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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.

John Hancock Acquires Iconic 200 South Wacker Tower

28 Dec 2013, 12:05 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

After KBS REIT III acquired the 1.5 million-square-foot tower located at 500 West Madison Street in downtown Chicago earlier this month, another skyscraper has changed owners in Chicago. The 40-story 200 South Wacker has been acquired by John Hancock for $214.5 million. The property was marketed by HFF on behalf of the seller, a joint venture composed of Equity Group Investments, Pearlmark Real Estate Partners and TIER REIT. The HFF team representing the seller was led by senior managing directors Jaime Fink and Jeff Bramson and managing director Mark Katz.

The iconic tower was designed by architect Harry Weese & Associates and built in 1981. Situated in Chicago’s West Loop, the 754,750-square-foot office building is close to numerous public transit options at the Union, Ogilvie and Rock Island commuter rail stations. The EGI/Pearlmark/TIER REIT joint venture had purchased the building in June 2011 and invested approximately $10 million in a capital improvement program. With the help of leasing agent J.F. McKinney & Associates, the team brought the property from 63 percent occupancy to 96 percent. Apart from the recent capital improvements, amenities at the tower include the tenant-only Club 200 Fitness Center, conference facilities, a heated executive parking garage and a news and sundries shop.

John Hancock, the U.S. division of Manulife Financial Corporation, announced the purchase of 200 South Wacker together with the purchase of another two high-profile buildings 100 William Street in New York City and Wellesley Office Park in Greater Metropolitan Boston.

“These properties represent the type of high quality assets we acquire in key markets as a priority for our strategic plan. The strong tenant rosters and superb locations make these excellent additions to our investment portfolio,” says Ted Willcocks, global head of asset management for Manulife Real Estate.

Photo Credits: Mike Oropeza via Wikimedia Commons.

KBS REIT III Acquires 500 West Madison and Names Transwestern Exclusive Leasing & Management Agent

20 Dec 2013, 10:10 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Transwestern recently announced it has been named the exclusive leasing agent and property manager for Citigroup Center. Located at 500 West Madison Street in downtown Chicago, the 1.5 million-square-foot Class A mixed-use tower was purchased by KBS Real Estate Investment Trust III for about $425 million plus closing costs.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based KBS REIT III, a public non-traded real estate investment trust has chosen Transwestern to lease and manage the 40-story skyscraper. Situated in Chicago’s West Loop, the property is currently 93 percent leased. KBS REIT III has a vast portfolio under management which currently features 135 million square feet. The company also owns another trophy-class office tower in the Chicago central business district: 300 North LaSalle, a 1.3 million-square-foot office tower.

“500 West Madison is another recent, prominent acquisition KBS REIT III has made in the office arena,” says Ken Robertson, KBS Central Regional President. “We feel the West Loop has become the epicenter of new development, adaptive re-use and urban renewal in Chicago’s CBD, and we believe this is an iconic asset that is literally connected to the transit grid of the entire region.”

Situated atop the Ogilvie Transportation Center, 500 West Madison is ideal for commuters. The LEED Gold certified building is home to important office tenants such as Citigroup Inc. and W.W. Grainger and is the headquarters for Orbitz Worldwide Inc.

Designed by Helmut Jahn and constructed in 1987, the building features 64,000 square feet of retail on the first two floors, including over 45 stores and restaurants. Office floor sizes range from 31,000 to 47,000 square feet.

“We are honored to have been chosen by KBS as the leasing and management agent for 500 West Madison,” says Michael Lirtzman, executive vice president of Transwestern. “This building’s appeal to office users will only be enhanced by the strategic improvements KBS intends to implement as it takes ownership and makes a great building even better. Chicago’s West Loop is a sought-after location, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer tenants a home in this iconic building.”

The exclusive leasing agents for the property will be the Transwestern leasing team of Lirtzman and Courtney Baratz.

Photo Courtesy of: Jarred Trost via Wikimedia Commons.

Liberty Property Trust Renews Leases with Five Tenants in Recently Acquired Industrial Buildings

13 Dec 2013, 9:03 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Liberty Property Trust recently announced it has renewed leases with five tenants, totaling 277,495 square feet of industrial space.

