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CHICAGO-Retailer Anthropologie has leased 12,000 square feet to open its first downtown Chicago location on State Street at Block 37. The company, which sells women’s apparel and accessories, home furnishings, gifts and decorative items, will occupy space on the first and second floors of the Central Loop development. With this lease, the 280,000 square feet of retail, which is expected to deliver in the third quarter of 2009, is more than 65% preleased.

“We continue to see a lot of positive momentum on the space,” says Paul Fitzpatrick, SVP of development for owner Joseph Freed and Associates, and project manager for Block 37. “The economy has affected the leasing process, but by having executed the leases with the level of quality tenants that we have, it just continues to build momentum. With the lineup, we have a lot of good traction.” Lorraine Adney of the McDevitt Co. represented Anthropologie in the lease. Asking lease rates in the retail component of development range from the mid-$40s to upper-$100s per square foot, net, Fitzpatrick says.

Other tenants confirmed for the four-story retail component of the development include Muvico, a new concept restaurant by Lettuce Entertain You, Au Bon Pain, Rosa Mexicano, Auntie Anne’s, Beard Papa’s, Gateway News, Freshii, Godiva, Sabon, Steve Madden and Lululemon. Recent additions to the line-up include fashion retailer Zara, German athletic wear company PUMA, and fashion lifestyle brand Ben Sherman, which signed leases for more then 26,000 square feet in late October. In late November, the retail component’s first and largest tenant, David Barton Gym, which had planned to take 40,000 square feet, reportedly pulled out of the development.

“Another thing that has allowed us to continue our momentum is our continued relationship with the City of Chicago,” Fitzpatrick says. “Their assistance allows for a Loews Hotel, which added some definition to the residential component. It strengthens the retail opportunities because of the quality of the residential and Loews that will go above it.”

Thanks to a $12 million subsidy for the project from the city of Chicago, a 385-room Loews Hotel, complete with conference and ballroom space, is planned to be built atop the retail component, expected to deliver by early 2012. Block 37 will additionally offer 400 rental apartments, which are expected to include a mix of one- and two-bedrooms, that are expected to deliver by early 2012 as well. Already completed in the development is a 440,000-square-foot office tower, which is now more than 90% occupied.

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