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HOK Inks New 25,000-Square-Foot Lease at One Pru Plaza

Architecture firm HOK has signed a 13-year lease at Wanxiang America Real Estate Group’s One Pru, formerly known as One Prudential Plaza. The company is set to occupy a 25,500-square-foot space on the 14th floor of the 41-story building.

HOK will vacate its current premises at 333 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago early next year upon the expiration of its 27,000-square-foot lease.

Wanxiang, which acquired the East Loop office in 2018 through a $680 million portfolio transaction, is in the midst of a $50 million renovation project at 130 E. Randolph St. These efforts include upgrades to the lobby; a tenant amenity floor; and the installation of a rooftop deck on the 11th floor, which will lead to a new, enclosed-glass walkway to the neighboring Two Prudential Plaza.

Additionally, the decision to invest in the office tower has landed the owner with an extension of its existing $389 million loan on the property: The loan maturity date was extended from its original August 2025 deadline to 2027, with the option for further extension to 2029. This new loan structure translates to an outstanding loan balance of $169 per square foot of building space.

While One Pru Plaza currently boasts a healthy occupancy rate of 87%, Wanxiang faces some upcoming leasing obstacles. For instance, the building’s namesake tenant, Prudential, is planning to vacate more than 50,000 square feet as it moves its workspace to Chicago’s West Loop. Furthermore, although the building generated $30.7 million in net cash flow last year, this represents a decrease from the $40.2 million earned in the year of acquisition.

Meanwhile, real estate software company SMS Assist — another one of the larger tenants in the building — holds a lease termination option for more than 114,000 square feet in 2026. While exercising this option would likely result in a significant fee for SMS Assist, it would also leave a substantial vacancy for the landlord to fill, right on the cusp of the loan’s new maturity date.

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