“We're seeing growth in the mid-size firms, but the larger firms tend to have excess space these days,” said Tiffany Winne, a senior managing director in the Chicago office of New York-based tenant brokerage Studley Inc. who represents law firms. “Law firms in general have become acutely more cost-conscious in the last five years.”
Ms. Winne, who was not involved in the 111 S. Wacker deals, conducted a study that found blocks of space offered for sublease by large law firms have taken an average of 21 months to be absorbed in Chicago.
One of Locke Lord's floors has been available for 26 months and another law firm moved out of the other floor in May.“In subleasing, time is the enemy,” she said. “Every month that you don't have a subtenant, you're paying full freight on that space.”