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SKF Group to Build New Research and Development Center in Naperville

13 Aug 2014, 3:43 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

SKF USA Inc., a SKF Group subsidiary plans to build a two-story, 130,000-square-foot industrial facility at 1203 Warrenville Road in Naperville, Ill.  City and state officials recently revealed that the Swedish-based manufacturer has chosen the Chicago suburb for its new North American R&D center. Headquartered in Gothenburg, SKF is currently the largest bearing manufacturer in the world.

“I could not be happier at SKF Group’s decision to become a part of the Naperville community”, said Mayor A. George Pradel. “Naperville’s reputation is second to none, and SKF’s decision to move here showcases what this community can do for businesses.”

The new research and development center will house scientists, engineers and administrative staff, and is expected to create 40 full-time jobs within the next two years. The development site is conveniently located in close proximity to the Interstate-88 business corridor.

“The tech corridor along I-88 has long been a driving force in getting new companies to come to Illinois, and Naperville in particular,” says Christine Jeffries, president and CEO of the Naperville Development Partnership.

The Swedish manufacturer received a $2.2 million state initiative package and an additional $20,000 grant for job training, under Illinois’ Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program. In order to receive the credits, SKF has to invest at least $18.6 million in the Naperville location over the next 10 years. The company disclosed that the Naperville facility might eventually house more than 200 employees.

“The Naperville-based R&D center will strengthen our global network of technical centers that support each of our key regions. It provides a central location to some of our most significant U.S. customers, proximity to many local world class research universities and a highly-educated workforce that is critical to our knowledge engineering efforts,” says Tom Johnstone, SKF president and CEO.

Naperville officials will discuss further details and rezoning approvals at the City Council’s August 19 meeting. The company would need to annex and rezone about 3 acres of unincorporated DuPage County land.

 Logo courtesy of SKF Group

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center Welcomes Its First Guests

6 Aug 2014, 11:29 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced the opening of Chicago’s first Le Méridien luxury hotel, located in the high-ranking Oak Brook suburb. The 4-star, 172-room hotel is owned by Rockbridge Capital LLC and managed by Wischermann Partners Inc. The property, which until recently housed the Chicago Renaissance Hotel, underwent a $25 million transformation into a high-end, one-of-a-kind luxury destination.

Le Méridien brand was established in 1972 by Air France and has a portfolio of more than 120 hotels around the globe. The prestigious brand was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2005.

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center features 172 luxury hotel rooms, including one Presidential Suite and six Executive Suites. Additionally, the hotel features 3,500 square feet of event and meeting space, two Spa Suites, a fitness center and a Spanish restaurant, El Tapeo. Other hotel amenities include Le Méridien Club Lounge, a Grand Salon Ballroom, high-speed Internet, 24-hour security, laundry and dry cleaning service, and complimentary shutter service.

The newly redesigned hotel is located at 2100 Spring Road Oak Brook, in close proximity to the Oakbrook Shopping Center, as well as other luxury boutiques and restaurants.

“With shared passions for culture, the arts and cuisine, Chicago has long been on our short list, and the location is a great backdrop for our Le Méridien brand promise to unlock the destination for the curious and creative-minded traveler,” says Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Le Méridien and Westin.

Like all Le Méridien properties, the hotel features an extensive collection of large-scale contemporary artwork, unique soundscapes and projections. Chicago’s first Le Méridien hotel offers a reinterpretation of the traditional hotel lobby, namely Le Méridien Hub. The Hub is meant to transform the classic lobby into an area destined for social interaction, complete with large-scale contemporary art pieces and abstract installations.

Images courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Studio Gang And MAD Architects To Design George Lucas’ Museum Of Narrative Art

31 Jul 2014, 4:30 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Chicago—George Lucas, acclaimed film director and creator of the Star Wars franchise, is bringing a taste of Hollywood to the Midwest.

The design team for the highly-anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has been revealed. Following a lengthy selection process, museum officials announced they have chosen MAD Architects and Chicago-based Studio Gang to handle the project. Beijing-based MAD Architects, led by Ma Yonsong, holds an impressive portfolio which includes the Absolute Towers in Ontario, Canada; the global architecture firm will be the principal designer for the site.

Jeanne Gang, best-known for designing the innovative Aqua Tower in Chicago will handle the landscape design. Additionally, Studio Gang Architects also plans to build a pedestrian bridge to connect the LMNA to Northerly Island.

“We are bringing together some of the top architects in the world to ensure that our museum experience begins long before a visitor ever enters the building,” says Lucas.

The acclaimed film director further stated that he is extremely pleased with the team’s vision and looks forward to presenting it to the city of Chicago.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is expected to be “a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images – from illustration to cinema to the digital mediums of the future,” according to the LMNA official website.

