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CHICAGO-The Noble Network of Charter Schools has signed a 20-year lease for 67,000 square feet at One N. State. A new campus of the Noble Street Charter School will be opened in the 16-story, 680,000-square-foot building in August 2009. The campus, to be known as Muchin College Prep, will join seven other campuses of the public charter high school, which serves low-income, minority students.

“It’s a central location, with close access to public transportation for students,” says Mike Watts with J.F. McKinney. He represented building owner Stonewater Partners in the deal. “They also worked it out so the building will have a separate entrance made for the students.” Proten Realty Group represented the school.

The building, previously owned by Chase bank, was bought by Stonewater about a year-and-a-half ago, when it was 50% leased. The owners have since made significant capital improvements to the building, including facade improvements, installation of energy-efficient windows and a green roof, and lobby renovations. The building is now about 65% leased, and asking lease rates are around $27.50 per square foot, gross.

The building is in Chicago’s Central Loop area. “Vacancies have gone down in the last several years in the Central Loop and Chicago overall,” Watts says. “But demand is usually slower at the end of the year with the holidays. This year, you have the standard end of year slow down, plus the economic uncertainty causing people to delay making decisions.”

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