All the tenants are located in buildings acquired when Liberty purchased a major industrial portfolio earlier this fall. As previously reported by Commercial Property Executive, Liberty Property Trust entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the operating partnership of Cabot Industrial Value Fund III in August.

“When we completed the purchase of Cabot Industrial Value Fund III in October, 3.2 million of the 23 million-square-foot portfolio was located in the greater Chicago market,” says Don Schoenheider, vice president and city manager for Liberty’s Illinois region. “This provided us with a terrific opportunity to expand our footprint. It’s been an exciting couple of months as we have gotten to know our newest tenants. Their renewals are very encouraging and we look forward to working with each for many years to come.”

Out of the five agreements the largest was with MSC Industrial Direct for 181,635 square feet in Hanover Park. The property is located close to the other two buildings Liberty purchased last month in DuPage County, 135-195 East Elk Trail and 515 Kehoe Boulevard.

“Part of our strategy has been to reach greater depth in DuPage County, as it is an excellent logistics market,” Schoenheider says. “With recent acquisitions we now have more than a dozen buildings there that broaden our property mix; a fact we see as an extremely important differentiator heading into 2014.”

The other four new leases renewed this month by Liberty include agreements with EZ Mailing Services Inc. in Bensenville; Tactical Lighting Systems in Addison; Tri-Fin LLC in Itasca, and Perfection Servo Hydraulics in Batavia.

Logo Courtesy of: www.libertyproperty.com

Zurich North America Reveals Team to Develop and Design New North American Headquarters in Schaumburg

5 Dec 2013, 12:06 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Zurich North America recently announced it has entered into agreements with Clayco, Goettsch Partners and CannonDesign for the development and design of their North American headquarters in Schaumburg.

“We want our new, state-of-the-art campus in Schaumburg to be a source of pride for both the community and our employees,” says Mike Foley, CEO of Zurich North America Commercial. “We look forward to working with this elite team of designers, architects and builders who will help bring our vision to life.”

As previously reported by Commercial Property Executive, Zurich North America signed a letter of intent with Motorola Solutions in September to acquire 40 acres of land for its new world-class North American headquarters at Meacham Road and I-90. The company will relocate from its current offices on American Lane to the new headquarters by the fall of 2016.

The new 735,000-square-foot complex is designed to reinforce an image of reliability and success through its bold simplicity in form, and to underline its commitment to sustainability. The structure will be composed of three primary “bars” that are offset and stacked. The arrangement aims to open views of the surrounding landscape and optimize solar orientation for amenities while creating unique spaces that offer programmatic flexibility not found in typical office buildings. The top “bar” of the complex soars 11 stories and cantilevers toward downtown Chicago.

Clayco, as developer and design-builder will lead the development, design and construction of the complex. The headquarters’ core and shell, along with the parking facility, will be designed by Goettsch Partners. CannonDesign is designing the interior of the headquarters.

Zurich employs about 2,500 people in Schaumburg, and about 60,000 worldwide. It also has an office in downtown Chicago, which it intends to relocate within the Loop.

Zurich North America estimates the project will create up to 700 construction jobs.

Rendering Courtesy of: www.claycorp.com

Ivanhoé Cambridge Adds 1.4 MSF of Office Space to West Loop Portfolio

2 Dec 2013, 8:42 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Ivanhoé Cambridge recently announced that it has expanded its Chicago office portfolio by acquiring twin office buildings 10 and 120 South Riverside Plaza, in partnership with Callahan Capital Properties.

Located in the West Loop submarket of Chicago’s business district, the property adds 1.4 million square feet of office space to the company’s portfolio. The investment of more than $360 million in 100-percent ownership of the properties strengthens the company’s position in the West Loop.

“Chicago is one of the key U.S. cities we’ve set our sights on in order to build a solid national high-quality office building platform,” says Adam Adamakakis, executive vice president, U.S. investments, Ivanhoé Cambridge. “This successful transaction proves one more time how effective our partnership with Callahan Capital Properties can be in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the United States.”

Situated on the west bank of the Chicago River, a short distance away from the two busiest commuter rail hubs in the city’s business district, the 21-story 10 and 120 South Riverside Plaza towers have both received LEED Gold EB certification. The twin buildings occupy two full city blocks.

