Accenture is the latest company to dive head-first into the exploding West Loop office market.
The consulting firm will expand to a 226,000-square-foot lease inside the KBS Realty Advisors-owned building at 500 West Madison Street, the company announced Wednesday. The agreement for the the 42-story tower leaves the door open for Dublin-based Accenture to expand further in the building.
Accenture now fills about 70,000 square feet in the Helmut Jahn-designed tower, plus a larger space in the Grant Thornton Tower at 161 North Clark Street. The expanded lease will allow the firm to consolidate 6,200 of its employees into a single space and add another 600 workers during the next three years, while it winds down the Loop office.
Lightfoot praised the company for its plans to expand its apprenticeship program, saying local firms’ cultivation of skilled young workers would help keep companies from moving to coastal cities.
“Ask a pundit how to grow a business, and they’ll talk about taxes,” Lightfoot said. “Ask a CEO, and they’ll talk about talent, and developing a highly trained workforce.”
The move follows a trend of Downtown office tenants squeezing more employees into smaller leases by making work spaces more flexible.
The firm will turn to “hoteling,” or assigning temporary desk spaces, for employees who spend most of their time on the road, Coleman said. It will also include “creative and collaborative spaces” to host in-house client meetings.
Accenture’s announcement also adds momentum to tenants’ ongoing rush for office space in the West Loop and Fulton Market, which have driven the bulk of new leasing activity this year. The Madison Street building sits atop the Ogilvie Transportation Center and across the street from Union Station.
“We were looking at everything from proximity to transportation, to cost, to the vibe of the neighborhood to amenities,” Coleman said of his firm’s decision to double down on the Madison Street location. “About 60 percent of our business is tech-oriented and a lot of tech companies are coming this way, so a lot of our partners companies are over in the West Loop.”
CBRE brokers Todd Lippman, Kyle Kamin and Mike Dash represented CBRE in the lease. KBS, which owns the 1.4 million-square-foot building at 500 West Madison, was represented by Matthew Lerner and Wendy Katz of Cushman & Wakefield.
News of the lease was first reported in Crain’s on Tuesday.
Editor’s note: this story was updated to include comments from Mayor Lightfoot and Jim Coleman.