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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



Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Acquires Chicago’s Trophy 203 North LaSalle

11 Apr 2014, 8:55 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Commercial real estate services firm Avison Young announced that it has completed an office property acquisition on behalf of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas within a trophy-class building in downtown Chicago.

The acquisition comprises 581,107 square feet of office space within the 27-story class A mixed-use building located at 203 North LaSalle in Chicago’s Central Loop. The transaction refers solely to office space, which comprises the building’s 13th through 27th floors, and does not include the retail space on the first and second floor, nor the 10 levels of parking. Sumitomo Corporation of Americas has named Avison Young as the exclusive leasing agent for the acquired office space.

The office space was acquired from a joint-venture partnership consisting of M&J Wilkow, which has held ownership in the building since its completion in 1985, and HCI Capital AG, which has shared in ownership since 2005. 203 North LaSalle will continue to be managed by M&J Wilkow.

“Sumitomo has been active on the coasts for years, and has always viewed Chicago as a world-class city,” says Tomonori Wada, senior vice-president, Living Related Business Group, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. “We have been looking for the right opportunity to invest in Chicago and hope to increase our presence here.”

Avison Young Principal Suzanne Martinez, who led the brokerage team that represented Sumitomo Corporation of Americas in the sale transaction says: “This was a complex deal not only due to the multi-tiered ownership of the building, but also because Sumitomo was seeking a 1031 Exchange opportunity whereby capital-gains taxes are deferred until a future date in accordance with federal law. We identified the property at 203 North LaSalle as a great asset to satisfy Sumitomo’s 1031, but also it gives Sumitomo the opportunity to acquire office space in a building that can be repositioned for today’s market.”

The 29-year-old building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and has achieved LEED Gold certification and an Energy Star label. The building offers direct access to the Clark and Lake Chicago Transit Authority station and the Loop-spanning underground pedestrian walkway.

Sumitomo plans to make improvements to the lobby and elevators and install amenities such as a fitness center for tenants. Tenants at 203 North LaSalle include the University of Phoenix, Masuda Funai and DLA Piper.

Photo Courtesy of: www.wilkow.com



Governor Quinn Announces New “Welcome Home Illinois” Home Loan Program for First-Time Buyers

3 Apr 2014, 6:09 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced the new Welcome Home Illinois program which aims to help Illinois’ first-time home buyers. The program provides $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.99 percent for a secure, 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

“Welcome Home Illinois will provide more opportunities for everyday people across Illinois to have their chance at homeownership,” Quinn says. “Homeownership and home-buying are essential to our economy. That’s why we are rolling out the welcome mat for families and hardworking men and women by giving them the resources they need to pack up and move into a new home.”

The program is funded through Illinois Jobs Now! and the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The program is open to first-time buyers or anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years in Illinois. Borrower income limits are up to 140 percent of the area median income, or $106,120 for a family of three or more in Cook County and $82,915 for a family of three or more in Springfield. The home buyer is required to have a credit score of at least 640.

Through the program home buyers can receive a forgivable loan of $7,500 that is secured by a second mortgage to help with closing costs or down payment. The borrowers are required to contribute the greater of one percent of the overall purchase price or $1,000 toward the down payment.

Apart from creating new ownership opportunities the Welcome Home Illinois loan will also stimulate statewide economic activity. It is estimated that the program will generate 1,500 full-time jobs, $50 million from real estate-related industries, $40 million in economic activity for the state and an extra $16 million in other statewide spending.

“Governor Quinn understands there’s never been a better time to buy a home in Illinois, so he created Welcome Home Illinois to help more buyers take advantage of historically low-interest rates,” says IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney. “Now that Illinois’ economic recovery is gaining momentum, housing prices are trending up and buying a home will enable families and individuals to build wealth for their future.”



Governer Pat Quinn Praises 111 West Wacker Drive Development and Workers

28 Mar 2014, 12:02 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

As the long awaited 111 West Wacker Drive project gets closer to completion, which is scheduled for this summer, Governor Pat Quinn recently saluted the developers and workers.

As previously reported by Commercial Property Executive, the long-stalled Chicago project was acquired by Related Midwest in 2011. The project had been stagnant since 2008 but Related Midwest secured $115 million in construction financing from U.S. Bank in 2012 and re-launched the development.

Originally envisioned as a 90-story tower featuring upscale for-sale residences and a Shangri-La hotel by its previous owner, Waterview L.L.C., 111 West Wacker Drive has been reimagined by Related Midwest as a LEED Silver 60-story ultra-luxury residential tower. The architect of the project is New York-based Handel & Associates LLP and the interior designer is Chicago-based Kara Mann Design.

“This development is further proof that Illinois is making a comeback,” Quinn says. “After stalling during the worst recession since the Great Depression, today this monumental project is back on track and has employed more than 1,000 skilled workers. This is what happens when the state’s business climate encourages private investment and creates good jobs for Illinois’ hardworking men and women.”

