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Impact Hiring 50 at Expanded Michigan Avenue Office

The Lake Forest-based business service and technology provider is building out a new penthouse suite office to accommodate its rapid growth

Impact Networking is planning to hire around 50 new employees in Chicago over the coming months and is building out a new Michigan Avenue office to accommodate its rapid growth.

The Lake Forest-based business service and technology provider recently signed a 13-year lease for 19,000 square feet at 150 N. Michigan Ave., where it will move into the property’s penthouse suite on the 40th and 41st floors, the company said.

It’s an expansion from Impact’s 7,000-square-foot office on the building’s 21st floor, which it opened in September 2014 but will vacate when it moves into the new space in March.

Impact is out of room at its current office in the 41-story tower, where it houses 33 employees primarily in IT services and hardware sales, said CEO Frank Cucco. Demand for those parts of its business has exploded, he said, creating the need for more hires and more space.

“The business model works well, and smaller companies that do these (business operations systems) individually don’t have the financial wherewithal to have all the state-of-the-art stuff we have,” Cucco said.

The lease is one of many expansions across the city that have helped fill a rush of new office supply downtown over the past couple years. While major corporate relocations to the city from the suburbs and elsewhere have done a lot of that work, smaller deals like Impact’s have helped landlords grow the value of their buildings by tightening the market for space and allowing them to maintain or grow rents.

Impact has grown quickly in recent years marketing itself as an all-encompassing business services firm that today works with more than 20,000 clients on IT services, printing and other systems, according to Cucco. Impact’s revenue has grown by an average of 27 percent annually since 2000 and the company is on track to do $120 million in sales this year, said Cucco, who started the company out of his basement in 1999.

More than 80 percent of Impact’s business is done in the Chicago area, which is one reason it is ramping up its local workforce. The company has more than 550 employees in 17 offices across Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and California, including around 200 employees at its Lake Forest headquarters. Impact also has an office at 125 S. Clark St. that houses its marketing team and another office in the Fulton Market District with software engineers.

Impact’s deal is a win for CBRE Global Investors, which bought 150 N. Michigan Ave. a year ago for $121 million, Cook County property records show. The 34-year-old tower, formally known as the Crain Communications building, is 89 percent leased, according to real estate information company CoStar Group. That outperforms the 87 percent average for downtown office buildings midway through the year, according to CBRE data.

CBRE brokers Bill Sheehy and Brian McDonnell represented Impact in the deal. Landlord CBRE Global Investors was represented by CBRE leasing brokers Sara Spicklemire, Seth Tuscher and Kelsey Scheive.