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CHICAGO-Cook County has signed a 15-year lease renewal for 65,000 square feet at Burnham Center. The county occupies the second and third floor of the 580,000-square-foot 111 W. Washington, where it has had offices since 1994.

Building owner Harbor Group International LLC was represented by CB Richard Ellis’ Melissa Rubenstein and Allison Johnson, while Cook County was represented by Grubb & Ellis.

The county’s lease was expiring this year at the building, where asking lease rates range from $26.50 to $29 per square foot, gross.

“Obviously to not have to move makes it very easy for them, but the reality is that we’re in close proximity to all the government buildings they work with,” Rubenstein tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re right in the heart of the Central Loop, and the key for them is access to the public transportation and all the surrounding buildings.”

Harbor, of Norfolk, VA, purchased the historic Burnham Center in 2007 for $79.5 million. Designed by Daniel H. Burnham and constructed in 1914, the property is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The 22-story property is currently 93% leased, with other major tenants including Flashpoint Academy, which occupies 85,000 square feet, and architectural firm OWP/P, in 72,000 square feet.

The property is located in the Central Loop submarket, where asking lease rates range between $31 and $38 per square foot and occupancy rates are near 87%, according to Grubb & Ellis’ Q1 office market report.

“All of the submarkets are suffering right now just because of the onslaught of subleases, but we’ve been lucky in this building,” Rubenstein says. “We really fill a niche for tenants that need to be in close proximity to government buildings and courthouses. We’ve always been well-leased and regardless of what’s happening in the economy, we’ve maintained a good occupancy level.”

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