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CHICAGO-Behringer Harvard has hired CB Richard Ellis to act as leasing agent for 200 S. Wacker Dr. and 222 S. Riverside Plaza, which combined represent nearly two million. The owner decided to consolidate the two buildings under one leasing agent, and interviewed many firms. CBRE had previously been marketing 222 S. Riverside, but was chosen to renew its contract as leasing agent for that property as well as 200 S. Wacker.

Bob Gillespie, SVP and Melissa Rubenstein, VP with CBRE, will act as the leasing agents for the properties. “Behringer Harvard felt they would benefit by placing more business with fewer firms,” Gillespie says. He would not comment on the hiring cost.

The Wacker Drive building, a 755,000-sf office constructed in 1981, has an 80% occupancy rate, which is expected to drop about 14% in the next couple of years due to tenant rollover. Asking lease rates in the building range from $21 to $24 net, Gillespie says. The building offers a newly revamped lobby and central security system, and was previously marketed by the John Buck Co.

At the Riverside building, the 1.2-million-sf property has a 98% occupancy rate, with asking lease rates ranging from $22 to $24 net. The building offers a 200-person conferencing facility, fitness center, and numerous restaurants.

“Both of them are West Loop properties, providing outstanding access to the train stations. The challenge is now at 200 S. Wacker Drive, which has some existing vacancy and scheduled rollover. We plan on really trying to do a lot of personalized marketing in terms of reaching out directly to brokers and making sure everyone is aware that we have several blocks of space being considered for large and small requirements,” Gillespie says.

Behringer Harvard also owns 10 and 120 S. Riverside Plaza and 440 S. LaSalle, which are all marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle, Gillespie says. “West Loop is the strongest of the downtown submarkets,” Gillespie says. “The vacancy in the West Loop is about 10%, which is the best of the major submarkets in downtown Chicago. It’s been a continuing trend in the last 10 years that the West Loop has experienced more growth than any of the other submarkets, and in investing in the West Loop, Behringer is betting on that to continue.”

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