Client: Encyclopaedia Britannica
Location: The Reid Murdoch Building, 325 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois
Size: 75,325 square feet

Overview: When their landlord offered to terminate their lease at Britannica Centre, 310 South Michigan, in order to convert the building to condominiums, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. (EB) was presented with the opportunity to downsize operations, decrease occupancy costs, and move into a facility that better reflected the company’s new image. However, EB was also presented with the challenge of finding a new facility within ten months, which is a short period to relocate a major corporation’s headquarters.

Approach:In addition to economics, EB required a building with historical stature and modern amenities. EB also wanted to retain prominent identity on the building, as they had at their previous location. Due to the short timeframe of the project, MB Real Estate immediately completed a market overview and assembled a project team of architects, contractors, and technical support consultants to assist in the evaluation of alternative properties. The evaluation included a complete review of base building and infrastructure for several properties with existing furniture in place as well as properties where total build out of the premises would be required. After several rounds of accelerated negotiations, EB decided to move to the Reid Murdoch building, a renovated loft property with the history and modern infrastructure to reflect the culture and new image of the company. From the time of the initial tours, EB signed a lease within 55 days.


  • Increased operating efficiencies by 33 percent (EB decreased from 90,000 sq. ft. to 75,325 sq. ft., despite 10 percent staff increase)
  • Obtained prominent signage on building’s clock tower
  • Secured a large rent abatement package
  • Secured favorable expansion and cancellation options for improved flexibility
  • Negotiated substantial tenant improvement and furniture allowances