Flight to quality drives suburban office leasing activity

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Despite the much-publicized trend of office tenants leaving the suburbs for downtown, the suburban office market saw no shortage of big deals in 2013, with companies taking advantage of favorable conditions to trade up to better space.

Two major deals recently completed by the Jones Lang LaSalle tenant representation team illustrate this dynamic at work:

  • In the largest office lease of 2013, Zebra Technologies Corp., represnted by JLL’s Dan McCarthy, is vacating two separate Lake County office buildings to consolidate all of its local employees under one roof in a 230,000-SF space previously occupied by Aon PLC in Lincolnshire (photo above).
  • Additionally, Omron Corp., a Japanese electronics firm, is selling its two-building, 75,000-SF office complex in Schaumburg and will move this spring to a new 70,200-SF space at the Greenspoint Office Park in Hoffman Estates. JLL’s Sean Reynolds and Andrea Van Gelder represented Omron in their site search and lease negotiations.

Sean tells Crain’s Chicago Business that the soft suburban market conditions allowed Omron to upgrade to a truly Class-A space and “drive a very low rent that, historically speaking, these buildings have not seen in a very long time.”

Other companies who’ve followed similar paths in recent months include Follett Corp. and, before that, in late 2012, Catamaran Corp.

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