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29th Street Capital Acquires MF Property; eBay to Expand Presence in Illinois

18 Jun 2014, 6:28 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Real estate investment and advisory firm 29th Street Capital recently announced it has closed on a multi-family property located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago.

Located on the city’s Near South Side, bounded by the South Branch of the Chicago River, Bridgeport is an ethnically diverse community that serves as an affordable, safe and family-friendly alternative to some of the more expensive nearby areas such as the South or West Loop neighborhoods. 29th Street Capital has announced plans to upgrade the interior and exterior of the building. Besides the building renovations, the firm also plans to create a large outdoor common patio in a previously unused space.

“The current residents are excited about the renovations, and the property is certainly going to be attractive both to renters and future buyers. Bridgeport is a gentrifying neighborhood with a rich history,” said Dan Howard, director of acquisitions.

29th Street Capital intends to seek other investment opportunities in the Chicagoland area. The firm will continue to pursue value-add deals which will offer its investors above market return.

In other local real estate news, The Chicago Business Journal reports that Braintree will move into 60,000 square feet of leased space in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. The online and mobile payment platform has been acquired by eBay in 2013. eBay will also expand its presence in Illinois and will add 360 new jobs over the course of the next three years.

eBay has received a tax credit, under the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy, worth an estimated $12 million over 10 years from The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. As per the EDGE agreement, eBay will invest $24 million in its Chicago expansion and pledges to create 216 full-time jobs by March 18, 2016, and another 144 by March 18, 2017.

Logo Courtesy of: www.29thstreetcapital.com



W.P. Carey Inc. Acquires $48 Million Distribution Facility

12 Jun 2014, 3:35 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

W.P. Carey Inc. recently announced it has acquired an 824,624-square-foot distribution facility just outside of Chicago. The property was purchased from Exeter Property Group for a price of about $48 million.

Located in University Park, Ill., the facility is fully-leased to a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Company for a period of nine and a half years. The original 575,024-square-foot facility was built in 2008 and Exeter expanded it by 249,600 in 2013 to facilitate the distribution of coffee under the Folgers brand, which Smuckers acquired in 2008.

“This investment represented an opportunity to acquire a new Class-A logistics facility that serves as a primary distribution center for all of Smuckers’ varied products,” says Gino Sabatini, W. P. Carey Managing Director and Co-Head of Global Investments. ”In addition, the transaction demonstrates W. P. Carey’s ability to work with a variety of sellers, including those whose investment time frame is shorter and who are predominantly IRR-focused. Because our strategy is to generate income and cash flow over the longer term, we are an attractive source of liquidity to owners, developers and investors with shorter term investment horizons, as was the case with the Exeter Property Group.”

Located in Chicago’s South Suburban submarket, the modern Class-A distribution center with 32-foot clear height is one of only six distribution centers operated by Smuckers in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to consummate this win-win transaction for Exeter and W. P. Carey. We acquired the property in a non-stabilized condition and utilized Exeter’s development and leasing skills to add value and high investment performance to Exeter’s institutional partners, and are pleased to have made an outstanding asset available to a high quality organization like W. P. Carey,” says Ward Fitzgerald, Exeter CEO.

Logo Courtesy of: www.wpcarey.com



New Loews Chicago Hotel Joins ALHI

5 Jun 2014, 1:02 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Associated Luxury Hotels International recently expanded its portfolio with the addition of the new Loews Chicago Hotel which is scheduled to open in the beginning of 2015. ALHI will provide Global Sales Organization support, expertise and sales services for the new Chicago Hotel.

Situated in the center of Chicago, just one block north of the Chicago River and two blocks east of North Michigan Avenue, Loews Chicago Hotel will feature 400 guest rooms and suites in a highly visible 52-story tower. The hotel will offer 25,717 square feet of meeting space and outdoor function venues, including a board room with video conferencing capabilities, an 8,591-square-foot ballroom and a 4,740-square-foot junior ballroom. The hotel will be conveniently located within walking distance of numerous shopping and entertainment venues, and will be just 25 minutes away from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and 30 minutes from Chicago Midway International Airport.

“The brand-new Loews Chicago Hotel will be a very welcomed addition to the amazing city of Chicago,” says ALHI CEO David Gabri. “Chicago continues to be one of the most highly sought-after destinations, and this will be an outstanding new hotel for meetings and programs. It complements our other exceptional Chicago hotel members and provides needed new space in the marketplace.”