The new investment in Chicago comes 18 months after the real estate company announced the start of construction on the River Point Tower. Also located in the West Loop, River Point Tower is the largest property development project of the past five years in Chicago. The enthusiasm for the submarket was confirmed just days later when a major law firm was announced as an anchor-tenant, leasing over 225,000 square feet of space in the new tower.

Brennan Investment Group and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners Announce Industrial Development Project

20 Nov 2013, 11:34 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Brennan Investment Group LLC and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners LLC recently announced the acquisition of about 8 acres of land in Des Plaines, Ill.

Located at 1780 Birchwood Avenue, close to I-90 and I-294, the site has been purchased for a development project in Chicago’s O’Hare Industrial submarket. The partnership plans to build the Northeast O’Hare Industrial Center, a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution building. The 140,000-square-foot building will feature a 32-foot clearance height, ample loading, trailer parking, and auto parking.

“The Chicago industrial market – one of the most diverse in the nation – has seen resurgent tenant demand evidenced by three consecutive years of positive net absorption,” says Scott McKibben, co-founder and managing principal of Brennan Investment Group. “For this development, we were particularly attracted to the market fundamentals of the O’Hare area, where vacancy has declined five full percentage points in the past two years and now stands at 8.10 percent. We are confident that with year-to-date net absorption of 1.3 million square feet, the O’Hare market is ready for development projects.”

Jonathan D. Kohn and Thomas C. Rodeno of the Colliers International team have been retained to market the property on behalf of DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners and Brennan Investment Group.

Designed to serve the increased demand for warehouse, assembly and distribution spaces, the property will be built to a LEED standard.

“The property will be attractive to future tenants due to its proximity to the interstate system and its central location, one mile from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport,” McKibben says.

Logo Courtesy of: www.brennaninvestmentgroup.com

The Opus Group and USAA Real Estate Co. Start Construction on 604,565 SF Speculative Industrial Building

14 Nov 2013, 12:47 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Opus Group and USAA Real Estate Company recently held a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony and announced the start of construction on a new 604,565-square-foot speculative industrial building in North Aurora, Ill.

Dubbed the I-88 Gateway Logistics Center, the industrial building will be owned by an investment affiliate of USAA Real Estate Company.

“We are excited about the opportunity to commence this new development venture with Opus Development Company, L.L.C. and are confident that, with the design and expandability of this building, we will successfully meet the pent-up demand for larger users who currently have limited options to start up new operations or expand existing ones in the I-88 corridor,” says David Reahl, executive director with USAA Real Estate Company.

Located at 1200 Orchard Gateway Boulevard, the building will have direct access to I-88 and offer a stable labor pool and highly educated workforce from DuPage and Kane counties.

“We are very pleased to get this project started in North Aurora,” says Mike Yungerman, vice president of real estate development at Opus Development Company, L.L.C. “We are beginning to see good market activity and believe that our delivery in June will be well-timed to the expanding market.”

Dale Berman, president of the North Aurora Village Board, also attended the groundbreaking and said that “the North Aurora Village Board is excited to begin this planned growth project.  He added that his organization is welcoming of Opus and USAA Real Estate Company and “look forward to expanded employment and business success” in the area.

The developer of the project is Opus Development Company LLC, Opus Design Build LLC is constructing the building and Opus AE Group LLC is serving as project architect. The building will include a number of features such as 32-foot clear height, 60 docks (expandable), ESFR sprinkler system, T5 lighting and 103 trailer parking spaces (expandable). It will also offer office space to suit future tenant requirements and offers possibilities for future expansion to 1 million square feet. The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2014.

LifeStorage Opens New Facility in Chicago’s West Loop

30 Oct 2013, 11:06 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

LifeStorage has recently announced the opening of its new self-storage venue in the rapidly growing, historic Chicago West Loop neighborhood. The Chicago-based self-storage provider for residential and commercial clientele, LifeStorage, was founded in 2002 with a single storage facility and has since then grown to 49 locations in eight states.

