As more companies expand their operations in Chicago’s hot CBD submarkets like River North and the Fulton Market, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is pacesetting in the dramatic growth, adding 600,000 square feet to its downtown leasing portfolio facilitated by the hire of one of the area’s top veteran landlord dealmakers, Matthew Ward.
Mr. Ward comes with the city’s highest profile leasing assignment—finding the next big-name tenant(s) to take the 200,000 square feet that Google currently occupies at 20 West Kinzie until late 2015. The tech giant’s move to a larger space in the west loop offers an unmatched opportunity for firms to get a foothold in Chicago’s only true 24/7 neighborhood. Mr. Ward also leads the exclusive leasing of 111 West Illinois. The pair total 600,000 square feet in the coveted River North submarket and are considered two of the city’s most recognizable new-economy buildings that define today’s Class A office space.
As a senior managing director at NGKF, Mr. Ward will focus primarily on institutional and private equity landlord representation.
Previously, he served as a senior vice president at The Alter Group, where he was instrumental in bringing Google to 20 West Kinzie and helped the company to expand its Midwest headquarters from 15,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet, cementing the building’s reputation. He maintains strong connections with the city’s growing technology companies, such as salesforce.com, which currently occupies 120,000 square feet at 111 West Illinois. Both 20 West Kinzie and 111 West Illinois in the River North market are owned by The Alter Group, which awarded the leasing responsibilities to Mr. Ward upon his move to NGKF to maintain the momentum and performance on the assets.