Owned and operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts, the Loews Chicago Hotel will feature numerous on-site leisure options including a signature restaurant, retail shop, 75-foot indoor lap pool, a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and spa treatment rooms, and a rooftop lounge offering panoramic views of Chicago. The hotel is being developed by DRW Trading Group and designed by architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz.

The Loews Chicago Hotel will become ALHI’s sixth member in Chicago, joining The Peninsula Chicago, The Langham Chicago, the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile and the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. The Loews Chicago Hotel also becomes the newest member of the ALHI City Solutions Collection which features 61 ALHI Four- and Five-Diamond quality member hotels from numerous metropolitan areas around the world.

Renderings Courtesy of: www.scb.com



CVMC REIT Pays $211.7 Million for 250,000-Square-Foot Chicago Data Center

28 May 2014, 10:06 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT Inc. has acquired the Chicago Data Center Facility in the Northlake suburb of Chicago for $211.7 million. The REIT will provide new capital for the continued build out and expansion of the facility.

“This property represents our largest single portfolio acquisition to date and demonstrates our continuing commitment to the data center space,” says John Carter, CEO of CVMC REIT.

CVMC REIT acquired the data center from Ascent and according to the announced partnership agreement Ascent will continue to manage operations, engineering and construction at the site.

“Partnering with CVMC REIT allows Ascent to concentrate on building out our current portfolio of data center facilities and increase strategic investment in the development of future locations,” says Phil Horstmann, CEO of Ascent. “CVMC REIT’s commitment to the data center space is the perfect complement to our design, construction and operational capabilities, strengthening our ability to provide current and future customers with the innovative solutions and mission-critical services they demand.”

The Chicago Data Center, a 250,000-square-foot multi-tenant facility, features Ascent’s purpose-built Dynamic Data Center SuiteSM model and shared infrastructure colocation suites. The facility has been designed for a wide range of customers with diverse computing and power density requirements, accommodating critical power requirements from less than 1 MW up to 20 MW of gross power.

“Given this property’s desirable location and long term leases with high-quality tenants, we believe that the Chicago Data Center is a great addition to our growing portfolio of mission critical real estate assets,” says Michael Seton, president of Carter/Validus Advisors, the advisor to CVMC REIT. ”We look forward to our relationship with Ascent, a recognized leader in the data center industry, who will continue to manage and develop the property for CVMC REIT.”

Logo Courtesy of: www.cvmissioncriticalreit.com



Brennan Investment Group and Westminster Capital Sell Ogden Corporate Center

21 May 2014, 10:25 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Chicago-based Brennan Investment Group LLC and its joint venture partner Lake Forest, Ill.-based Westminster Capital recently announced the sale of Ogden Corporate Center to a private investor.

“This was our first investment with Brennan Investment Group,” says Mark Mazur, managing principal of Westminster Capital. “The Brennan and Westminster teams were aligned in our investment approach on this asset, identifying opportunities with a value proposition and leveraging our experienced platforms to create value and maximize returns. Westminster looks forward to more investments with Brennan.”

Located at 801-815 Ogden Avenue in Lisle, Ill., Ogden Corporate Center consist of two, single story, Class A office buildings. The property is fully leased to three tenants with the majority of space being occupied by an affiliate of DuPage Medical Group under a long-term lease. When the buildings were acquired by Brennan Investment Group in 2012 they had significant vacancy and occupancy was raised to 100 percent shortly after the acquisition.

“Although not an industrial asset, the purchase and sale of Ogden Corporate Center represents one of Brennan Investment Group’s strategies, of acquiring special circumstance properties, and adding value by leasing and improving the property, and selling upon stabilization, maximizing investor returns,” says Scott McKibben, managing principal and co-founder of Brennan Investment Group.

Brennan Investment Group acquires, develops and operates primarily industrial properties in select major metropolitan markets across the U.S. The company’s current portfolio spans 21 states and features over 15 million square feet.

Logo Courtesy of: www.brennaninvestmentgroup.com



Historic 850 Lake Shore Drive Earns Recognition from Chicago Association of Realtors

14 May 2014, 3:29 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The conversion of the historic Lake Shore Athletic Club building into luxury apartments has won the 2014 Chicago Association of Realtors Good Neighbor Award. The distinction honors groundbreaking new and newly rehabbed or redeveloped properties in the Chicago metropolitan region that have augmented economic vibrancy in their neighborhood and boosted local pride.

