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CHICAGO-The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is expanding to 81,906 sf on the fourth and 13th floors at the Merchandise Mart, at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, here. The school has leased 15,750 sf on the 13th floor of the building since last year, says Philip Utigard, EVP with Transwestern. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology will be expanding by 45,636 sf in September and expanding an additional 15,750 sf on the fourth floor by Dec. 1, Utigard says. The term for the lease is 13 years.

Utigard and Katherine Williams, also with Transwestern, represented the school in the lease transaction. John Dempsey and Melissa Rubenstein, both with CB Richard Ellis, and Karin Kraai, with Merchandise Mart Properties, represented the building owner in the transaction. Vornado Realty Trust is the owner of the building.

The school, which was founded in 1979, also leases about 80,000 sf nearby at 325 N. Wells, Utigard says. The school’s student population has increased from 845 in 2004 to 1,450 currently. The space in the Merchandise Mart will be used for a mixture of classrooms, faculty offices and a forensics center that will be relocated from 325 Wells, Utigard tells GlobeSt.com.

The Merchandise Mart is between 98% and 99% occupied, says Mark Falanga, SVP with Merchandise Mart Properties. The asking lease rates for office space ranges from the mid-$20′s to low-$30′s, gross, he says. Major tenants include advertising firm WWP Group, the Chicago Sun Times and advertising firm Publicis.

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