CF Industries relocates suburban HQ to Northbrook with downsize

Workspace Property Trust, new owner of tenant’s former Deerfield headquarters, left with a big hole

Transwestern’s Kyle Robbins with 1 Astellas Way
Transwestern’s Kyle Robbins with 1 Astellas Way (Transwestern, Google maps, Getty)

Fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries is trimming its suburban Chicago office footprint with a move to Northbrook.

The company inked a long-term, 78,000-square-foot lease to occupy two floors at 1 Astellas Way, a 432,000-square-foot office complex in the northern Cook County suburb, according to a news release from leasing representative Transwestern. CF’s corporate headquarters has occupied most of a 171,000-square-foot building at 4 Parkway Boulevard in Deerfied since 2006, according to published reports. Since initially leasing more than 80,000 square feet there, the firm since grew into to occupy the entire property.

CF’s departure from the Deerfield building leaves a huge hole for its new owner, Workspace Property Trust, to fill after picking up the asset last year as part of a $1.3 billion purchase of multiple suburban offices across the nation totaling 1 million square feet. The 176,000-square-foot Deerfield property was valued at $35 million as part of that deal, Lake County records show.

Transwestern’s Kyle Robbins represented the Northbrook building owner — which is also its largest user, Japanese drug maker Astellas — and attributed the deal to the trend of office tenants moving into higher quality spaces while downsizing. “A tenant signing a long-term lease in such a notable building is a testament to the fact that businesses care about the office, especially high-quality environments that will attract employees back to in-person work and encourage collaboration,” Robbins said in a statement.

CF Industries’ new office is home to the U.S. headquarters of Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma, which bought the site from developer GlenStar Properties before it was built.

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Though CF will be taking far less space, the deal is still the challenged suburban office market’s largest in recent months. The top new leases of the fourth quarter of 2022 were made to Darul Qasim College signing on for 54,000-square-feet at 5555 Trillium Boulevard in Hoffman Estates and UL, formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories, taking 53,000 square feet at 1603 Orrington Boulevard in Evanston, according to a fourth-quarter report from Colliers.

The Northbrook complex will be renamed 2375 Waterview Drive in April, according to Transwestern. Built in 2010, the property consists of two buildings and has 140,000 square feet of remaining available space in the south building, Transwestern said.

JLL’s Daniel McCarthy and Sophia Spinell represented CF in the lease negotiations. The company is expected to occupy its new space by the end of the year. Andrew Davidson and David Burkards of Transwestern also represented Astellas with Robbins in the negotiations.

This story has been updated to correct the size of CF Industries’ most recent lease in Deerfield.

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