“Good Neighbor Awards demonstrate how real estate works to build stronger, vibrant communities,” says Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner at Urban Real Estate. “This is one of our association’s most important programs because it recognizes properties that exemplify how real estate can positively impact neighborhoods by fulfilling a need, helping the economy and boosting civic pride.”

The 850 Lake Shore Drive transformation project was developed by locally-based Integrated Development Group LLC in partnership with the National Electrical Benefit Fund. Originally built in 1927, 850 Lake Shore Drive opened as the exclusive Lake Shore Athletic Club. Integrated Development Group unveiled plans to convert the vacant building to luxury apartments in 2013 and, under the direction of architects Booth Hansen and general contractors Lend Lease and Valenti Builders, undertook the thorough renovation.

The recently reopened structure features 198 modern residences and upscale amenities such as a fitness center, indoor pool, business center, rooftop deck and a 3,500-square-foot “White Room” which includes a bar, flat screen TVs and billiards table. Residents can choose from over 60 floor plans ranging from studios to three-bedroom duplexes. Rents range from $2,190 to $12,000 per month.

“We’re honored to be recognized for this prestigious award,” says  Matthew Phillips, CEO and President of Integrated Development Group. 850 Lake Shore Drive was a unique opportunity to save a building that was significant to the community, and we’re grateful that the real estate industry recognizes the building’s historic value and has been receptive to its new life as luxury rentals in Chicago.”

850 Lake Shore Drive is managed by Seneca Real Estate Advisors, with leasing and marketing being provided by @properties.



Luxury Boutique Hotel Announces Opening in Chicago’s Andersonville Neighborhood

7 May 2014, 8:53 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Andersonville Guesthouse is set to expand and upon reopening, in the summer of 2014, will be rebranded into The Guesthouse Hotel.

Located at 4866 North Clark Street, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, the former 10-unit boutique hotel will expand into a 25-unit luxury accommodation through the construction of a new building next to the existing hotel.

The Guesthouse Hotel aims to be the first luxury boutique hotel on Chicago’s Northside that allows guests to “live like a local” within a home-like setting. “Our guests have the opportunity to live like a local and take advantage of our proximity to Wrigley Field and downtown Chicago, wonderful restaurants, and shopping in the surrounding Andersonville, Uptown, and Lincoln Square neighborhoods,” said co-owner Simona Krug.

The hotel will feature one- and two-bedroom suites which will offer numerous comforts found in the hotel’s current two- and three-bedroom units, such as spa-like master bathrooms, gourmet kitchens and private outdoor area. The boutique hotel will also include penthouse units with private rooftop garden access. The new construction will have a spacious lobby with a reception area and retail space, library, club room, and exercise room.

“We want to create a different experience for travelers coming to Chicago – one that focuses on local neighborhood culture, offers comfort and independence, like that of your own home, and provides luxury accommodations at an affordable cost,” says Dave Krug, co-owner of The Guesthouse Hotel. “Our vision is to create a perfect hotel option for small groups or families where they have all of the home amenities in a popular Chicago neighborhood.”



$79 Million TIFIA Loan for the Reconstruction of the CTA’s 95th Street Red Line Station Secured

1 May 2014, 2:48 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recently announced that $79 million in federal funding has been secured to finalize the funding of the new 95th Street Terminal on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line.

“The Red Line is the backbone of our transportation network system and one of our City’s key economic engines,” Emanuel says. ”By utilizing innovative federal financing, we are ensuring that we build the infrastructure Chicago needs to succeed economically in the 21st Century and take advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a significant investment in the South Side.”

The new $240 million station is the first CTA terminal project in 30 years and one of the largest single station projects in the CTA’s history. The 95th Street station reconstruction project will completely rebuilt the station, which has become outdated. Located at the south end of the Red Line, the CTA’s busiest rail line, the new construction will expand customer areas, relieve congestion and generally improve the experience of the close to 4 million riders who pass through the station each year.

