Wells REIT Announces Six New Leases At Aon Center

Jan 24, 2007

Edelman, Ariel, Xerox Sign at Landmark Chicago Tower

NORCROSS, Ga. (Jan. 24, 2007) -- Wells Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. today announced six new leases at Chicago’s Aon Center, the REIT’s largest office building and the nation’s third tallest.

Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations agency, has added an additional 15,000 square feet to its Aon Center lease, which runs through 2020. Ariel Capital Management has extended its 32,000-square-foot lease through 2021, and Xerox Corp. has signed a new lease for 12,000 square feet into 2017. Three retailers – one new and two returning – also have signed new leases.

The leases are part of a flurry of activity at the 83-story, 2.6-million-square-foot tower near Lake Michigan, on the eastern edge of downtown Chicago.

“Aon Center has seen a real surge of interest in the past year,” said Bo Reddic, managing director, asset management, for Wells Real Estate Funds. “It remains a truly outstanding building – an iconic American skyscraper – and more and more companies are seeing the convenience and vibrancy of the East Loop.”
Recently, Wells announced the renovation of the Mid-America Club, the upscale business and social club at Aon Center. Thoughtworks, an I/T firm, subleased 50,000 square feet at Aon, moving from the West Loop. And earlier last fall, Edelman renewed and expanded its lease for nearly 120,000 square feet.

In addition to the office tenants, a new retailer has signed a lease at Aon Center – Touch nail salon – and two existing retailers have renewed, Starbucks and Bloomers florist.
“We’re happy to welcome Xerox and our new retailers, and very pleased to continue serving Edelman, Ariel and all our existing tenants,” Reddic said.
Aon Center opened in 1973 as the Standard Oil Building, and was acquired by Wells in 2003.
Wells REIT is a public nontraded REIT specializing in office properties. The REIT now has 85 buildings in 24 states (including Washington, D.C.), totaling approximately $4.5 billion based on purchase price and covering more than 21 million square feet. Across the portfolio, Wells REIT properties are 95 percent leased.

Wells was represented in the new leases by Jones Lang LaSalle. Edelman was represented by CB Richard Ellis, Ariel by Staubach and Xerox by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Wells Real Estate Funds is a national real estate investment company based in suburban Atlanta. Since 1984, more than 200,000 people have invested in Wells-sponsored investment programs through their financial representatives. Collectively, these programs own more than $9 billion in assets totaling more than 39 million square feet of space. For more information, see www.wellsref.com.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including discussions regarding Wells’ use of proceeds and certain other factors that may affect future earnings or financial results. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially include changes in general economic conditions, changes in real estate conditions, construction delays, increases in interest rates, lease-up risks, lack of availability of financing, and lack of availability of capital proceeds. Wells REIT is closed to new investors.

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