CHICAGO-Wind Point Partners has leased the 24,000-square-foot top floor of 444 W. Lake St., a 50-story West Loop office tower being developed by Hines Interests. The private equity investment firm has a 15-year lease term and will begin occupying its space in the 1.1-million-square-foot building, also known as River Point, following its completion in August 2011. Construction on the riverfront building, at Lake and Canal streets, is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, according to Jim Walsh, vice president with Hines.

The tower will be anchored by investment firm William Blair & Co., which will occupy 350,000 square feet, and law firm Baker & McKenzie, which has taken 300,000 square feet. “This continues to show the strong leasing effort of the preleasing of the project,” Walsh tells “We’ve got two large anchor tenants, and now we’re starting to fill in with smaller one or two floors deals.”

The project is now 62% preleased, with asking lease rates ranging between $35 and $40 per square foot, net, Walsh says. “Tenants are drawn to the location and character of the building, the efficiency of the 25,000-square-foot floor plates, the view from the top of the building and the proximity to trains,” he says. “We saw the opportunity to develop a great office high-rise on this site, one of the last great remaining sites along the Chicago riverfront.”

Walsh says the site boasts amenities that include a 1.5-acre riverfront park on the property, in addition to a 170-car garage, white-tablecloth restaurant, fitness center, conference center and a 3,600-square-foot pavilion. Not far from the site of 444 W. Lake, Hines is nearing completion on its development of the 57-story, 1.5-million-square-foot 300 N. LaSalle, also located along the river, Walsh says.

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