MB Real Estate Inks Leasing Deal for More Than 4 MSF of Chicago Office Space

Chicago-based MB Real Estate has landed five new office-leasing contracts in its hometown, adding more than 4 million square feet of space to the company's portfolio.

By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

Chicago-based MB Real Estate has landed five new office-leasing contracts in its hometown, adding more than 4 million square feet of space to bring the company’s portfolio to more than 14.4 million square feet, with 18 million square feet under management.

The recent leasing assignments include 300 E. Randolph, a 1.8 million-square-foot property currently at 98 percent occupancy; 70 W. Madison, a 1.4 million-square-foot office building with an occupancy of 89 percent; 30 W. Monroe, a 256,000-square-foot building with 52 percent occupancy; 333 N. Michigan, a 303,000-square-foot property with 88 percent occupancy; and 525 W. Van Buren, a 522,000-square-foot office property with an occupancy rate of 74 percent. MB Real Estate will also manage the properties at 30 W. Monroe and 333 N. Michigan.

Mark Buth, MB Real Estate’s executive vice president & managing director of leasing services, called the current market a competitive one, which means that many property owners are seeking the services of smaller, locally based real estate service firms which can provide increased accountability and flexibility.

The firm’s first-quarter Chicago office outlook noted that the city showed signs of improvement and outperformed expectations in 2011, but that the 2012 outlook is uncertain, given the city’s 9.6 percent unemployment rate sits well above the national average of 8.3 percent and Moody’s has termed Chicago’s economic outlook is at risk. MB noted that its baseline office forecast expects intermittent quarters of positive and negative absorption, resulting in little change to the vacancy rate during the next two years.

But to help with the increased workload that an additional 4 million square feet of leasing assignments will bring, the firm has added two former Grubb & Ellis Inc. employees. Sara Spicklemire will join MB as a vice president, and Jesse Slack will come on board as an associate vice president.