Located at 1205 West Jackson Boulevard, the new facility aims to cater to the needs for high-quality self-storage options in a continuously expanding neighborhood. Chicago’s West Loop, due to recent urbanization and revitalization efforts, is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city and is home to successful restaurants, shops, galleries and spacious residential lofts and apartments.

LifeStorage of West Loop features units ranging in size from 25 square feet to 300 square feet. Clients can also choose the contractor storage option which features distributor-size units with tall ceilings and equipped with phone lines, electrical outlets, overhead lighting and loading dock access.

Director of Operations for LifeStorage, Michelle Wight Sands said in a statement that the “area is experiencing tremendous growth and LifeStorage is delighted to be able to help people cope with that growth by providing a safe, secure place to house their excess belongings.

“Industries such as fashion and the arts, as well as numerous design outlets and boutiques have settled in this area, making storage space an essential component to growth,” she says. “We’re intent on meeting the need for storage by providing a solution that’s far and above the expectations of the people now living and working in West Loop.”

Reed Construction to Renovate Aon Corp. Headquarters at The Aon Center; Urban Innovations Announces Signing of Five New Leases

23 Oct 2013, 10:31 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Reed Construction, a full-service general contractor, recently announced it has been chosen to complete a 375,000-square-foot renovation for Aon Corporation at The Aon Center in Chicago.

The contractor was selected to complete 13 floors of renovations at the office building located at 200 East Randolph, and the work is scheduled to be completed by February 2014.

Heading-up the renovation is Reed Construction project manager Steve Sandquist, while Bryan Krueger is the principal involved. Architectural services are provided by IA Interiro Architects.

The project calls for the updating of the conference rooms with new aluminum and glass office fronts, the renovation of the break rooms on 12 floors and a new reception desk in the lobby of the building. Reed Construction will also renovate 19 private meeting rooms, four pantries and 13 private offices on the third floor executive suite and conferencing center. Upon completion, the third floor will also feature millwork door frames, sidelights and marble tile in the elevator lobby and reception area.

In other local news, Urban Innovations has recently announced the signing of a number of leases. Urban Innovations’ Aaron Zaretsky is the executive leasing agent for the 60,000-square foot office building located at 833 West Jackson Boulevard and the 90,000-square-foot office building at 322 South Green Street in Chicago’s West Loop. The company signed three leases at 833 West Jackson, increasing its occupancy by 20 percent, and two leases at 322 South Green, raising its occupancy by 17 percent.

Currently both properties are undergoing renovations with improvements including newly expanded restrooms, corridor and lobby upgrades, bicycle storage rooms and fully built-out office suites.

“These high-end loft office buildings offer floor plans totaling up to 17,000 square feet of contiguous space,” says Zaretsky. “Chicago’s West Loop and River North locations for loft office space seem to be in high-demand right now. We are excited to welcome these new tenants and look forward to supporting other companies looking for new facilities outside of the Loop.”

Photo Courtesy of: Mike from Chicago via Flickr.com


Berkadia Arranges $46.4 Million for Two MF Properties

3 Oct 2013, 4:35 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Chicago office of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC recently announced that it has closed a total of $46.4 million through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 223(f) program for two apartment communities.

The Berkadia team, comprised of Senior Vice President Len Deering CCIM, Vice President Paul Matusiak and Senior Vice President Tom Sigrist, originated the loans. Both are 35-year, fixed-rate loans, which are fully amortizing and feature 80 percent loan-to-value ratios.

Berkadia teamed up with borrower Foxboro Apartments LLC to originate a $26 million loan to refinance an existing mortgage on Foxboro Apartments. Located at 470 Foxboro Drive in Wheeling, a northwest suburb of Chicago, the apartment community is near five major shopping malls, Chicago Executive Airport and O’Hare International Airport. The community features one- and two-bedroom apartments and is currently 97.5 percent occupied.

Berkadia also helped arrange $20.4 million for borrower Abbey Capital Partners. The loan was used to refinance an existing mortgage for Abbey Apartments at Four Lakes in Lisle, Illinois. Situated 25 miles west of Chicago, the resort style multifamily facility features numerous amenities including unlimited skiing, boating, four pools and wooded nature trails. The property, located at 5550 Abbey Drive, is 99 percent occupied and offers studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts.

