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CHICAGO-The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 has signed a 12-year lease for 22,000 square feet at Michigan Plaza. The union, which represents 100,000 members in the State of Illinois, will relocate to the two-building complex at 205 and 225 N. Michigan Ave. from 29 S. Wacker Dr., where it has been headquartered for about 22 years. AFSCME will move into space on the 21st floor of the 44-story tower at 205 N. Michigan Ave.

“They looked at the west, east and central Loop, and what attracted them to Michigan Plaza was the quality of the space for the price,” says Mark Buth, SVP and managing director of leasing services for MB Real Estate, who acts as leasing agent for the building owner. “It was a good value for them, because they were able to take advantage of existing conditions and use furniture that had been left by a previous tenant. They liked the deal they could get and the amenity package, as well as the East Loop location with parking, buses, restaurant and hotels in the neighborhood.”

The union was represented by Edward Schwartz of Bradford Allen Realty Services and June Simonian of Lee & Associates, while Buth, along with leasing representative Kathleen Bertrand, represented building owner Loeb Partners Realty LLC. The New York City-based firm bought the property in December 2004 for approximately $273 million, sources say. Michigan Plaza’s two towers total nearly two million square feet. The plaza is currently about 84% leased, and asking lease rates range between $18 and $21 per square foot net, Buth says.

Amenities at the building include on-site management, 24-hour security, a concierge, 500 parking spaces, a bus that travels to and from the West Loop train stations, and retailers. The buildings, constructed in 1982, were designed by Fujikawa Johnson & Associates. The plaza underwent renovations last year which brought new signage and interior storefronts, landscaping, a canopy and frameless glass entrance, and a new security desk and turnstiles. Other tenants include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Verizon, Unilever and Fox Television.

The property is located in the East Loop submarket, which is about 86% occupied with asking lease rates ranging from $31 to $36 per square foot gross, according to Grubb & Ellis’ Q1 office market report.

“The East Loop has actually been very active recently,” Buth tells GlobeSt.com, pointing to other leases in recent months at Michigan Plaza, including those of McCormick Foundation and Verizon. “There has been a ton of activity, and AFSCME is another sign of a tenant moving from the West Loop to the East Loop.”

With this new lease, the building owners will donate $11,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository on behalf of AFSCME as part of their “Wave Goodbye To Hunger” campaign. Launched in February, the campaign pledges that the owners will donate $0.50 to the local nonprofit for every square foot leased at Michigan Plaza through the end of July.

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