Crain’s Chicago Business: Trading firm moving, expanding HQ

Old Mission Capital subleased 38,000 square feet from tech company PowerReviews at 1 N. Dearborn, where it will move from River North in a rare office space increase during the pandemic.

As a rash of companies look to sublease their downtown office space amid the COVID-19 crisis, at least one has found a taker.

The deal marks a big expansion for Old Mission from its 8,900-square-foot current headquarters at 314 W. Superior St. and a rare case of a company signing up for more office space while the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy. The more common tale during the pandemic has been the opposite: A deluge of tenants trying to shed real estate as many re-evaluate their workspace needs after months of employees working remotely and no clear end to the crisis in sight.

Old Mission Chief Operating Officer Erica Avitia said in a statement that the firm, which specializes in exchange-traded funds, needed more space to accommodate a growing team after hiring two dozen employees in Chicago over the past year and five to seven more hires planned by the end of the year.

“Management also had a strong desire to offer team members more space to collaborate (at a safe distance) as well as a formal classroom setting (now being held virtually) for our recently introduced internal education program,” the statement said. The company expects to move by the end of this year to the Loop office, which will be its headquarters.

The lease is a small piece of good news for a downtown office market with suddenly ballooning vacancy that midway through the year reached its highest mark since 2011, according to brokerage CBRE. Sublease availability has driven much of that surge, rising by 60 percent since the beginning of the year to 4.4 million square feet as of late last month, CBRE data show. That’s 3 percent of all downtown office inventory, the highest share in at least 15 years, according to the brokerage.

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