Blue-chip law firm flips the script on Fulton Market’s tech scene

Large lease deal could signal widening interest in the trendy neighborhood

From left: Greenberg Traurig's Brian Duffy and Sterling Bay's Andy Gloor in front of a rendering of 360 North Green Street (Sterling Bay, Greenberg Traurig)

From left: Greenberg Traurig’s Brian Duffy and Sterling Bay’s Andy Gloor in front of a rendering of 360 North Green Street (Sterling Bay, Greenberg Traurig)

Greenberg Traurig may leap from the Loop and silence some of Fulton Market’s critics.

The law firm is in advanced discussions with developer Sterling Bay to lease about 90,000 square feet at 360 North Green Street, a 500,000-square-foot office building under construction and slated for completion next year, according to multiple people familiar with the negotiations. The deal is still not finalized, but could be completed in coming weeks.

A Greenberg spokesperson declined to comment, calling it “premature and wrong” to report because a deal hasn’t been finalized. Sterling Bay didn’t return requests for comment.

As the trendy Fulton Market began attracting commercial real estate tenants such as Google and McDonald’s over the past decade, some doubted the former meatpacking district would be able to lure a law firm. It was initially considered a playground for tech-focused workers.

Then in late 2021, Boston Consulting Group made a deal to leave the skyscraper along the Chicago River at 300 North LaSalle Street to anchor Sterling Bay’s 360 North Green in a new lease of about 250,000 square feet. The deal opened the door for more professional services firms to cross the river from Chicago’s traditional office hubs for development hotspot Fulton Market, where new buildings offer top-tier amenities.

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Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright struck a deal in 2022 with development firm Fulton Street Cos. to lease a smaller space for a team of 11 lawyers at 1045 West Fulton Street. Greenberg’s lease will be by far the largest for a law firm in Fulton Market.

If the law firm completes the moves, it would mark its departure from its longtime home at 77 West Wacker Drive, a 51-story, 959,000-square-foot building completed by developer Mike Reschke’s former company in 1992. Greenberg ending its decades-long lease of more than 90,000 square feet would add to the already substantial vacancy the property is facing.

Reschke’s old firm, Prime Group Realty Trust, sold a 50 percent stake in the property to the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System that valued the asset at $280 million in 1999, and the retirement system still owns the property. It didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The retirement system took out a $150 million mortgage against the Wacker building in 2018 with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company as the lender, Cook County records show. And online listings for the property show there are already multiple large blocks of space in the building available for lease, with three contiguous spaces ranging from 109,000 square feet up to 170,000.

Greenberg has also considered occupying a space that Salesforce began marketing for sublease at its Hines-owned Wolf Point tower, as well as space at 155 North Wacker Drive, people familiar with the search said.

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