Visit to the 300 North LaSalle Tower, Chicago

On Wednesday, November 3, 2010, CTBUH Communications Manager Jan Klerks, Database ManagerMarshall Gerometta and Journal co-editor Bob Lau participated in a tour of the 300 North LaSalle Buildingin downtown Chicago. Developed by Hines, the 60-storey, 121,770 square meter  (1.3 million square foot) building traded in August 2010 for $503 per square foot, shattering Chicago’s pricing record.

Organized by the ULI Chicago Young Leaders Group, the tour started with an introduction by Hines Vice President Jim Walsh, who presented on the development process of the 239-meter (785-feet) tall tower, its construction, the leasing and the ultimate sale. The keys to Hines’ success were exemplary leasing and significant demand for core real estate assets. A main lesson from the presentation is that the value of a building is mostly being determined by the value of the lease contracts. Currently, 95% of the building is leased. Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago’s biggest law firm, is the anchor tenant and leases floors in the low-rise and mid-rise sections of the building. Other tenants include the management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, private equity firm GTCR, investment bank Moelis & Company, and the restructuring and consulting firm Alix Partners.

In addition, 300 North LaSalle offers amenities such as an efficient floor plate, 200 feet of frontage along the river with an outdoor plaza, a three-level, 225-car garage, a white-tablecloth restaurant, and tenant amenity center. The building has obtained Gold LEED-CS certification, which amongst other strategies is accomplished by the use of a river water cooling system and a 50% green roof top. After the presentation, participants were taken up the tower, which included a visit to the 55th floor, allowing for splendid views. Following the conclusion of the tour, participants were invited to an informal reception at Chicago Cut, the new restaurant and bar overlooking the river.

View on the Chicago skyline seen from the 55th floor.

All images were taken by Marshall Gerometta, CTBUH


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