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CHICAGO-Four firms have leased nearly 200,000 square feet at One Financial Place. The Chicago Trading Co. led recent deals, taking 87,000 square feet at the 40-story building, including the trading floor and floors four and five of the office tower, in a lease to begin in May 2010. The recent transactions bring the 1-million-square-foot property at 440 S. LaSalle St. to 95% occupied.

“In these trying economic times, we’re still seeing trading firms as expanding tenants, especially electronic trading firms,” says Mark Gunderson, of Jones Lang LaSalle, who along with Michael Curran of JLL represented building owner Behringer Harvard in the recent deals. “Trading firms are still experiencing high levels of volume and volatility and we continue to see them expanding. This building works well for businesses like that because of our proximity to major exchanges and ability to provide the infrastructure major firms need, with abundant power and cooling capabilities.”

Chicago Trading Co. was represented by Mark Keebler and Brad Serot from CB Richard Ellis in its deal.

Having been a tenant for more than two decades, governmental agency the Comptroller of the Currency renewed a 40,000-square-foot lease, represented by Joe Learner and Rick Shuham from Studley Inc.

Expanding by 12,000 square feet after six years in the building, exchange-traded futures and options broker MF Global signed a lease for 77,000 square feet, and as GlobeSt.com reported last week,the Chicago Stock Exchange renewed a 50,000-square-foot lease, downsizing from 112,000 square feet.

Built in 1985 and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the building is known as the southern anchor of Chicago’s Financial District and is connected to the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, which in turn connects to the Chicago Board of Trade. Behringer Harvard bought the property from Beacon Capital Partners as part of a portfolio of four buildings in downtown Chicago for $832 million in November 2007. Asking lease rates at the building range from $21 to $22 per square foot net.

The building offers proximity to public transportation, an underground parking garage and 45,000-square-foot landscaped outdoor plaza, with tenants including financial and energy firms. Other amenities include award-winning French restaurant Everest, the 1,000-member Buckingham Athletic Club and Hotel, a full-service concierge, on-site messenger service, conference center, and retail offerings including a food service center, sundry shops, a bank, travel agency and hair salon. “In the immediate neighborhood of town, we’re really the only class A, trophy class building to provide all those components,” Gunderson says.

The building is located in the Central Loop submarket where occupancy rates are around 91%, Gunderson says. Average asking lease rates in the submarket range from $31 to $38 per square foot, according to Grubb & Ellis’ Q1 office market report. “There’s no new development or construction in the Central Loop and it’s very stable really,” Gunderson says.

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