March 16, 2006

Law Firm Takes 48th Floor of 161 North Clark in Chicago

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a Philadelphia-based law firm with 10 offices around the country, has leased the entire 48th floor, or 17,400 square feet, of 161 N. Clark, a 50-story downtown office building owned by Equity Office Properties Trust in a joint venture with TIAA-CREF. The lease represents a near doubling of the space the firm currently occupies at 115 S. LaSalle.

The roughly 1 million-square-foot building is 94 percent occupied. Studley represented Drinker Biddle in the deal. ... The firm is actively pursuing opportunities to expand its profile in Chicago; the lease at 161 N. Clark provides a foundation for launching that growth. Drinker Biddle ... established itself in Chicago only last April, when Dames and David Sudzus joined Drinker Biddle from the firm of Kelley Drye & Warren L.L.P.

Competition for tenants such as Drinker Biddle is cutthroat in the downtown Chicago market these days, with the newer buildings of the West Loop competing vigorously against some of the more traditional locations for law firms in the Central Loop. "161 N. Clark is able to compete in the current environment," Jack O'Brien, leasing director at the Chicago office of Equity Office, told CPN this morning. "It's amenity rich, located near the courts, and has unobstructed views on all sides."


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