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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.

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

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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