William Blair moving headquarters to new West Loop tower
William Blair & Co. signed a letter of intent to anchor a proposed 53-story office tower along the Chicago River, the second big ground-up office project to get under way since the recession.
The investment firm is working to finalize a deal to move its headquarters to more than 300,000 square feet in the 1.2 million-square-foot tower at 150 N. Riverside Plaza planned by Chicago developer John O'Donnell, William Blair President and CEO John Ettelson confirmed today. Employees were informed this morning of the move planned for 2017.
Mr. O'Donnell plans to break ground next summer on the building, which will be just south of a 45-story high-rise being developed by Houston-based Interests L.P. William Blair expects to sign a 15-year lease for its space within the next two months, a move that could make it easier for Mr. O'Donnell to attract other tenants to the project.
“William Blair is going to have a huge gravitational effect on the market,” said tenant broker Ari Klein, a senior director at New York-based Cushman & Wakefield Inc. who is not involved in the deal. “You know there are sizeable tenants that are going to follow.
“I don't think there's anybody who doubted John O'Donnell. But once somebody like William Blair commits, it gets much more real to other tenants. With William Blair going there, they'll see that building as a true contender.”
Mr. O'Donnell, a former executive at Chicago office developer John Buck Co., said his venture is close to finalizing construction financing and investment partners, with construction set to begin by July 1 regardless of whether additional tenants commit by then
Building Website: http://150northriverside.com/