building last month from D2 Realty Cos., based here, for $57 million, says Kyle O’Connor, vice president of AEW. “We saw an opportunity in the location, the recovering market and really the movement of the rents that is occurring for properties on Wacker Drive,” O’Connor says.

The 268,243-sf office tower recently underwent a $24-million renovation, O’Connor says. The exterior was re-clad and windows were replaced with floor to ceiling windows with low e-glass. The common area was remodeled. All of the building’s systems were replaced and a Chill Beam heating and cooling system was installed. Additionally, the elevators and elevator cabs were renovated. “Basically, the building is a brand new building,” says John Dempsey, senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis. The structure is still the same but almost everything else is new making the building “a very green product” in that they reused the existing building structure, he said.

A conference center will also be added to the building, Dempsey says. An estimate of the size of the center was not available because plans are still being designed. The center should be open this fall when the first office tenants are moving into the building, Dempsey says.

D2 had plans to turn the building into office condos but the plans never materialized, O’Connor says. The building space will be leased by CB Richard Ellis as opposed to sold as condos. “Chicago is a leasing market,” Dempsey says. The only leases signed so far for the building are for the retail space. Walgreen’s and Panera Bread Co. have signed leases and plan to move into the building this summer. Dempsey says there has been a lot of activity and they have “received eight requests for proposals. It seems to be very well received,” he adds.

The asking rate for the office space is $25 per sf, net, Dempsey tells GlobeSt.com. “We are in line with the market place,” he says. “We are looking to be very efficient and, basically, to provide a lot of value to moderate to large tenants.” The building’s size and floor plates lend itself to medium-sized businesses. The building has floor plates of approximately 18,000 sf compared to most buildings that have about 35,000 sf, he says. Dempsey says the building has “stellar views” of the Chicago River, Wacker Drive and the horizon. The tower is within a block of Union Station and Chicago’s El and is a couple of blocks away from the train station for the Rock Island line. The building also has more than 70 indoor parking spaces, which is rare for a building of that size, Dempsey says. The 16-story office tower allows more of a “club” feel for the tenants. “They will be recognized when they walk in the door,” he says.

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