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CHICAGO-MB Real Estate has announced that it has been selected to act as leasing agent for 311 W. Monroe. The 387,000-square-foot Class B building, owned by New York City-based Apollo Real Estate Advisors, is now 88% occupied. The 15-story West Loop property will be leased up by leasing associate Edward McKim, with leasing oversight from president John Murphy.

“It’s a fantastic building, and people don’t really understand what this exceptional asset is all about,” Murphy tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s really a gem among giants. It’s in a great location and has tremendous infrastructure and attributes.”

“Today everyone has concerns about the economy, and equally, tenants have concerns about how well-capitalized landlords are,” Murphy says. “We want to do business with well-capitalized owners like Apollo.” MB has previously worked with Apollo as leasing agent for another of its properties, 200 W. Jackson.

Murphy says while activity has slowed across the board, many of the properties MB serves as leasing agent for have continued to see movement and that the company plans to bring the same momentum to 311 West Monroe. “Broadly leasing in general has been relatively sluggish, but with a more focused approach, our buildings have been enjoying success,” Murphy says. “We’ll be taking this building to the tenants rather than waiting on them to call us.”

Apollo purchased the building for $43 million in late 2005, when asking lease rates were around $24 per square foot. Tenants include Harris Bank, optionsXpress Holdings, Peregrine Financial Group/PFG-Best, and Esquire Deposition Services. The property was constructed in 1969, and was designed by A. Epstein & Sons International.

The building was renovated in 2004 with a cherry wood, granite, and marble lobby, and further updates to its entrance and lobby are planned for the near future. The building offers 24/7 access, proximity to the financial district and public transportation, and on-site management, dining and banking. It also provides tenants updated technology, including connectivity to three electrical substations and back-up generators allowing for several days of continuous operations if primary grids are affected. “Tenants that move in there get to take advantage of the existing infrastructure,” Murphy says.

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