CHICAGOLaw firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP is the first to sign an anchor spot at the planned 444 West Lake Street office tower here.

The attorney firm has signed a letter of intent to occupy 225,000 sq. ft. with Hines and Ivanhoe Cambridge, which this week started construction on the $300 million tower here in the West Loop section of downtown. This new lease deal calls for McDermott to become the anchor tenant of the 900,000-sq.-ft., 45-story building.

Jeffrey Stone, co-chair of McDermott Will & Emery, said in a statement Thursday that the building will meet all the needs of a modern law firm. “River Point will be the first major office building to rise in Chicago since the onset of the financial crisis and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it,” Stone said. “Our lawyers, staff and clients will be inspired by the building’s unique design and unmatched views of the greater Chicago area. We’re delighted to build upon our 80-year history in Chicago with this bold move into the future.”

The tower is expected to be ready for initial occupancy in 2016. Amenities will include a 1.5-acre public park and landscaped river walk, a restaurant, retail shops, a fitness center and a building conference center,

Colliers International’s David Kahnweiler, Bob Chodos and Steve Levitas represented the tenant in this transaction. Greg Van Schaack and Tom D’Arcy led the team at Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge. Pickard Chilton Architects are the designers of River Point.