ScalpTrade lease at CIM Group building provides taste of demand in central Loop

Trading and tech firm takes 13,000 sf of 36th floor space as financial firms leave LaSalle

Shaul Kuba of CIM Group and 425 S. Financial Place (425SFinancialPl.com)
Shaul Kuba of CIM Group and 425 S. Financial Place (425SFinancialPl.com)

Shaul Kuba’s CIM Group landed a new lease with trading and tech firm ScalpTrade, demonstrating there is still demand in Chicago’s central Loop, on a stretch of LaSalle Street battered by high vacancies.

ScalpTrade is taking 13,000 square feet on the 36th floor of the nearly 1 million-square foot, 39-story tower at 425 South Financial Place, also known by the address 440 South LaSalle. While the building’s performance has improved since Los Angeles-based CIM bought it for $189 million in 2016, nearby South LaSalle Street properties have suffered tenant losses and a lack of office demand during the pandemic.

Central business district office vacancies hit a record 21.2 percent in the first quarter, and it’s even worse on LaSalle Street specifically, where 23.5 percent is vacant and set to grow even more when BMO Harris Bank leaves its longtime location at LaSalle and Monroe this year for its new namesake tower next to Union Station.

Traditionally the city’s financial corridor, LaSalle has emptied as many traders smoothly adjusted to remote work. The city has been urged to consider shutting down vehicle traffic on LaSalle just north of the CIM property ScalpTrade is moving into on a long-term lease, to help spur more foot traffic.

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When CIM bought the building it was just 72 percent leased and getting outperformed by the rest of downtown Chicago. Then in 2018 the firm Chicago Trading extended and expanded its lease by 27,000 square feet to give it a total of 114,000 in the building. The property also includes the 21-room Buckingham Hotel on the top floor and has undergone at least $10 million in renovations since 2016, adding tenant amenities and gathering spaces, according to Chicago building permit data.

“Our renovations further enhanced the desirability of this signature, multi-use property,” Kuba said in a statement.

With the lease, ScalpTrade will move its headquarters across the street south to the CIM building from 141 West Jackson, where 230,000 square feet are available for rent in the Chicago Board of Trade property, which includes two towers of 22 and 44 stories totaling 1.3 million rentable square feet.

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