CHICAGO-The Civic Opera building, 20 N. Wacker Dr., is being sold by the Blackstone Group, which purchased it earlier this year as part of a portfolio from Equity Office Properties Trust. “Blackstone is getting ready to sell the property,” says John Goodman, executive vice president for Studley, which recently represented the largest tenant of the building in a lease renewal. “From what I understand, there are about five or six major institutional owners of real estate who are looking at this building as part of their Chicago portfolio,” Goodman tells A Blackstone spokeswoman tells that she cannot confirm nor deny the sale plans.

The law firm of Cassiday Schade LLP, which has been a tenant since 1998, renewed its lease of 62,863 sf at the building until 2018, Goodman says. Cassiday Schade was represented in the transaction by Goodman, executive vice president Rick Schuham and corporate managing director Andrew Kelly, all with Studley. C.J. Dempsey, vice president of leasing with Equity Office Properties Trust, represented the ownership for the Civic Opera building, which was purchased by the Blackstone Group earlier this year from locally based EOP.

Studley had looked into the possibility of Cassiday relocating to a different building in the West Loop, but the law firm decided to renew its lease in the Civic Opera building because it received a competitive lease rate, rent concessions, a tenant improvement allowance and expansion rights, Goodman says. The firm will use the tenant improvement allowance to upgrade the space’s common areas, such as the conference rooms and reception area, he says.

The Civic Opera building, which has 841,778 sf of rentable space, is currently 95% leased, Goodman says. Cassiday is the largest tenant in the building, which was constructed in 1929 and renovated in 1995. The lease rate was not disclosed. The average lease rate for the West Loop submarket is $28.53 per sf, according to Grubb & Ellis’ first quarter market report.

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