110 N. Wacker Now Head And Shoulders Above The Competition

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CHICAGO—Lincoln International has just signed a lease to become the newest tenant of the trophy-class office tower rising on the riverfront at 110 North Wacker Dr., a project by The Howard Hughes Corp. and Riverside Investment and Development. A spokesperson for the developers tells that the new deal means the highly-anticipated, 53-story building is already 40% leased, even though it won’t open until 2020.

“Lincoln wanted to get space that was not just new and equal to what they have at 500 W. Madison, but something that was head and shoulders above any other option,” Lisa Davidson of Savills Studley tells She represented the leading global investment bank on the deal. “And when this building came on the market they were very impressed with the location and the unique views of the river. When it’s finished this will arguably be the top property in the city.”

“It’s hard to argue with the location of 500 W. Madison as its right on top of the train lines,” she adds. But 110 Wacker is nearly as close, “right at Main and Main.” And it offers the Lincoln the opportunity to have 12-foot ceilings, along with state-of-the-art space with expansive river views.

More than 200 of Lincoln’s Chicago employees will occupy approximately 60,000 square feet near the top of the high-rise beginning in the first quarter of 2021. The exact floors have not yet been decided. Drew Nieman and Sara Spicklemire of CBRE represented the owners.

“We have grown so significantly in recent years that a larger and more modern office for our professionals is essential,” says Robert BrownLincoln International’s North America chief executive officer.

“110 North Wacker Drive continues to solidify itself as the most desirable downtown office development site in Chicago,” says Grant Herlitz, president of Howard Hughes Corp. “The signing of renowned investment bank Lincoln International is further evidence of the high interest we continue to see from tenants and brokers in the market.”

Today’s deal follows last spring’s announcement that Bank of America would serve as the building’s first anchor tenant. The global financial institution will lease approximately 500,000 square feet and account for more than one-third of the proposed 1.4 million square-foot high-rise.

The class-A+ building, a collaboration with the leasing, design and construction team of CBRE,Goettsch Partners and Clark Construction, begins construction this month.

Other towers are underway at 151 Franklin and 625 W. Adams. But “I think we’re seeing more interest and activity for this particular property,” Davidson says of 110 N. Wacker. Although the Franklin tower is quite close, properties even a block or two farther away from the trains can draw less interest from tenants. She believes the other two will eventually fill up, however, as office users get accustomed to those locations, much as they did for 444 W. Lake, which is now essentially filled.

“That speaks for itself,” she says. And considering the level of leasing activity for the Wacker property, “it could definitely open up 100% leased.”

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