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CHICAGO-The 523,000-sf Congress Center, 525 W. Van Buren St., is being put up for sale by Triple Net Properties. The 16-story building is being sold subject to existing financing. The building had been acquired by several Triple Net-sponsored programs in 2003. Triple Net had acquired the office building for $136.1 million. The building is expected to sell for as much as $150 million, sources say.

Jaime Fink, Jeff Bramson and Kenneth Glomb, all with the Chicago office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, are marketing the building. The building was constructed in 2001 and has a 40-space indoor parking garage in addition to a 1,700-car parking garage. The building has a lobby with 20-foot ceilings and column-free floors with a center core design.

The property is currently 79% leased, according to a released statement from HFF. The occupancy rate is low compared to other buildings in the area. The vacancy rate for the Central Business District for the fourth quarter of 2007 was less than 14% and the vacancy rate in the West Loop at 13.4%, according to Grubb & Ellis.

The building currently has two full floors that are vacant, Fink said in the statement. Tenants include the federal government, Akzo Nobel Inc., North American Co. for Life and Health Insurance and Amtrak, which all have leases expiring in 2011 through 2013, according to Triple Net.

GE Employers Reinsurance Co. had been a major tenant in the building. Sources say the drop in vacancy is due to GE vacating the fourth and fifth floors in the building five weeks ago and moving to 227 W. Adams. The asking lease rate for the building is $19.50 per sf, net, according to published Grubb & Ellis information.

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