American Bar Association Restructures and Renews Lease in Chicago

20 March 2018

Savills Studley, the leading commercial real estate firm specializing in tenant representation, has executed a lease restructure and long-term renewal transaction for the American Bar Association (ABA) at 321 North Clark Street in Chicago. The legal industry professional membership organization has been headquartered at 321 North Clark since 2004 and will continue to occupy 161,000 square feet on the River North building’s 17th through 22nd floors.

“With this transaction, the ABA was able to restructure and extend its lease, gain tenant improvement concessions to facilitate a new work environment and achieve additional concessions to lower overall rent expense. Additionally, the ABA will relinquish control of a portion of ground and lower floors to the building’s new ownership,” said Savills Studley Vice Chairman John Goodman. “That space is being repositioned into significant dining and entertainment options by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, benefiting the ABA and fellow tenants within 321 North Clark.” With access to the revitalized Chicago Riverfront, the space will include two restaurants and a special events venue.

As a national voice of the legal profession, the ABA represents more than 400,000 members and works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. Savills Studley has represented the ABA in three lease transactions at 321 North Clark since 2004 in addition to the $69.25 million sale of the association’s former Washington D.C. headquarters in 2011.

“The ABA has been a long-standing client for more than 17 years and utilized a wide range of Savills Studley services leading up to this critical transaction, including strategic planning, workplace strategy, transaction management and project management,” said Savills Studley Senior Vice President and Chicago Region Co-Head Eric Feinberg, who represented the ABA in this transaction with Goodman, Joe Learner, Renae Bradshaw and Rich Dale of the firm’s Chicago office.

“Using the tenant improvement package negotiated by Savills Studley along with the firm’s workplace strategy consultation and project management services, the ABA will be able to restack its occupancy to a more efficient space solution in line with the latest workplace standards, featuring collaborative and open floor plans with increased exposure to natural light for its employee base.” 321 North Clark is owned by a venture of Diversified Real Estate Capital and Los Angeles-based American Realty Advisors, which paid $340 million for the office tower in August 2016. Seller Hines maintained a small ownership stake in the deal, and continues to oversee the building’s leasing and management. Located on the north bank of the Chicago River near Michigan Avenue and overlooking the Loop, the building anchors the River North mixed-use district. Construction of 321 North Clark was completed in 1987 and Hines plans extensive renovations for the building’s office space, fitness room and common areas. Renovations to the ABA’s offices are expected to be completed by summer 2018.

Brian Atkinson and Patrick Philbin of Hines represented the landlord in this transaction.


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