September – Briefs/Leasing & Management

Motorola Mobility Takes Nearly 600 KSF at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart; N.J. Utility Renews 825 KSF in Newark; Havas Renews, Expands at 200 Madison Ave.; Express Picks Flagship Locations on Both Coasts; Genomics Firm Leases 170 KSF in Manhattan; Cassidy Turley Secures Two D.C. Contracts; Prologis Completes 560 KSF in Japanese Leases; Cushman & Wakefield Lands 786 KSF Leasing Job.

Motorola Mobility Takes Nearly 600 KSF at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

Motorola Mobility, which was purchased by Google in May, has signed a lease for 572,000 square feet at the Merchandize Mart, a Chicago property owned by Vornado Realty Trust. The move, which will be completed by summer 2013, involves the relocation of Motorola Mobility’s current headquarters in suburban Libertyville, Ill. Motorola Mobility will then become the Mart’s largest tenant, occupying space on the top four floors and the rooftop.

Though it was completed in 1931, the Merchandize Mart is still one of the world’s largest commercial buildings at 3.5 million square feet of rentable space, with floor plates of 200,000 square feet. The asset was LEED for Existing Buildings Silver certified in 2007.

Formerly known as Motorola’s Mobile Devices division, Motorola Mobility was spun off as a separate entity in 2011. Its Mobile Devices business produces smartphones, and its Home business produces set-top boxes, end-to-end video solutions and cable modems. Google completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility on May 22, 2012.

N.J. Utility Renews 825 KSF in Newark

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. has decided to keep 80 Park Plaza as its current address, courtesy of a long-term lease renewal with Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II. The 825,000-square-foot lease is one of the Garden State’s largest real estate transactions ever. Colliers International represented PSEG Inc. in the transaction, which allowed the company to remain in the same 1 million-square-foot building it has occupied since 1979. The Northern New Jersey office market is experiencing signs of health, with positive net absorption and a reduction in vacancies in the second quarter, as per a Colliers International report.

Havas Renews, Expands at 200 Madison Ave.

Havas Worldwide Health has decided to stay put at 200 Madison Ave. in Manhattan. The health advertising firm has renewed its lease in a transaction that allowed the company to expand its occupancy to 170,000 square feet. Havas has called 200 Madison, a 670,000-square-foot tower owned by George Comfort & Sons and Loeb Partners Realty, home for more than 15 years. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank worked with Havas in its search for new space, though the firm ultimately decided to remain in the 26-story tower.

Express Picks Flagship Locations on Both Coasts

Express Inc. has picked marquee locations in Manhattan and San Francisco for its next shops. The company entered into lease agreements that will open the doors of two flagship stores totaling 46,000 square feet between them. Scheduled to open next year, the new flagships will be behemoths compared to the typical Express footprint, which ranges in size from 6,500 to 7,500 square feet. The 15-year New York lease was signed with SL Green Realty Corp. and its joint venture partner, Jeff Sutton, for digs at 1552-1560 Broadway in Times Square. On the West Coast, the fashion retailer will set up shop in San Francisco in a 16,000-square-foot space at 301 Geary St., a building owned by Handlery Hotels Inc.

Genomics Firm Leases 170 KSF in Manhattan

Edward J. Minskoff Equities Inc. has snagged a major tenant for its 425,000-square-foot office building at 101 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The New York Genome Center signed on for 170,000 square feet of space under a 20-year deal that will spur a big change at the property. The company, which currently calls 590 Madison Ave. home, will occupy seven floors in the 23-story tower in the Hudson Square area. Minskoff will accommodate the independent non-profit genomics center’s growing needs by essentially creating a building within a building by means of a $47 million build-out.

Cassidy Turley Secures Two D.C. Contracts

Cassidy Turley has been selected to oversee leasing and property management services at two trophy office properties, Franklin Square and City Center, both in Washington, D.C., on behalf of TIAA-CREF. The 23-year-old Franklin Square is a 12-story tower with 467,900 square feet of office space and 28,400 square feet of ground-level retail. The tenant roster includes law firms, economic consulting firm Bates & Whites and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Cassidy Turley’s other new responsibility, City Center, sits just one block away at 1401 H St. The 350,800-square-foot office was developed in 1992 and also features ground-level retail.

Prologis Completes 560 KSF in Japanese Leases

Prologis Inc. has capped off a busy quarter in Japan with the closing of five new lease agreements totaling nearly 560,000 square feet at three projects in its development portfolio. The five leases came on the heels of a handful of deals in the second quarter that account for an aggregate 1.5 million square feet. Among the largest transactions was the REIT’s contract to develop a 1.1 million-square-foot build-to-suit for a top Japanese apparel retailer near Tokyo. The distribution hub, Prologis Park Narashino 4, is on track to reach completion in late summer 2014.

Cushman & Wakefield Lands 786 KSF Leasing Job

Crocker Partners has appointed Cushman & Wakefield Inc. the exclusive leasing agent for Miami Center in downtown Miami, the second-largest office building in South Florida. The 34-story, 786,267-square-foot Class A tower is located at 201 South Biscayne Blvd., next to Bayfront Park and the InterContinental Miami Hotel. The asset is 86 percent occupied and was acquired by Crocker Partners in June 2012. The Boca Raton-based real estate investment firm also owns the neighboring 420,080-square-foot SunTrust Financial Center—also leased by Cushman & Wakefield.