Trophy Chase: Vacancy Narrows at top Buildings
May 2, 2011
By: Eddie Baeb

The rich are getting richer in the downtown office market.

The vacancy rate for downtown’s newest and swankiest office towers, a group of eight so-called “trophy” towers, plunged to its lowest level since 2008, falling to 6.7% in the first quarter from 10% at the end of last year, according to data from Studley Inc. ...

...“Tenants who want the absolute top of the market have a very different set of choices than those who are open to second-generation buildings,” says Tiffany Winne, a senior managing director with Studley’s Chicago office.

Class A buildings had a first-quarter vacancy rate of 19.4%, down from a more than three-year high of 19.7% hit at the end of last year. Meanwhile, Class B and C buildings collectively posted a vacancy rate of 18.3%, up from 17.1% at the end of last year and highest since at least the third quarter of 2007, according to data from Studley, a New York-based brokerage firm that represents office tenants.

Studley’s figures are overall vacancy, which includes space that is leased but vacant and available for sublease. The list of trophy properties includes the newly built towers at 300 N. LaSalle St., 155 N. Wacker Drive and 71 S. Wacker Drive. ...

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