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Venture Seeks 23-Story Office Tower for Wells & Randolph

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Local developer J. Paul Beitler is teaming with Next Realty, owner of the parking garage at 200 W Randolph, to promote a mid-size office tower that would supplant said garage. The proposal, while beefy enough, doesn't get swept up in a pissing contest for biggest and best (for that try River Point and Wolf Point). Twenty-three stories and 400,000 square feet are sought, carried forth in the rendering at right. With several competing proposals coming down the pike and a steady downtown office vacancy of about 15%, this venture is far from a sure thing. But its financing may be a little more nimble than for larger projects: $30M and a 100,000 square-foot lease are about what's needed to land a $100M construction loan. The question, as always, is whether the venture can attract an anchor tenant in the 2014-15 window. Chicago tenant broker Robert Chodos tells Crain's that during this window there should be 11 large tenants needing 1.5 million square feet total. But most will seek lease renewals rather than take a chance on an unbuilt building. We'll know soon enough whether this plan has any legs.
·Paul Beitler, Next Realty propose mid-side office project [Crain's]