“Our experience working with HUD and extensive knowledge of the real estate market in Chicago and its surrounding areas were attractive to both borrowers,” Deering says. “The suburban Chicago apartment market has been accelerating and more borrowers are looking to lock in favorable, long-term loan rates, which we were able to deliver for both properties.”

Photo Courtesy of: www.foxboroapartments.com

Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center Officialy Opens in Hyde Park

26 Sep 2013, 5:34 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Hyatt Hotels Corporation and SMART Hotels/Olympia Chicago LLC, a joint venture of The Olympia Companies and SMART Hotels LLC, recently announced the opening of Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center. After the opening of Hyatt Place Chicago/River North in June, the new hotel marks the brand’s second location in Chicago and becomes the first newly built hotel to open in Hyde Park in 50 years.

“This project has enjoyed support from an amazing array of people and organizations,” says John Schultzel, vice president of hotel management at The Olympia Companies. “The sense of hospitality within our team is tremendous, and we’re looking forward to extending that hospitality to our guests.”

Located on Chicago’s East 53rd Street, the new hotel is conveniently located next to the University of Chicago campus, the University of Chicago Medical Center and the museum consortium, which includes the Dusable Museum of African-American History, the Oriental Institute, Museum of Science and Industry and the Smart Museum.

The hotel offers easy access to Chicago’s downtown through Lake Shore Drive and city public transportation. Hyatt Place Chicago South/University Medical Center also serves as the anchor to Hyde Park’s Harper Court, which features numerous restaurants, retail shopping destinations and a signature level LA Fitness.

“As a native of the South Side of Chicago, I am proud to have the honor of opening this hotel in historic Hyde Park,” says Anthony Breach, general manager for Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center. “This beautiful neighborhood is enjoying re-development which will further enrich the area’s reputation as the cultural and economic hub of South Chicago.”

The Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center features 131 guestrooms and numerous amenities including free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel, 42-inch HDTVs in each room and complimentary continental breakfast. The hotel also features more than 1,200 square feet of flexible, high-tech meeting/function space, a fitness center and a coffee and wine bar.

“We are proud to open this beautiful and sustainable new hotel, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Hyde Park, University of Chicago and UC Medical Center,” said Ed Small, president of SMART Hotels.

Image Courtesy of: www.chicagosouthuniversity.place.hyatt.com


Zurich North America to Acquire Land from Motorola Solutions and Develop New Headquarters in Schaumburg

19 Sep 2013, 7:15 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Zurich North America announced it has signed a letter of intent with Motorola Solutions to acquire land for a new North American headquarters that will allow the company to remain in Schaumburg, Ill.

Zurich is currently working to select a team to develop its new world-class North American headquarters at Meacham Road and I-90. The company announced that it will relocate from its current offices on American Lane to the new headquarters by the fall of 2016.

According to company estimates the project will create up to 700 construction jobs.

The new property is located in a portion of the proposed North Schaumburg Tax Increment Financing District. The Village of Schaumburg is pursuing the TIF District in order to enhance the economic vitality of the area.

“Our decision to remain in Schaumburg for Zurich’s North American headquarters reflects our commitment to providing the best possible working environment for our employees as well as our long relationship with the community and our recognition of the new site’s impressive potential,” Says Mike Foley, CEO of Zurich North America Commercial. “We look forward to continuing to be an active part of this community and the broader Chicago area which has been home to our U.S. headquarters for more than 100 years.

“I especially want to thank Governor Quinn and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as well as Schaumburg Village President Al Larson and the Village Board for working so closely with us to keep our headquarters and people in Schaumburg and Illinois.”

Zurich employs about 2,500 people in Schaumburg, and about 60,000 worldwide. It also has an office in downtown Chicago, which it intends to relocate within the Loop.

The University of Illinois recently released an economic study and found that Zurich generates close to $1.3 billion in economic impact annually in Illinois and that for each job created at Zurich, an additional 1.7 jobs are generated throughout the economy in Illinois.

“Zurich’s investment in Illinois means jobs and growth for the Illinois economy,” says Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “Illinois is a magnet for corporate headquarters with our skilled workforce, central location and innovation hubs. We are working hard to bring more headquarters operations to Illinois and to help existing headquarters expand as these offices create and sustain good paying jobs for our state.”

