JPMorgan Chase exploring possible 1 million sq. ft. lease in new Chicago development

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Chase tower chicaog
John Picken, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

JPMorgan Chase is exploring leasing as much as 1 million sq. ft. at a new Chicago development site — making for one of the largest office leases in Chicago’s history, the Chicago Tribune reports. In addition to a potentially major new construction project for the city, there could be big changes ahead for the bank’s current tower in the Loop.

The newspaper says several developers are making pitches to the bank including: Tishman Speyer for a vacant site at 130 N. Franklin St.; Hines for a site south of Willis Tower at 401 S. Wacker Dr.; John Buck Co. for a site at 655 W. Madison St., along the east side of the Kennedy Expressway; and several sites in the Fulton Market district, including the Bridgford Foods site at 170 N. Green St. owned by Clayco real estate development arm CRG.

The bank owns and occupies its namesake 60-story tower and reportedly “recently toured several sites and listened to pitches from developers looking for an anchor tenant to kick off construction of a new skyscraper, according to people familiar with the search,” the published report says.

If the move happens, Chase would likely sell its current 1.9 million sq. ft. tower. The bank occupies much of the space in its building, but leases space to tenants such as Exelon.

The Tribune suggests that Chase is considering the move partly because its competitors such as Bank of America and BMO Financial are relocating and attaching their names to towers.

(BMO for example, has recently topped out a site at 320 Canal, which has attracted at least two large law firms as tenants. This site, and another tower recently occupied by Bank of America at 110 N Wacker Dr., are both owned by Chicago-based Riverside Investment and Development, the newspaper says.)

Another factor likely to influence Chase’s thinking: Bank of America and BMO Financial are relocating and putting their names on brand-new Chicago towers.

“We do not comment on rumors about specific properties,” Chase spokesman Brian Hanover said in an email to the Tribune. “As standard practice, we regularly assess all of our properties globally to stay up-to-date on local market trends.”

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