Molson Coors in talks to lease 70K sf at Riverside’s BMO Tower

Beer company could make substantial downsize from Wacker Drive office

Molson Coors' Gavin D. Hattersley and BMO Tower (Getty, BMO Tower)
Molson Coors' Gavin D. Hattersley and BMO Tower (Getty, BMO Tower)

Molson Coors is nearing the last call for its lease in a Wacker Drive tower, and more than half its Chicago office space.

The beer company is negotiating a lease to occupy over 70,000 square feet in the 52-story BMO Tower at 320 South Canal Street that’s owned by Riverside Investment & Development and Convexity Properties, CoStar reported

Cushman & Wakefield brokers Dan Maslauski and Michael Sessa are representing Molson, while Riverside’s Christy Domin and Drew Nieman represent the landlord. Contract talks are ongoing, and it’s still possible the deal falls apart.

If it closes, though, it would add to a streak for Riverside and Convexity. Investment firm Antares Capital increased its office footprint by 25 percent last week, signing an 88,000-square-feet lease across the 41st through 43rd floors in the 1.5 million-square-foot BMO Tower. 

Albeit, many recent moves to West Loop office towers have trimmed the city’s overall occupancy. For Molson, the move to BMO Tower would chop its commercial real estate footprint by more than half, as it currently has a 167,000-square-foot space at 250 South Wacker Drive on a lease expiring next year.

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If a departure by Molson Coors leaves such a hole in the building, it would add to the record amount of office space vacancy of about 101 million square feet, which amounts to nearly 20 percent of the city’s total supply, according to the outlet.

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Earlier this week, hearing aid company Beltone announced it had signed a 7,000-square-foot deal at 656 West Randolph Street — another win for the West Loop, but a significant downsize from the firm’s much larger suburban lease that will add to Chicago’s rising vacancy rate.

BMO Financial inked a 500,000-square-foot lease in the Canal Street building, with naming rights included, before it opened in 2021. BMO and Antares join a long list of companies who have ditched older buildings in favor of newer, more attractive sites in the West Loop with moves that have left landlords with challenging spaces to refill in the Loop and throughout downtown.

— Quinn Donoghue