Challenge

H&M had their existing north American call center/office in the West Loop. Dougal Jeppe had placed H&M in their Chicago existing office in 2011 after an extensive search which included other markets such as Columbus, OH.

In 2014, Dougal approached the new real estate director about a unique market dynamic where they were paying well below market rates. At the same time, H&M’s online business was growing fast and they were going to be outgrowing their existing space where they had three years left on their lease.

As a 7 day a week, 16 hour a day, highly dense call center, they needed a building infrastructure (heavy after hours HVAC) that could meet their size of about 35,000 sf.

Strategy

After their existing landlord failed to offer expansion opportunities, Dougal identified properties that could meet the unique needs of H&M.

  • Large floor plates (at least 35,000 sf)
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Multiple amenities
Additionally, we immediately placed their existing space on the sublease market.

 

Results

Dougal pitted the two top properties against each other and H&M ultimately signed a lease for approximately 35,000 sf at 175 W Jackson Blvd in Chicago. The space is on one floor with expansion opportunities. Additionally, we negotiated a 50% discount on the after-hours HVAC, which saved approximately $850,000 over the term of the lease.

We also achieved a 100% recovery on their existing office, with no out of pocket costs.