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Insurer’s Lease More Than Doubles Its Chicago Office Space

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Sompo International Plans Move to 46-Story Tower at 155 N. Wacker

A global specialty insurance provider is more than doubling the size of its Chicago office in a move a few blocks north, bucking the trend of companies chopping space.

Sompo International has leased 28,144 square feet in the 46-story tower at 155 N. Wacker Drive, according to brokers at JLL who represented the tenant. The company will leave behind about 13,000 square feet in the 26-story tower at 303 W. Madison St.

The long-term lease on the 37th floor is a relatively rare example of a Loop tenant expanding in a new lease, but it adds to a run of leases in high-end, newer-generation office towers near the river and west of there in Fulton Market.

Safety Testing Firm Opens Chicago Office in Latest Example of Downtown Expansions

Sompo looked in both areas before ultimately choosing a deal in a 15-year-old tower that was about 50% below the cost of brand-new properties along the river or in Fulton Market, Becker said. The tower Sompo is leaving opened in 1987.

“This deal is reminiscent of the flight-to-quality trend,” one of the JLL brokers, Deanna Becker, told CoStar News. “It’s a feather in the cap going to a Wacker Drive address from a little bit more dated space at 303 W. Madison with fewer amenities.”

The deal also places the insurance carrier close to companies it does business with, including two within 155 N. Wacker: Marsh and Ryan Specialty Group.

The tower developed and owned by the John Buck Company is the latest to add an expanding Sompo.

“In certain markets, they just knew that if they were going to grow, they wanted to be in a Class A building,” Becker said. “Finding a building where they could be all on one floor was important. It’s just more efficient.”

It’s unclear how many employees Sompo has in the Chicago office or how many it might add in the larger space. The company did not respond to requests for comment from CoStar News.

Sompo International was created in 2017 when Tokyo-based Sompo Holdings acquired Endurance Specialty Holdings, according to the company’s website. The Japanese holding company has almost 80,000 employees in 46 countries, according to the site.

The Wacker Drive tower is just over 91% leased, according to CoStar data.

In another recent deal, safety testing company UL Solutions opened its first office in downtown Chicago since 1979, taking 40,000 square feet.

Other relatively rare examples of expanding companies have been Invenergy, SpotHero, Total Quality Logistics and Analytics8.

Many companies have contracted as remote and hybrid work schedules persist, including Mesirow, Prudential, Havas and Groupon.

Other corporations have decided to cut back space and stay in place, which PNC Bank did at 1 N. Franklin St. in Chicago after considering a move to 155 N. Wacker.

For the Record

The tenant was represented by JLL brokers Deanna Becker, Kyle Harding and Patrick Lennon. The landlord was represented by Newmark broker Bill Rolander.

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