Company News
Blue Ops expands and relocates Central Loop office

By Alex Zorn

Blue Ops is relocating to 200 S. Michigan Ave.

The private equity and M&A services firm signed for nearly 28,000 squarefeet at the Central Loop office building, tripling the size of its footprint from its existing Chicago location in the Central Loop, at 20 S. Clark St.

The new lease comes as direct vacancy in the Central Loop reached 25% in the first quarter of 2024, the highest of any local submarket.

Still, the flight-to-quality trend continues, according to JLL’s Craig Coupe. He, along with Ellen Trager, represented building owner Stanton Road Capital in the transaction.

Coupe told the Chicago Business Journal 200 S. Michigan Ave. has seen a significant uptick in touring activity, especially with tenants looking to upgrade their view and overall workplace experience.

Stanton Road Capital’s Corey Gehrt said the building’s amenity package includes a fitness center and lounge, along with Starbucks and Potbelly locations, and Russian Tea Time Restaurant.

Gehrt added that Blue Ops’ lease brings the building to 60% occupied.

“Across the board for our portfolio and in all markets, the investments we’ve made in amenities have proven valuable in attracting high-caliber tenants and their current (as well as prospective) employee bases,” Gehrt said via email. “This holds true for 200 S. Michigan and the improvements to the fitness center and lounge.”

Blue Ops is expected to move into the building during the third quarter.

Brian Nelson of Winthrop Commercial Inc. represented Blue Ops in the transaction.

Emily Callahan, chief innovation and administration officer of Xerxes Global, parent company of Blue Ops, said the firm’s Chicago footprint has grown 30% year-over-year.

Xerxes is headquartered in Minneapolis, but the new Chicago office is said to be “on par” with that Minnesota site both in terms of size and employee count. Xerxes also
has smaller offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as the UK and Dublin, Ireland.

Blue Ops anticipates hiring for an additional 15 to 20 roles within Chicago before the end of the year.

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