Situated on the corner of Wacker Drive and Clark Street, the 950,000-square-foot development will feature 504 rental units, 440 parking spaces and street-level restaurant and retail offerings. The project has employed over 1,000 skilled construction workers for a total of 510,000 hours to date, twenty-five will be permanently employed upon completion of the building and another 100 service providers will service the building.

“The transformation of this site into one of Chicago’s finest, new apartment buildings has been a long but very rewarding journey,” says Related Midwest President Curt Bailey. “I could not be more proud of the dedicated and extremely talented workers who have helped us create a best-in-class building for a world-class city. We are very excited to unveil 111 West Wacker to Chicago and help establish the Loop as one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods in the city.”

Rendering Courtesy of: www.relatedmidwest.com



New Luxury Boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Chicago to Open in 2016

24 Mar 2014, 5:22 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Nobu Hospitality LLC recently announced plans for a new development in the West Loop of Chicago. The new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Chicago will be located on the corner of Randolph and Peoria Streets and is scheduled to open early 2016.

“Chicago’s tourism industry continues to see record growth because renowned venues like Nobu are investing in expanding options for Chicagoans and tourists,” says Mayor Rahm Emanuel “This hotel and restaurant builds on the city’s great hospitality and culinary offerings to further cement Chicago’s role as a world-class city.”

The development is inspired by the world-renowned Japanese Chef Nobu and championed by Academy award-winning actor Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper. Nobu Hotel will feature 155 luxury rooms, the Nobu Restaurant, an indoor and outdoor bar, a rooftop lounge and venue and exclusive guest room retreats. The designer of the project is Shaw Sullivan, partner and studio leader at the Rockwell Group, a company that has designed numerous Nobu projects on a global scale over the past twenty years.

“The City of Chicago is an extremely important destination for Nobu Hospitality and our shareholders Chef Nobu, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper. As one of the key global cities of the world, Chicago is already a magnet for business and leisure travellers offering unique venues for dining, entertainment and enjoyment, and we look forward to embracing the values, the traditions and desires of the people of Chicago,” says Trevor Horwell, chief executive of Nobu Hospitality. “We also look forward to be working with the City of Chicago to deliver a unique and special destination for Chicago which reflects our overall growth strategy of expanding with other properties to 24-hour gateway cities, both in the U.S. and internationally.”

Logo Courtesy of: www.nobuhotels.com



The University of Chicago Lists Harper Court Complex for Sale with CBRE Group

24 Mar 2014, 5:13 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The University of Chicago recently announced that it has listed the 12-story Harper Court complex for sale with commercial real estate firm CBRE Group.

Over the past years, the university has undertaken a project in partnership with the City of Chicago which aims to help revitalize the 53rd Street corridor in Hyde Park. As part of this project, after a multi-year redevelopment project, Harper Court opened in 2013 with a new design which aimed to bring new amenities to Hyde Park and create economic opportunities for the surrounding area.

The concept of Harper Court grew out of community visioning workshops which took place in 2008. The University of Chicago and the City of Chicago contributed land and other resources to redevelop a former shopping center. In order to attract developers to bid on the project, the university committed to a 20-year lease of the office tower.

Up to now, the university has invested over $30 million in Harper Court and provided a $21.5 million loan guarantee for the construction of the new Hyatt Place hotel, adjacent to the office tower.

The university initially announced its plans to sell the property in November, shortly after purchasing it from the developer, CJUF III Harper Court LLC, for $98 million. UChicago, after finding a buyer, intends to lease back all of the office and retail space.

Harper Court features 224,000 square feet of office, retail and parking space. The university intends, as part of a purchase deal, to sign a 20-year master lease for the office and retail portion and plans to continue to work with its leasing agent in order to identify retail tenants for the remaining spaces in the building.

Associate Vice President for Commercial Real Estate Operations for the University of Chicago, James Hennessy, in a statement says: “This project is the result of many years of planning and input from members of the community about the kinds of retail they wanted to see in the neighborhood, and we are looking for a new owner that will be committed to Harper Court for the long-term.”

The university, as owner of the project, is currently paying property taxes which contribute to the 53rd Street TIF district and will continue to contribute to tax revenues as anchor tenant after the building is sold.

“From the beginning, Harper Court helped boost interest from prospective tenants and is now providing increased foot traffic to support the surrounding businesses,” Hennessy says. “We’re confident that it will be a good investment for the right buyer and continue to be an important center for the community.”

Photo Courtesy of: Harper Court via Facebook (www.facebook.com/HarperCourt).



Forsythe Technology to Build 221K SF “Retail Plus” Data Center Colocation Facility in Elk Grove Village

7 Mar 2014, 1:17 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

IT infrastructure Forsythe Technology recently announced it plans to design and build a state-of-the-art data center facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The new 221,000-square-foot data center aims to address the needs of enterprises that are seeking for the best of both the retail and wholesale colocation data center markets. The development will feature higher-density, private data center suites with dedicated power and cooling infrastructure, customizable physical security and operational efficiency options. The facility is being designed to comply with U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification standards for data centers and to obtain Tier III certification from the Uptime Institute.

