Plans to upgrade Civic Opera Building could shake up CBD office landscape for large users

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The news today that New York-based Berkley Properties has acquired the 915,000-square-foot Civic Opera Building has the potential to shift the prevailing market dynamics for large users in the downtown office market.

This story from Crian’s Chicago Business describes how the building’s new owners are planning a massive upgrade of the building’s interior  in order to woo larger, blue-chip type tenants.

JLL’s Bobby Goodman, who represents office users in the CBD, says the building’s prime location at 20 N. Wacker, its historical significance and its large 35,000-SF floor plates could make it a prime destination for such users if the upgrades materialize:

“If the renovations take place and the new owners are able to shift their smaller tenants around to free up large blocks of space,  the tightened market for larger users could definitely loosen up.  I would say that every large user in older Class-B buildings would strongly consider this property. But the path to that point will be quite challenging — and maybe even cost prohibitive — when you’re talking about moving around 180+ smaller tenants.”

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