Sterling Bay signs Pritzker Group-backed proptech firm to big lease

SMS Assist will take 114K sf at Prudential Plaza, one of few firms in city adding office space

Chicago /
Oct.October 04, 2021 05:48 PM
SMS Assist President Marc Shiffman with One Two Pru (One Two Pru, SMS Assist)

SMS Assist President Marc Shiffman with One Two Pru (One Two Pru, SMS Assist)

Sterling Bay has signed a proptech firm to a major lease at One Prudential Plaza in the South Loop.

SMS Assist, a tech company that manages commercial and residential property, will take 114,000 square feet at 130 East Randolph Street, according to Crain’s. The company will relocate in early 2022, when its lease for 100,000 square feet at 875 N. Michigan Ave. expires, the report noted.

The new space at the rebranded One Two Pru — the former Chicago Tribune HQ — will allow Pritzker Group Venture Capital-backed SMS Assist to bring in 100 more employees, Crain’s reported.

SMS Assist’s decision to expand office space comes as the Chicago office market continues to struggle amid the pandemic, though it has been improving. Office availability stood at 22.4 percent in the third quarter, still sky-high, though an improvement from 31.2 percent in the second quarter, according to a Savills report. Firms also signed leases for 2.2 million square feet of space last quarter.

The latest lease deal is good news for Sterling Bay, after Tribune Publishing vacated its space early this year. Sterling Bay sued Tribune, claiming the company owed $4.8 million in unpaid rent. One Two Pru is about 85 percent leased.

[Crain] — Connie Kim


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