Leases more than doubled for 2 companies in West Loop office building
Beltone ditches Glenview for smaller West Loop digs
Hearing aid company strikes 7,000 sf deal in sharp downsize
UPDATED April 19, 11:00 a.m.
A hearing aid company is cutting nearly all of its office space in a jump from the suburbs to much smaller digs in the buzzing West Loop, trailing similar moves by commercial tenants during the pandemic that have pushed Chicagoland vacancy rates to record highs.
Beltone, whose North American president is David Molella, has leased about 7,000 square feet at 656 West Randolph Street, a sharp drop of about 85 percent from its 49,000-square-foot space in a Glenview office building at 2601 Patriot Boulevard, Crain’s reported.
Diversified Healthcare Trust, which owns the Glenview site, is one of many suburban landlords that have faced departures during the pandemic that have proven difficult to refill. Companies such as McDonald’s distributor Havi Group, SG2, Zoro and UL Solutions, all relocated or will soon relocate to smaller spaces downtown.
Suburban vacancies reached new heights at the end of last year with a rate of 29.9 percent, breaking the previous record of 27.3 percent.
The West Loop property will serve as the new headquarters for Beltone, and parent company GN Group will retain a portion of space at the Glenview building, although the exact square footage is unclear.
The Randolph Street building is part of a string of structures built in the 1880s. With the Beltone move, the building, owned by the family behind longtime Scandinavian food distributor Noon Hour Food Products, is now 100 percent leased.
Company downsizes were a major factor in Chicago’s record-high vacancy rates this past quarter, and it appears more tenants are in the market to shed commercial real estate. Publicis Groupe, Tyson Foods, Meta and Salesforce are marketing a combined 823,000 square feet for subleases.
While some suburban and downtown areas have yet to rebound from the pandemic, the West Loop is firing on all cylinders. The Fulton Market District, in particular, recently landed a lease in a Trammell Crow-owned building with a medical research and lab initiative backed by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
Plus, the larger West Loop area also secured the relocation of sports media company Barstool Sports into a building owned by developer Jeff Shapack and partner Alec Litowitz.
This story was updated to correct Beltone’s corporate leadership.
— Quinn Donoghue
Motorola Solutions seeking to downsize West Loop headquarters by 30%
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