Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law – 67 E. Madison

Secures ideal space and $25,000 funding windfall.

Chicago Community Loan Fund Partner

Challenge

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s lease at 55 E. Washington was nearing expiration and Shriver desired to expand and reconfigure its layout. This was several years before the 50th anniversary of its founding. After completing negotiations for a relocation at several East Loop and Central Loop buildings, Shriver deemed it preferable not to make such a large commitment before that anniversary, which provided a likely opportunity to attract significant funding for its planned capital campaign. MAP negotiated a short term lease extension, enabling Shriver to remain in-place, until after the 50th anniversary.

Action

MAP began the project again about a year later and identified suitable alternatives at multiple East Loop and Central Loop buildings. The top choice was in the East Loop, where Shriver had been located for 15 years. Typically, office lease transactions are not derailed by intransigence on the part of a building owner during the process of negotiating the actual lease document. However, the owner of the building that was the top choice was taking a position on multiple lease clauses that was far out of the market norm. Shriver’s attention turned to the second choice on the short-list of alternatives. Because that building’s owner was approaching the point at which it might attempt to market the building for sale, following a very successful redevelopment of the property, they offered an unusually large concession package, in addition to agreeing to negotiate the problematic lease clauses according to market norms. This enabled Shriver and its attorney to have the leverage needed to complete lease language negotiations with the top choice.

Result

Shriver was able to perfectly time its relocation in relation to its 50th anniversary celebration and capital campaign. The new space is a full floor on the penultimate floor of 67 E.Madison, a building that is 1 block from its former location. The new space was fully built-out from a raw condition to Shriver’s specifications at the building’s sole expense. The new lease includes rights to create a private roof deck, as well as a significant financial concession package and very favorable long-term lease economics. Another component of the concession package was renovation, at the building owner’s expense, of the building’s large shared-use conference center, including new furniture.

An additional condition of the lease was a renovation of the public washrooms on the floor at the landlord’s expense. 

Testimonial

After 30+ years in the business, Michael knows all the players and all the “tricks of his trade”. He led us through the whole process, personally guiding and counseling us every step of the way, quickly responding even to emails that we sent to him late at night. Michael maximized our negotiating leverage by developing multiple alternatives that satisfied our complex agenda, keeping each of them available until we signed our lease. That also gave us a strong defensive position. Michael’s attention to us and his attention to detail freed up my team’s time throughout the process. I regret that we can’t work together again for another 10 years!

John Bouman, E.D/ Sargent Shriver National Center of Poverty Law

Investing In Communities funding from this lease: $25,000

Total Investing In Communities funding: $36,511

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