Tenants topping off River North tower
December 12, 2011
By: Alby Gallun and Steven R. Strahler

The IBM Building's future as an office property looked so bleak in 2006 that its owner considered converting it to condominiums. ...

... But a property that has been half-empty for the past two years is now the office market's turnaround story of 2011, highlighted by the news last Friday that the American Medical Assn. will move its headquarters there. ...

... While the recent leasing successes represent a major achievement for the building's owner, a joint venture including Chicago-based Prime Group Realty Trust, they also mark a vindication of sorts for the River North office market. The loss of IBM to a West Loop development in 2005 was a sign to some that River North had become a backwater, as more tenants migrated west to be near commuter train stations. 

"What this proves again is that that's just not the case," says Rick Schuham, executive vice-president and branch manager in the Chicago office of Studley, a real estate brokerage that represents office tenants. "There's an ambiance in River North that overcomes some of the additional walk" to and from the train stations. ...

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