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CHICAGO-Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP has extended its lease at the 541,000-square-foot 123 N. Wacker through 2020. The recent lease restructuring downsized the national law firm from the 68,000 square feet it previously occupied into 57,000 square feet. The renewal also extended the firm’s lease term at the 30-story office building by seven years from a 2013 to 2020 expiration.

“They actually started looking in the market originally because they were intrigued by some of the new buildings going up, so we started the process of looking at new buildings,” says the firm’s real estate advisor, Lisa Davidson, executive managing director of Studley. “Once that got scratched because of everything that has happened out there, including the economy going by the wayside, the firm took a breather. They took it as an opportunity to reevaluate their needs and one of the things they learned is that there were things they no longer needed and certain standards they could change.”

Included in the 11,000 square feet the firm gave back was space for its law library and and some accounting functions. The firm gave back the half of the 15th floor it previously leased, but maintained its occupancy of the entirety of the 16th, 17th and 18th floors. The firm has operated its office out of the building since 2001.

“They reorganized their space so they could fit everything on the remaining three floors that they have,” Davidson tells GlobeSt.com. “It was an opportunity by staying for them to save money now by getting the landlord to take back the space four years early. Of course most firms are doing that these days and looking at how they can reduce their costs.”

While Davidson represented the firm in the deal, building owner Triple Net Properties was represented by Mark Parrish of Grubb & Ellis. Asking lease rates at the building range from $18 to $22 per square foot net. The property is located in Chicago’s West Loop submarket, where overall occupancy is near 86% and average asking lease rates around $35 per square foot gross, according to CB Richard Ellis’ mid-year CBD office market report.

“Overall, the entire market is very soft right now and favorable for tenants,” Davidson says. “The West Loop actually tends to be doing the best because it’s closest to the trains. The Central and East Loop are faring worse than average, and the West Loop continues to be the strongest of all the submarkets.”

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