Logical Position Takes Occupancy of Full Floor at The Reserve at Deer Park

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Logical Position has taken occupancy of a 43,000-square-foot, full floor of space at The Reserve at Deer Park in a transaction that underscores the importance of staying ahead of pandemic-related headwinds in today’s office market. The Portland, OR-based digital marketing agency is the first tenant in a newly repositioned section of the 352,966-sf Class A building in Deer Park, IL, in Chicago’s northwest suburban office market.

The Reserve at Deer Park is owned by Arzan Wealth and 90 North Real Estate Partners. JLL is the exclusive leasing agent of the property; NAI Hiffman is the property manager and served as the Project and Construction Manager. Newmark Knight Frank represented Logical in the transaction.

While many Chicago area office tenants have faced a range of move-in delays due to permitting and construction buildout issues, the leasing and management team maneuvered around many obstacles to bring this transaction to a close.

“Timing is everything and was crucial to completing this full floor leasing and occupancy program during the pandemic,” says Daniel Cooper, Head of North American Operations for 90 North Real Estate Partners LLP. “Everyone involved was extremely focused, working diligently to keep the process moving along. Without that focus and work ethic, we easily could have been caught up in COVID-related issues resulting in scheduling delays and cost overruns.”

Among the hurdles that were cleared during the transaction were:

Permitting — The permitting process was fast tracked because of concerns raised early in the first quarter about the spread of the coronavirus and potential implications. Permitting was bifurcated into phases to cover demolition and general buildout, which saved at least a couple of weeks of time. Because of the extensive demolition required to renovate the floor for the new tenant, that phase was completed just ahead of permit approval for the next phase.

Construction — The parties involved in the transaction also focused on an early timing for procuring construction materials and tenant finishes—from carpeting and wall coverings to fixtures and furniture. This helped avoid delays from any domestic manufacturing plant closings or products being backordered because of the pandemic.

Municipal inspection — The team anticipated the need for inspections to ensure that all village departments had ample notice to schedule and avoid and stoppages. The certificate of occupancy proved to be more challenging, but ultimately was completed with minimal difficulty, due to proactive work from home schedules.

The tenant improvement program in the Logical Position space was extensive, converting a second generation space that had been vacant to a vibrant, modern workspace that is appealing to the firm’s employee base. Logical Position currently has approximately 150 employees that will be moving into the space as part of a post-COVID-19 plan. The space is designed to accommodate as many as 320 employees by the end of 2022.

Highlights of the space, designed by Interwork Architects and constructed by Morgan Harbour Construction, include:

  • employee workspaces in a collaborative, open environment with views of the wooded campus;
  • a variety or conference and meeting rooms for client meetings and internal gatherings;
  • a high-tech training room that can accommodate 30-50 people;
  • an expansive employee lounge and kitchen area equipped with table games and big screen televisions; and
  • interior offices for executives and managers.

The Reserve at Deer Park is a nature-rich suburban campus on 50 acres with walking trails, outdoor sports and nature preserves, all of which are in demand in a post-Covid world. The campus was originally developed by Motorola and was later acquired by the current owners through a sale-leaseback strategy by Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Continental occupies four floors of space for the USA headquarters for its interiors division.

Other pandemic-related issues and challenges The Reserve at Deer Park team overcame included:

  • Pandemic Understanding and Response—While landlords, property managers and tenants all had various emergency preparations and plans none had ever experienced the degree of governmental measures implemented for this pandemic; there were many nuances to understand, including State requirements, CDC guidelines, OHSA  definitions, such as the classification of essential workers and other considerations related to COVID.
  • Contractor Screening and Access—Building ownership and property management worked out a program for screening the contractor and subcontractors going in and out of the building.
  • Design and Construction Goes Virtual—Meetings that were initially held in person were moved to a virtual format out of an abundance of caution and respect for all involved.

“The ability to collaboratively work through the pandemic related issues and challenges was remarkable,” says Craig Millspaugh, Asset Manager, 90 North Real Estate Partners LLP. “Our team created an efficient process to move the construction process along while also adhering to the many additional health and safety guidelines imposed by the pandemic. We were able to maintain our move-in schedule despite all the obstacles, allowing the tenant to take occupancy on time and avoid additional costs.”