SCHAUMBURG, IL-Heart Financial has leased 60,000 square feet at 1600 McConnor Pkwy., where they plan to at least 300 employees. The wholly-owned subsidiary of Logs Group has subleased floors five and six in the 11-story, 300,000-square-foot building from Citigroup. The home mortgage retention services provider will occupy the space through at least 2011.

“Our number-one priority was acquiring space quickly because we needed to be up-and-running in 30 days,” says Kevin J. McLennan, SVP of Steinco Inc., which represented Heart in the lease. “We found an opportunity where there was furniture, phone systems and a lot of infrastructure in place. The talent pool and access to employees was ideal for these guys.”

The building is currently 100% leased by Zurich Financial Services, which McLennan says is attempting sublet almost all of that space. Citigroup subleased more than 100,000 square feet of that space, all of which it is now trying to sublet to another tenant. Heart subleased its two floors in the building from Citigroup.

“It shows you how bad the market is,” McLennan tells, of the Schaumburg submarket. “Zurich put 250,000 square feet onto the sublease market, which is 1% of the total market. The market is struggling horribly.” Heart got the space from Citigroup for $12 per square foot, gross, McLennan says. Citigroup was represented in the lease by Gregg Rauss with Jones Lang LaSalle.

“An interesting angle to the Heart Financial deal is that their business is growing so rapidly that we’re going to be duplicating this transaction in possibly three other states,” McLennan says. “We’re seriously considering keeping it all in Illinois though. Given the economic times, that would be a huge achievement for the state to keep it here.”

McLennan also recently represented information sciences company Ex Libris USA in an extension of its lease for 30,000 square feet at 1350 East Touhy in Des Plaines, IL. The 100,000-square-foot building is more than 90% leased, with Van Ru Credit Corp. occupying about 60,000 square feet. Asking lease rates in the building are in the low-teens per square foot, net, McLennan says. The building owner was represented by Rick Benoy with Jones Lang LaSalle in the deal.

“The lease was coming due at their existing building, and we evaluated relocating to a Class A building giving the market, but they decided to stay because of the technology,” McLennan says. “With the infrastructure in the space, it’s too hard to move it.” The property is located in the O’Hare submarket, McLennan says.

“The submarket is pretty stagnant, similar to all the other markets,” he says. “It’s struggling, but not as badly as the northwest market in Schaumburg. You’re seeing Class A buildings doing Class B deals.”

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