Chairman and CEO at Motorola Solutions, Greg Brown, said: “Motorola Solutions is pleased to welcome Zurich as our new neighbor. We remain committed to keeping our global headquarters in Schaumburg and are pleased to put this valuable space on our campus back into productive use in a way that adds value to the community.”

Image Courtesy of: www.ci.schaumburg.il.us

The Dump Furniture Store Opens in Lombard; Joint Venture to Develop Evergreen Promenade Shopping Center

9 Sep 2013, 4:19 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

One of the largest furniture outlets in the country, The Dump, has recently officially opened its new location in Lombard, Illinois. Featuring a staggering 134,000 square feet, The Dump is now the largest high-end furniture outlet in the Chicago marketplace. The opening of the Lombard outlet confirms the company’s continuous expansion as it becomes the 11th location for The Dump Furniture Store, a division of Virginia Beach-based Haynes Furniture.

Located at South Highland Avenue and Butterfield Road in the former Great Indoors space, The Dump opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on Labor Day weekend. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Lombard Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The Dump will employ 250 people in its Lombard store and its new warehouse in Addison, Illinois.

“Today marks the beginning of an entirely new furniture shopping experience for the Chicago marketplace,” said E.J. Strelitz, president and CEO of The Dump. “At The Dump, we are able to consistently deliver massive savings on the best furniture, mattresses and rugs as a result of our unique retail business model. Unlike traditional retail, The Dump is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week, which allows us to replenish our stock with completely new inventory during the rest of the week. We are also able to keep our overhead lower by closing the store during the traditionally slower period of the week and pass those savings onto the consumer.”

In other retail real estate news, Inland Real Estate Corporation announced its joint venture with Dutch pension fund advisor PGGM has entered into a joint venture partnership with IBT Group LLC and Pine Tree Commercial Realty. The newly formed joint venture will develop Evergreen Promenade, a 92,512-square-foot shopping center in the Village of Evergreen Park, Illinois. The shopping center will be anchored by Mariano’s, whose owner, Roundy’s Inc., signed a lease for approximately 75,000 square feet of space. Evergreen Promenade will be built on a seven-acre vacant land parcel near Western Avenue and 95th Street. The parcel was acquired by the development joint venture on August 20th and construction on the center is expected to start this fall. Inland Real Estate Corporation’s joint venture with PGGM will have the option to acquire 100 percent ownership in the shopping center, upon completion.

“We are excited to work with our joint venture partners and the Village of Evergreen Park on this development,” said Scott Carr, Inland Real Estate Corporation’s chief investment officer. “Evergreen Promenade will provide expanded shopping options for the community and further enhance the vibrancy of the trade area. For Inland Real Estate Corporation, this project is another example of how we leverage our strong local relationships to capitalize on opportunities to increase the size and quality of our retail portfolio.”

AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust Provides Funding for $32 Million Rehabilitation of 2101 South Michigan Apartments

31 Aug 2013, 6:17 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust recently announced that, after working closely with PNC Real Estate and Developers Mortgage Corporation, it has provided $32 million of pension capital funding toward the major rehabilitation of Chicago’s 2101 South Michigan Apartments.

The 26-story residential tower, located on Chicago’s Near South Side, was built in 1971 with financial help from the Federal Housing Administration’s grant program for affordable housing. Currently the property is in need of major upgrades that will ultimately help the 250-unit building become more energy efficient. The $42 million renovation project includes a new lobby, community room, on-site laundry facility and energy-efficient appliances, as well as new heating and cooling in the individual units. The rehabilitation work is expected to generate around 245 union construction jobs.

“As older downtown neighborhoods experience growth with the corresponding demand for housing, it’s very important to preserve and update existing units whenever possible,” said HIT Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Stephanie H. Wiggins. “The HIT’s investment in 2101 South Michigan will help ensure that quality housing near Chicago’s downtown Loop, with its employment opportunities and other amenities, remains available to individuals and families at all income levels.”

Located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, the 2101 South Michigan property is in an area that is experiencing a growing demand for residential units and neighborhood amenities. Of the building’s units, 90 are subsidized through a Housing Assistance Payment contract which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Out of those units, 39 are restricted to residents age 62 and older. Those units will stay affordable through a long-term HAP contract which extends the affordability component of the property for another 20 years.

