Savills completed a 64,283-square-foot multi-year lease restructure and extension on behalf of the local Fox owned-and-operated station, WFLD. The company will remain at its current location at Michigan Plaza at 205 N. Michigan Ave., where it has resided as one of the building’s original tenants since 1985.
Fox’s scope at Michigan Plaza includes a production studio, numerous offices, storage space, ample parking, and rooftop access for its communications systems. Savills Vice Chairmen Robert Sevim and Kelly Givens were retained to help establish and execute a new real estate strategy for Fox that would support the evolving nature of the broadcast business and streamline the organization’s operations and workplace.
The Savills team surveyed the market and identified a selection of viable relocation options that could accommodate Fox’s future requirements. Meanwhile, Michigan Plaza had recently completed an extensive improvement project that included upgrading the lobby, creating a new third-floor tenant lounge, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The building also added an elevator that would allow Fox access to all three levels, including the outdoor space. Additionally, Michigan Plaza is in the process of improving its outdoor plaza and adding a recreation area.
Savills negotiated with the MB Real Estate team including Mark Buth, Steve Hennessy, Ellen Trager and Ashley Harrison, the landlord’s representative for Michigan Plaza, to restructure and extend Fox’s lease, enabling the station to capitalize on the building’s upgrades and reorganize its footprint. The Savills team was able to secure an agreement that reduced real estate occupancy costs for Fox and immediately effectuate a consolidation of multiple disparate spaces within the complex. Savills also secured a generous concession package that allows Fox to make critical capital upgrades to its new space envelope as it puts into effect a more streamlined workspace. Fox will maintain the station’s signage rights on the building.
“Fox is an anchor tenant of Michigan Plaza and has helped form the identity of the building since it opened in 1985,” said Mark Buth, Executive Vice President of MB Real Estate. “We were pleased to keep Fox at its current location that provides great visibility for the brand. Ownership is committed to making continued improvements to the building and finding solutions for its longtime tenants to reformat their spaces in the ever-changing marketplace.”
WFLD, channel 32, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Fox Corporation owned Fox Television Stations. WFLD is owned as half of a duopoly with Gary, Indiana-licensed WPWR-TV (channel 50), the Chicago market’s MyNetwork TV affiliate. The two stations share studios and offices in Chicago’s East Loop neighborhood, and WFLD’s transmitter is based at the Willis Tower. WFLD broadcasts 56 hours of local news shows each week, along with airing syndicated first-run talk, court and reality shows, off-network sitcoms, and Fox’s primetime network programming and sports.