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CHICAGO-PrivateBancorp Inc. has signed a 15-year lease to take 105,000 sf at the 120 S. LaSalle St. building here. The lease, signed with site manager Lincoln Property Co., will give the bank the entire second and third levels of the banking hall at the 675,000-sf building, as well as the entire sixth floor.

The company, which is expanding from its space at 70 W. Madison St., already has a temporary lease for the entire eighth floor of 120 S. LaSalle. Daniel Arends, a principal with Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler Inc., says the company needs more space, though it will still keep 90,000 sf at 70 W. Madison. “There’s about 90 employees in 28,605 sf in a temporary set-up right now, until the lease starts on Jan. 1,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “I think they know their company is growing by leaps and bounds, and with 120 S. LaSalle being such an architecturally significant building and a home for many past successful banks, their vision is to create a banking Mecca in the Central Loop.” Arends represented the tenant in the new lease.

The firm’s move is part of the following of its strategic growth plan, said Larry Richman, president and CEO of PrivateBancorp, during the firm’s first quarter conference call on Monday. The company reported that it had a net loss of $8.9 million, or 34 cents a share, in Q1, blamed on the expenses in following the growth plan. As part of the plan, the company has hired more than 150 new employees, including the staffing of four new offices in Cleveland, Des Moines, Iowa, Denver and Minneapolis. “We have experienced exceptional growth in our banking team,” Richman said, “and we need new headquarters space to accommodate the growth we expect to achieve in our franchise in the years ahead.”

The 80-year-old building is about 47% occupied now, before the new lease, Arends says. The lease rate is about $30 to $32 per sf, gross. “The office market right now downtown, there’s not a lot of demand for large users, this was a great coup for Lincoln Property. In general, the market has been slow,” he says.

Until January 2008, the property was 98% occupied. However, on Jan. 1, a buyout was accepted for 300,000 sf of J.P. Morgan Chase space. “This current vacancy is a recent blip in the history of the building,” Fritz Schaupp, SVP with Lincoln Property Co., tells GlobeSt.com. As of Jan. 1, 2009, the property will be 70% occupied. “We’ve got a good building, and a great new anchor tenant. Given the recent history, we can expect to be up in to the mid to high 90s occupancy very soon,” Schaupp says.

The official listed owner of the property is TR 120 S. LaSalle Corp. The building was purchased from Lurie Co. in 2006.

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