“HIT’s union pension investments have helped address the housing and economic development needs of working families in the Chicago area,” said Lesyllee White, HIT’s senior vice president and managing director of marketing. “The HIT has financed the production of housing for low- and moderate-income families, while also generating union construction jobs. This is having a significant impact on working families. HIT is actively targeting Chicago to fund more income- and job-generating investments in 2013.”

Photo Courtesy of: www.linn-mathes.com

Ethika Investments Allocates Capital for Laurus Corporation’s Acquisition of the Renaissance O’Hare Hotel

25 Aug 2013, 6:04 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Ethika Investments LLC recently announced a capital allocation for the purchase of the Renaissance O’Hare Hotel in Chicago, marking the sixth investment from Ethika’s Diversified Opportunity Real Estate Fund. Laurus Corporation, Ehika’s affiliate, a real estate investment and development company specializing in hotel and resorts, office buildings and mixed-use properties, recently completed the acquisition of the hotel.

Located at 8500 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, the Renaissance O’Hare Hotel is situated close to the airport, adjacent to the Kennedy Expressway/Interstate 90 and in the middle of approximately 7 million square feet of Class A commercial office space, close to the corporate office parks in the Village of Rosemont.

BJ Turner, vice president capital markets for Ethika Investments, said, “The O’Hare submarket has a dynamic and diverse economic base which has exhibited resilience in current market conditions. The market RevPAR has improved by approximately 21 percent over the past 24 months and Class A office vacancy has decreased for the past seven quarters. Additionally, we are planning a $6.5 million renovation program and bringing in Concord Hospitality Enterprises as the new management company to enhance the overall guest experience and further drive future performance.”

With an estimated 9.8 million residents, Chicago is the third most populous metro area in the United States. The city has planned a $7.3 billion redevelopment of its infrastructure, including the revitalization of McCormick Place and Navy Pier, as well as new runways at O’Hare International Airport.

“This investment displays an opportunity to acquire a high-profile asset located in one of the strongest submarkets of Chicago at a significant discount to the replacement cost,” said Andres Szita, chairman & co-founder of Ethika Investments. “The Renaissance O’Hare acquisition further underscores Ethika’s ability to identify and invest in assets which display attractive returns and robust demand drivers.”

Joint Venture Acquires 300,000 SF Suburban Chicago Office Park

15 Aug 2013, 6:47 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Transwestern Investment Group recently announced it has acquired two Class A office buildings in the East-West Corridor office market outside Chicago. The properties were acquired by a joint venture between Transwestern Sponsorship Equity Partners and Soundview Real Estate Partners for an undisclosed amount.

Located at 2651 and 2655 Warrenville Road in Downers Grove, Illinois, Corridors I and II feature a total of 299,792 square feet and five parking spaces per 1,000 square feet. “The Corridors fits our strategy to acquire high-quality, well-located suburban office buildings with above top-of-market parking ratios,” said Brandon Allen, TIG acquisition officer. “At 51 percent leased, the project is an excellent choice for tenants in need of a large block of contiguous space. Additionally, we are excited to work with the Soundview Real Estate Partners team, whose decisive and experienced approach proved valuable on this highly sought after asset.”

Situated adjacent to the intersection of the East-West Tollway (Interstate 88) and North-South Tollway (Interstate 355), around 25 miles west of downtown Chicago, the five-story office buildings were completed in 1998 and 1999 by Chicago-based Alter Group as part of the Corridors Office Park. The property is located in DuPage County, one of suburban Chicago’s most desirable office markets due to its accessibility, strong demographics and large number of corporate office space users.

“The East-West Corridor office market continues to outperform the rest of suburban Chicago in terms of deal velocity and completed transactions,” said Fred Ishler, Transwestern senior vice president. “We are optimistic that the recent upturn in the market will result in a rapid lease-up of the buildings.”

Transwestern will provide leasing and management services for the buildings.

