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DOWNERS GROVE, IL-DeVry Inc. has leased 144,500-square-feet of the recently completed Highland Landmark V at 3005 Highland Pkwy. The educational services provider will be the first tenant, having signed a long-term lease for nearly 60% of the eight-story, 251,000-square-foot office building. Construction was completed on the eight-story property this fall, and DeVry is expected to take occupancy in late 2009 or early 2010, after its interior build-out is finished.

“With visibility on the tollway, the location was key, since their identity is very important to them,” says Grady Hamilton, real estate director for Rosemont, IL-based Opus North Corp., which developed and owns the building. “Their employee demographics support this location very well, and we’re in a great place for commuting patterns. This new facility will allow them to optimize their programming needs.”

Opus North was represented in the deal by Bill Elwood of CB Richard Ellis, while DeVry was represented by Steve Steinmeyer and Jeff Liljeberg of Jones Lang LaSalle. Relocating its headquarters from Oakbrook Terrace, DeVry was drawn to the building by its 35,000-square-foot floor plates and amenities, including an in-building restaurant, fitness center and covered parking. The building will house the management and staff of DeVry Inc., Becker Professional Review, Chamberlain College of Nursing, DeVry University and a DeVry University Center, as well as research space for educational technology.

Highland Landmark V is the fifth and final building developed in the 42-acre Highland Landmark office park, which also includes a five-acre nature preserve. The park has been developed over the past decade by Opus, which purchased the land in the late-1990s from Homart Development Co. and has since sold off the first four buildings it completed there. The 1.2-million-square-foot park’s occupancy rate is around 90% overall, with current tenants including Microsoft, New York Life, NSA Media, SAP, Hub Group, JP Morgan Chase and R.R. Donnelley. Asking lease rates at the park are around $19.25 per square foot, Hamilton says.

The property is located just of Interstate 88 in the eastern east/west corridor. Asking lease rates in that submarket average near $27 per square foot, with overall occupancy rates around 80%, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s year-end office market report. Hamilton says the eastern east-west corridor and north suburban submarkets are the best-performing in the area.

“Submarket by submarket, the story varies, but activity is strongest in those two submarkets, which are performing distinctly different and better than others,” Hamilton tells GlobeSt.com. “The economic impact has begun to be felt by the commercial real estate sector and will continue to be felt for some time. There is less absorption, which just underscores the importance of being in good locations with high quality facilities so what activity is out there is directed toward your buildings.

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