Loop office building undergoing renovation signs 10-year lease

Law firm Bryce Downey & Lenkov will relocate to 30 North LaSalle Street, owned by AmTrust Realty

The Loop building (Savills, iStock)
The Loop building (Savills, iStock)

A half-century-old Loop building undergoing renovations signed a tenant to a 10-year lease, adding to evidence recovery for Chicago’s office market is limited to properties with new amenities.

Law firm Bryce Downey & Lenkov will occupy 13,850-square-foot on the 36th floor of 30 North LaSalle Street, owned by New York property management firm AmTrust Realty Corporation. Bryce Downey & Lenkov will be relocating from its 20,000-square-foot office at 200 North LaSalle, in which they have been a tenant there for more than 20 years.

The 44-story building, where less than 62 percent of the property was leased in December, will add a new exterior entrance, conference rooms, and a tenant lounge and fitness center spanning two floors.

“In today’s market, companies are increasingly seeking buildings with collaborative, dynamic spaces that help maximize in-person interactions,” said Jonathan Bennett, president of AmTrust Realty in a release.

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The renovation is part of AmTrust’s $100 million plan to spruce up its Loop portfolio of seven buildings totaling six million square feet in the Central and East Loop. Other buildings that will be getting new amenities include 33 West Monroe Street, two towers in the Illinois Center, One East Wacker Drive and 135 South LaSalle. Almost half of the building at 33 West Monroe Street was empty and less than 60 percent of Illinois Center was occupied in December, according to Costar and Bloomberg.

Chicago’s office market saw all-time high vacancy rates during the pandemic with the only exception for Class A buildings with amenities in prime locations. While Class A availability dropped 1.2 percent to 23.1 percent in Fulton Market last year, Central Loop’s rate increased 4.9 percent to 29.7 percent, recording the city’s highest, according to Avison Young.

Strong demand for Fulton Market offices pushed up the average sale price per square foot to $678 last year, compared with the central business district’s $431. Of the 12.4 million square feet of office projects that are proposed or under construction, three million square feet of amenity-rich buildings will be built this year.