The museum will also display George Lucas’ extensive collection of art and film memorabilia.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Lucas’ original plan was to build the museum in his home town of San Francisco. Following the rejection of his proposal by city officials, Lucas shifted his focus towards Chicago.

“We are honored to be partnering with the city of Chicago and the many cultural, educational and community groups that have come forward with ideas about how the LMNA will add to their work,” Lucas told the press back in June.

The LMNA is a welcome addition to Chicago’s extensive Museum Campus, a 57-acre site which houses some of the city’s most notable natural sciences museums. According to Chicago Curbed, the Star Wars creator intends to finance the entire development project out of pocket, with a total cost of close to $1 billion.

Image courtesy of MAD Architects

Construction Begins On Chicago’s New Wolf Point West Tower

24 Jul 2014, 7:14 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Chicago officials gathered on July 18th to celebrate the start of construction on a new 48-story luxury residential tower. Developed by Hines in partnership with the Magellan Development Group, the building will be part of a larger master plan designed by Connecticut-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Award-winning architect Cesar Pelli also designed the World Financial Center in New York and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pelli’s master plan for the Wolf Point area consists of three high-rise luxury towers. According to DNAinfo, The West Tower will be the first structure to be constructed, which will be a residential tower featuring 509 luxury rental units. The 950-foot high South Tower will be a mixed-use space and the tallest of the three. When completed, the South Tower will become Chicago’s eighth tallest structure, according to The Chicago Architecture Blog. The mixed-use East Tower will house a combination of office, retail, hotel and residential space.

The Wolf Point development, located at the Y-shaped intersection of the Chicago River’s northern, southern and eastern branches,was heavily debated for 14 months before being approved. As reported by DNAinfo, area residents initially opposed the project, claiming that the high-rise towers would block skyline views and increase traffic in the area. Developers eventually revised the project to feature no more than 950 feet, 1,410 residential units and 450 hotel rooms.

According to the Wolf Point project fact sheet, the development includes over 100,000 square feet of park and pedestrian areas as well as a riverwalk. The development intents to pursue LEED Silver Certification.

The Wolf Point area is historically significant for the city of Chicago. It was the location of Chicago’s first church, first hotel, first ferry and first bridges over the Chicago River. Today, Wolf Point is commonly used to describe a plot of land owned by the Kennedy family in the Near North Side community area.

Rendering courtesy of Magellan Development Group LLC


Sterling Bay Companies Announces Partnership with IPDNA to Redevelop Chicago’s Historic Old Post Office

25 Jun 2014, 11:53 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Sterling Bay Companies has recently announced a strategic partnership with International Property Developers North America to redevelop Chicago’s historic Old Post Office.

“We are very excited to partner with IPDNA and serve as the development partner on such a high profile project,” says Andy Gloor, managing principal at Sterling Bay Companies.

The rezoning plans for the site were approved last July by the Chicago Plan Commission and the City Council. Sterling Bay and IPDNA will now embark on an approximately $500 million dollar first phase renovation project which will convert the vacant historic structure into a high-end, mixed-use development.

“Sterling Bay has had great success transforming large, underutilized properties into highly desirable office destinations. The firm has played a significant role in transforming Chicago’s West Loop, and we feel that their knowledge of the city and current market trends will lead us to initiate the first phase of one of the most notable projects in Chicago in the last 50 years,” says IPDNA Chairman Bill Davies.

Upon completion of the first phase, the Old Post Office will feature over 2.7 million square feet of office space and retail amenities. Later phases could include further retail, hotel, residential and leisure accommodation.

“There are very few, if any, properties today that can accommodate corporate users looking for large, open floor plates, and/or tech companies looking for creative, non-traditional work space. We feel we are in an excellent position to capitalize on this growing demand,” says Gloor.

In the last several years, Sterling Bay has undertaken numerous projects in the Near West Side, including the redevelopment of 111 North Canal, 400 South Jefferson and 1000 West Fulton.

Photo Courtesy of: www.ipdamerica.com

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

18 Jun 2014, 6:28 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Logo Courtesy of: www.29thstreetcapital.com

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

12 Jun 2014, 3:35 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

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

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

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

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

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

Logo Courtesy of: www.wpcarey.com

New Loews Chicago Hotel Joins ALHI

5 Jun 2014, 1:02 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

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

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

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

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

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

Renderings Courtesy of: www.scb.com

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

28 May 2014, 10:06 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Logo Courtesy of: www.cvmissioncriticalreit.com

Brennan Investment Group and Westminster Capital Sell Ogden Corporate Center

21 May 2014, 10:25 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

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

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

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

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

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

Logo Courtesy of: www.brennaninvestmentgroup.com

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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