New York-based educational firm Kaplan Inc. is in final negotiations to lease about 150,000 square feet at One North Dearborn St., industry sources said.
The company, which trains a wide array of students from kindergartners to professionals seeking specialized licenses, did not return a call seeking comment.
Kaplan, which last year had revenue of $1.7 billion, occupies space in scattered buildings in the suburbs and in downtown Chicago, including 62,493 square feet at 550 W. Van Buren St., according to industry experts.
One North Dearborn is owned by an entity related to the Chetrit Group LLC, a New York-based real estate company that also has a stake in Sears Tower.
The building is on the market, as are Chetrit properties at One N. LaSalle St. and 360 N. Michigan Ave., where Crain's Chicago Business parent Crain Communications Inc. is a major tenant.
One North Dearborn is an 884,004-square-foot, 17-story office tower built in 1905 and renovated in 2000. Average asking rents are $24 a square foot, according to CoStar Realty Information Inc.
DUKE BUILDING: Speculative office developments are rare given today's stressed financial markets, but Duke Realty Corp. of Indianapolis broke ground Monday for a 140,000-square-foot office building in Rosemont that does not have a tenant, said Ryan O'Leary, vice president of development and leasing.
"We're very optimistic that we'll have an anchor tenant in place when the building is delivered," O'Leary said of the office complex that will cost about $30 million to develop. It is going up on a 16-acre site near O'Hare International Airport.
He has good reason to be hopeful. On Tuesday, the pharmaceutical firm Hospira Inc. occupied an entire 138,000-square-foot office building that Duke built on speculation and just completed in Lake Forest.
While some suburban office submarkets are struggling, the one around O'Hare has turned in a strong performance this year. About 12.5 percent of the space was available for direct lease by the end of the third quarter, down from 17 percent a year earlier. Rents, meanwhile, have inched up a dollar or two from about $25 a square foot a year ago, O'Leary said.
"This submarket is performing well because it's land constrained with only limited opportunities for new development," he said. "We're in negotiations with several users, business and financial-service companies and other corporations that want to consolidate their suburban locations."
Duke plans to build two more office buildings on the property once the current project is 75 percent leased and as long as market conditions are promising, O'Leary said.
CBRE broker Rob Graham will market the building.
ORCHARD POINT FOR SALE: The Orchard Point Office Center in Rosemont has been put up for sale by AEW Capital Management LP, a Boston-based real estate and investment manager.Located at 9700 W. Higgins Rd., the 275,539-square-foot office building was built in 1984 and may fetch as much as $43 million, said one industry source.
It is about 10 percent vacant. That's a big improvement from early 2006 when it was about 50 percent vacant, according to CoStar.
The property is being marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle.