Not-for-Profit Organization Leases Space in CTA Building

February 9, 2011
The Chicago Transit Board today approved a 15-year contract leasing 21,770 square feet of space on the 11th floor in CTA’s Headquarters building to the National Able Network, Inc. (Able), an Illinois not-for-profit corporation. The 11th floor contains nearly 35,000 square feet. 
“The signing of the lease is further evidence of CTA’s commitment to find ways to generate operating revenue,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “Our award-winning building is located in a rapidly growing area and presents an attractive location for leasing opportunities.” 
CTA’s headquarters was purchased with tax exempt bonds. As a result, only five percent of the building can be leased to taxable entities. The remainder of the site can only be leased to non-taxable entities such as government agencies or not-for-profits.
“The rules associated with tax exempt bonds considerably narrowed the field on possible lessees which made it challenging to find eligible candidates,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson. “Able fits the necessary criteria and having a tenant you know will be here for 15 years provides a steady income to the agency.”
Able provides workforce development programs, counseling, training and job placement services to veterans, low-income adults, dislocated workers, seniors and qualified job candidates to area businesses. With offices in Pilsen and Calumet City in Illinois and in Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the space leased from CTA will be used as the corporate headquarters for Able.
Gross revenue from the lease agreement is projected to be $8.1 million over the life of the lease and will contribute to the CTA's operating budget, which is used to support day-to-day operations. The leasing agreement is comparable with other leases in the downtown area.
In 2010 nearly $6.1 million was generated from concessions, ATM machines and other retail rentals owned by the CTA, including $249,439 from the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), Saigon Sisters and Province restaurants, and 7-11 which all currently lease space in the headquarters building.
The leasing agreement with National Able Network was developed through the services of Jones Lang LaSalle which serves as the real estate broker for the CTA, secures concessions at CTA stations, and increases efforts to establish transit-oriented development across the CTA system.
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