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CHICAGO-Barry Callebaut, the Zurich-based manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, is expanding its lease at 600 W. Chicago to 27,079 sf. The company has occupied approximately 11,207 sf in the building since May for its North American headquarters. There are 10 years remaining on the lease, says Kyle Kamin, SVP at CB Richard Ellis.

The company will be using the expanded space on the top floor of the eight-story building to add a Chocolate Academy, Kamin says. This will be the company’s 10th academy globally but will be the first location in the US, he says. Barry Callebaut is expected to move into the new space in June or July. Kamin and Todd Lippman represented Barry Callebaut. Brad Despot, SVP with Jones Lang LaSalle, represented the building owner.

A group of New York City investors, led by real estate attorney Victor Gerstein, acquired the building in May for a reported $300 million from a partnership including Taconic Investment Partners, Angelo Gordon & Co. and Centrum Properties. The 1.5-million-sf building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1908 as a distribution center for Montgomery Ward and underwent a nearly $200-million renovation by the previous owners in 2001.

The building is 85% leased. The largest tenant in the building is Bankers Life and Casualty, which leases 207,536 sf in the building. Other major tenants include Wrigley, the Big Ten Network, Innerworkings, Japonais Restaurant and David Barton Gym. The asking lease rate for office space in the building is $25 per sf, gross, Despot tells GlobeSt.com.

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