“The federally funded TIGER grant program is the largest and most competitive transportation grant programs in the nation,” Durban says. “We all worked together to bring this funding right back to the South Side, where construction on a new multimodal station will help bring new development, spur the local economy and give commuters a safe, modern station for decades to come. This announcement is an example of how the federal investments we are making today – and the additional funding that they help leverage – are putting us in the best position to provide world-class mass transit services in the future.”

The new terminal will feature two buildings, one situated north and one south of 95th Street, as well as reconfigured pedestrian areas and bus bays. The CTA has partnered with Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates to create artworks for the station. The $79 million in funding comes through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act which provides assistance for qualified infrastructure projects across the country.

Preliminary work is expected to start in late spring and major construction is expected to begin by this fall. The terminal is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Rendering Courtesy of: 95th/Dan Ryan via CTA/Flickr.



Amata Opens New Shared Office Center at 150 South Wacker Drive

23 Apr 2014, 6:50 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Amata Office Centers has recently announced it is opening its sixth shared office center in Chicago featuring 16,950 square feet of space. Occupying the entire 24th floor of the building located at 150 South Wacker Drive in the West Loop neighborhood, the shared office center is scheduled to open May 1.

Amata’s 150 South Wacker Drive shared office center will feature over 50 private office suites, seven open workstations, six large team rooms, three state-of-the-art conference rooms, a café and lounge and Amata’s signature Cognac room.

“It seemed natural that our next location would be in the West Loop as it has quickly become one of the hottest areas for startups, especially those launching tech firms,” says Ron Bockstahler, Amata’s CEO and co-founder. ”We even took that into account in designing the shared office space at 150 South Wacker, as it will include an open loft concept, gigabit Ethernet connection and video games in the lounge. The building is also easily accessible from I-90 and I-94 as well as close to the Union and Ogilvy Metra Stations, making it a convenient location for commuters.”

Amata has been involved in the shared office movement for over ten years, connecting small, entrepreneurial businesses, as well as national and international companies that have been searching to set up offices in Chicago.

“Because of the increase in firms flocking to Chicago, we’ve seen an increasing demand for our cost-effective and flexible office solutions, so we’re excited to offer a new Amata location to companies,” Bockstahler says.

Certain Amata locations also provide special services that cater to specific industries. For example Amata’s “aLawCenter” locations at 161 North Clark Street and 180 North LaSalle Street cater to the company’s legal clients and offers private deposition rooms, paralegal support and docket services.

Photo Courtesy of: www.amatacorp.com



HOK-Designed Clark and Grand Hotel Complex Achieves LEED-NC Silver Certification

16 Apr 2014, 5:11 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

HOK recently announced that The Clark and Grand Hotel Complex has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) Design for New Construction (NC) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Designed by HOK and developed by Friedman Properties, The Clark and Grand Hotel Complex is the first high-rise select service hotel in Chicago made up of three distinct hotel offerings under the same roof.

Located in the River North neighborhood, the complex is on a block bounded by Clark Street, Grand Avenue, Dearborn Street and Illinois Street. In order to offer each hotel its own identity, HOK’s design has provided three separate entrances. The three hotels united under the same roof are: Aloft Chicago City Center – 272 guestrooms; Hyatt Place – 212 guestrooms; and Fairfield Inn & Suites – 180 guestrooms. Each hotel benefits from numerous efficiencies which are being achieved by sharing amenity and basement public spaces. All three properties are managed by White Lodging.

The Clark and Grand Hotel Complex is just the third new construction LEED-certified hotel project in Chicago. The energy performance of the hotels is 38 percent better than a typical hotel in the city. The building has numerous sustainable design features and strategies including the combination of a high-performance envelope with efficient mechanical systems and controls; and efficient heating and cooling systems. The complex achieved a 28 percent water use reduction by using low flow plumbing and also thanks to its landscape design that only uses non-potable water for irrigation.

“As the third new construction LEED-certified hotel project in Chicago, the energy performance of this complex is 38 percent better than a typical hotel in the city,” says Colin Rohlfing, Chicago-based HOK sustainable design leader. ”The success of this unique hospitality project was achieved by combining a high-performance envelope with efficient mechanical systems and controls, which both respond to the increase in perimeter thermal performance.”

Photo Courtesy of: www.hok.com







One Response to Chicago Archive

  1. Joselyn Overley

    Sep. 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I just think it’s too hard for small businesses to try to purchase a property, renting or leasing is their only real option

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