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CHICAGO-Microsoft Corp., with its corporate headquarters in Redmond, WA, has signed a lease for a total of 78,000 sf at the Aon Center, at 200 E. Randolph St. Microsoft will use the space for its headquarters for the Midwest District, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. The company will move into the Aon Center on Jan. 1, says Steve Smith, managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle. The term of the lease is “just under 11 years,” Smith says.

Steve Steinmeyer, Don Schulz and Luanne Reedy, all with JLL, represented Microsoft in the lease transaction. Smith and Mike Curran, SVP, represented building owner Piedmont Realty Trust. The lease included a tenant improvement allowance and some free rent, Smith says.

Microsoft is relocating from 77 W. Wacker, where it occupies about 48,000 sf, Smith says. The company will occupy the 30th and 31st floors of the 83-story building and will have client showroom space on the mezzanine on the second floor, which has taller ceilings. “They wanted something that was a little bit more impressive and a little bit non-traditional, in terms of typical office space,” he says.

The tenant will have a Microsoft Technology Center in the space, which is one of only eight across the country. At the center, clients can learn about Microsoft’s software and technologies, according to a company brochure. Microsoft chose the building for a couple of reasons, including the location near Lake Michigan and Millennium Park, and the 32,000-sf floor plates of the building, Smith says.

The 2.7-million-sf building, which was constructed in 1973, was acquired by Norcross, GA-based Piedmont Office Realty Trust, formerly known as Wells Real Estate Investment Trust. The building was acquired in 2003 for $465 million, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com. With the new Microsoft lease, Aon Center has an occupancy rate of more than 93%, Smith says. Other tenants include Aon, Jones Lang LaSalle and DDB Needham.

The asking lease rate of the building is between $18 per sf and $20 per sf, net, Smith tells GlobeSt.com. Building amenities include the Mid America Club, Café 200 and a 243-seat auditorium. The lower lobby of the Aon Center is also linked to the Fairmont Hotel and Lakeshore Athletic Club.

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