Aon drops 600K sf of suburban office space

Embracing remote work trend, insurance giant moving Chicago operation into one floor in Bannockburn

Aon Drops 600K sf of Suburban Chicago Office Space

From left: Sentinel Net Lease’s Fred Lewis and Aon’s Greg Case along with the Bannockburn Corporate Center at 3000 Lakeside Drive in Bannockburn (Getty, Sentinel Net Lease, Aon, Google Maps)

Aon is blowing a 600,000-square foot hole in the already cratered office market of suburban Chicago.

That’s about how much space the London-based insurance giant is leaving behind at 4 Overlook Point in Lincolnshire, a 818,700-square-foot office complex where its lease for the entire property expires at the end of the year, Crain’s reported.

San Diego-based landlord Realty Income has hired CBRE to sell 4 Overlook Point.

A joint-venture spinoff called Aon Hewitt, now Alight Solutions, had occupied 200,000 square feet at the complex until it moved to the BMO Tower in West Loop Gate recently.

Aon itself will shift to Sentinel Net Lease’s 206,000-square-foot Bannockburn Corporate Center in the northern suburbs, according to a memo sent to the insurers’ staff this week. 

The smaller size of the Bannockburn office indicates a big cut in space for Aon, and a source familiar with negotiations said it could shrink down to 40,000 square feet, the outlet reported.

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Aon appears to be firmly joining the work-from-home trend that has continued to bedevil office markets throughout the Chicago metro in the wake of the pandemic. Downtown Chicago’s office availability rate is hovering around 25 percent, and suburban employers have combined to exit 3.8 million square feet of space since 2020, leading to a record 31 percent vacancy rate,  according to JLL.

Aon, meanwhile, also trimmed its space by 25 percent at the 83-story tower that carries its name in downtown Chicago, to less than 300,000 square feet.

An Aon spokesperson declined comment on the company’s office leasing plans in the suburbs.

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The memo cited November as a move date and indicated the company’s operations would be contained on a single floor of the building.

The company’s move to the Bannockburn Corporate Center would represent significant progress for Sentinel Net Lease. The Baltimore-based landlord paid $28.6 million, about $139 per square foot, for the property last year. Vehicle fleet management company Donlen vacated its 73,000-square-foot lease in the building after its merger with Wheels and consolidation of office space in Schaumburg.

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