The company also announced that upon completion of the new facility, it will be moving its independent, multi-vendor Technology Evaluation Center, its Executive Briefing Center and its Integration and Configuration Center from its Skokie, Illinois corporate headquarters.

“After many years of listening to the needs of our clients and helping them build data centers and find colocation data center space, we made sure this data center facility has everything they have been asking us for,” says Steve Harris, Forsythe vice president of data center development.

The new Elk Grove Village facility will feature amenities such as client workspaces, conference rooms and will offer its tenants the possibility to rapidly expand their private data center suite through its modular suite design. Thanks to its denser environment, tenants will be able to optimize their IT configurations and reduce their facility footprint and associated operational costs.

A new subsidiary, called Forsythe Data Centers Inc., will manage the center and will be led by Albert Weiss and Steve Harris.

“Forsythe’s facility offers the flexibility and agility of the retail data center market, in terms of size and shorter contract length, with the privacy, control and density of large-scale, wholesale data centers,” says Albert Weiss, president of Forsythe Data Centers Inc.

The facility is being designed, engineered, powered and constructed with the help of Environmental Systems Design Inc., Turner Construction, Duke Realty, Emerson Network Power, ComEd and Anixter.

Photo Courtesy of: www.forsythe.com



BYTEGRID Holdings LLC Acquires 70,000 SF Data Center in Aurora

24 Jan 2014, 8:44 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

BYTEGRID Holdings LLC recently announced the acquisition of a 70,000-square-foot, Tier III data center in Aurora, Ill.

Located on 5.25 acres of land about 30 miles west of downtown Chicago, the data center was acquired from Continental Casualty Company, an affiliate of Chicago-based commercial insurance writer CNA Financial Corporation. CNA will continue to occupy approximately 30 percent of the facility and will remain the primary tenant under a newly created long-term lease agreement.

Built in 2007 by CNA, the facility features 34,000 square feet of raised floor and BYTEGRID announced that it plans to immediately convert it into a multi-tenant data center. The data center company intends to begin leasing approximately 25,000 square feet of enterprise-class, Tier III data center space featuring 6 megawatts of power capacity available to serve enterprise, government and service providers that are looking for premier multi-tenant data center space in suburban Chicago.

“We are extremely pleased that CNA selected us to not only be their partner, but also to participate in helping them solve some of their key business challenges,” says Kenneth Parent, BYTEGRID’s CEO. “Our blueprint for converting single tenant data centers to multi-tenant data centers is proven as a complimentary strategy for large organizations seeking to optimize IT performance and operating costs in a way that is completely transparent.”

Talking about the local market Parent added: “The Chicago market continues to show strong demand and represents a natural next step in our national expansion strategy. The Aurora facility is world-class and well suited for large organizations with the demanding requirements for security and reliability. We are committed to the market and will continue to evaluate additional expansion opportunities here.”

Following this acquisition, BYTEGRID now operates five data centers in four geographically diverse markets totaling over 705,000 square feet of superior multi-tenant data center space.

Photo Courtesy of: www.bytegrid.com



Server Farm Realty LLC Adds Second Data Center in Chicago to Portfolio

13 Jan 2014, 7:58 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Server Farm Realty LLC has expanded its presence in the Chicagoland market with the acquisition of a data center facility. The Los Angeles-based company has acquired the data center facility located at 800 and 810 Jorie Boulevard in Oak Brook, Ill. for $16,250,000. The Oak Brook facility becomes the company’s second Chicagoland data center project after it revealed its 450,000-square-foot data center at 840 South Canal Street in Chicago in June last year.

Previously known as the Oak Brook Technology Center, the property is located on 13.49 acres of land and features two mid-rise office buildings with a total of 193,688 square feet of rentable space. The facility features expansive floor plates of contiguous, open space, optimal power capability, cutting-edge fiber cabling and direct access to numerous communications and network providers. The Oak Brook facility is designed to support tenants that are looking for first-class data center, colocation, call center, disaster recovery and Network Operations Center space.

Currently 66 percent leased, the facility accommodates numerous leading fiber optic carriers and communications providers and is also home to the headquarters of several global leaders such as McDonald’s and Ace Hardware.

“In addition to being one of the best connected facilities in the Chicago market thanks to its expansive ecosystem of existing technology tenants, the Oak Brook data center features close proximity to robust underground telecoms fiber, as well as optimal power and electrical service,” says Avner Papouchado, president of Server Farm Realty. “Backed by SFR’s deep technical capabilities, the region’s dense fiber optic network, and solid infrastructure, the facility provides tenants with the expertise, connectivity and framework necessary to succeed in today’s saturated technology market.”

The SFR Oak Brook facility sale was brokered by Transwestern Managing Directors Gary Nussbaum and Thomas Gorman, as well as Senior Associate David Matheis.

“Oak Brook Technology Center drew very strong interest from data center investors,” says Nussbaum. “The property offers access to an enormous quantity of fiber, communications providers and electrical service which meet the demands of a first class data center facility.”

Photo Courtesy of: Transwestern.







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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