Photo Courtesy of: www.altergroup.com

The Opus Group Announces Electrolux Expands Minooka Operations

12 Aug 2013, 2:04 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Chicago-based The Opus Group recently announced that Electrolux Home Products Inc. will expand its existing operations in Minooka, Illinois by occupying the remaining vacant space within the Minooka Ridge II facility.

Electrolux, by leasing the extra 365,303 square feet of space, will now occupy the entire 965,183-square-foot Minooka Ridge II facility. Mike Yungerman, vice president, real estate development for Opus Development Company, LLC, said, “We’re thrilled to see Electrolux grow its footprint within this facility and help the company meet its growing distribution needs.”

Completed in October 2008, Minooka Ridge II facility is located in the Northwest quadrant of I-80 and Ridge Road on a 52-acre site, within the Minooka Ridge Business Park. The single-story facility features 32-foot-clear ceiling height and sidewall dock bays at 30-foot clear height with an ESFR sprinkler system. The facility features parking for a total of 128 cars, including 162 truck docks, 365 trailer spaces and four drive-in doors.

The business park, with access to the I-80 corridor, offers great opportunities not only for regional but also national distribution. The suites are build-to-suit and are available for sale or lease. The Opus Group was represented by Jim Estus and Matthew Stauber from Colliers International, while Electrolux Home Products Inc. was represented by Chris Wood, Anthony Burns and Jordan Decker from DTZ.

Photo Courtesy of: www.opus-group.com

Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a Luxury Destination for Locals and O’Hare Travelers

5 Aug 2013, 8:17 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The grand opening of the first fully enclosed outlet mall in Chicagoland in over two decades was well attended. Fashion Outlets of Chicago’s grand opening took place on August 1.

Located close to O’Hare International Airport at 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, the 530,000-square-foot luxury retail destination is close to 95 percent leased and will be home to 130 stores. Anchored by Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Forever 21, the mall will also feature outlet locations from high-fashion brands such as Tory Burch, Barneys New York and Gucci. The opening of the mall also sees the arrival of some new brands to Chicago, including Longchamp, Ports 1961, Vince Camuto and L’Occitane.

“Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a world-class destination that will cater to travelers, shoppers and visitors far beyond Chicago to around the entire globe,” said AWE Talisman Board Chairman Arthur Weiner. “This development marks a shift in the retail outlet industry with the highest caliber of retailers, entertainment and culture.”

The retail project was led by U.S. outlet developers and managers AWE Talisman and Macerich. The outlet mall will feature an innovative concept: The Arts Initiative. Founded and curated by Arthur and Miami-based gallery Primary Projects, The Arts Initiative will include highly interactive visual arts integrated into the architectural framework of the property. Fashion Outlets of Chicago will offer a first-of-its-kind concierge service, operated by BAGS Inc. to maximize its accessibility to and from O’Hare International Airport. Travelers will be able to check luggage and print boarding passes from Fashion Outlets of Chicago and will also have access to regular shuttles to and from the airport and downtown hotels through transportation partner Go Airport Express.

Rendering Courtesy of: www.macerich.com

Public-Private Partnerships Sought to Invest in Gary/Chicago International Airport and Surrounding Areas

25 Jul 2013, 3:51 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The City of Gary and the board of directors of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority recently approved and released a request for proposals for the development and management of the Gary Chicago International Airport and related assets. The proposals to invest in the airport and the surrounding area through a public-private partnership are being accepted until 5 pm August 26.

Situated less than thirty minutes from the heart of the tri-state region—the city of Chicago—the Gary/Chicago International Airport is directly connected to Chicago’s transportation network via freight, mass-transit, interstate and it is close to multiple Lake Michigan ports.

The City of Gary was tasked by the Airport Authority in February to explore a public-private partnership in order to accelerate the growth of Gary and the Northwest Indiana region through job creation and long-term investment. The two are looking for a P3 model which retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital. Besides the P3 exploration, major construction at the extension of the existing main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues. The total cost of the runway construction project is $166 million.

The Airport Authority is assisted by a team of financial experts, legal advisers and project managers in the P3 exploration. The team includes JClark Consulting Group LLC, A.C. Advisory Inc. and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

Requests for further information or clarifications can be sent to the project e-mail address: GaryAirportP3@gyymail.com.

Photo Courtesy of www.garyairport.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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