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January 4, 2010 
Leopardo - left tile
Best of 2009

How did you spend your holidays? We’d love to run a few pictures of local real estate-types in exotic locales. You know, like Cicero. Send photos of your vacationsstaycations, and other fun activities (with a description) for inclusion in Bisnow.

In the time we’ve been in Chicago (eight months), the highlights and lowlights have been a roller coaster. Here's a little of what we will (and won't) miss from 2009:

The Sears/Willis Tower had a banner year, changing names on July 16 after Willis Holdings requested the naming rights as part of its lease. Cushman & Wakefield put together the deal in the building managed by U.S. Equities. It also got a new Skydeck in June, attracting thousands of visitors to look down 103 stories from the building's west side onto Wacker Drive. The Tower also has a new manager, U.S. Equities Gary Michon, who took over in September.

The city celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Burnham Plan. David Woodhouse Architects' David  Woodhouse won a design contest sponsored by the American Institute of Architects to build a memorial wall in Grant Park, while the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Metropolitan Planning Commission held events to celebrate Burnham and create a 2040 plan for the city (although 30 years seems like underachieving by Burnham standards).

On October 2, Chicagoans had their Olympic dreams shattered when the IOC knocked the city out in the first round. Plans for some potential Olympic sites, including Olympic Village, are still being worked out, and Chicago 2016 sublet its office space later in October. Contractors and real estate professionals throughout Chicago said they would miss the potential for work the Games would’ve provided.

On Sept 15, 650 real estate professionals attended the first Bisnow Chicago Booze and Schmooze at the Hancock Center. The event, co-sponsored by Golub and Leopardo, was held in a vacant 61k-SF space on the 18th and 19th floors of the Hancock. Today, we're wishing it was as warm outside as it was in that space.             

On October 21, Bank of America filed a foreclosure suit on the retail portion of the infamous Block 37 against developer Joseph Freed & Associates. CBRE was named as the receiver, but the turnover was delayed until December while the receiver got the proper insurance. In the meantime, retailers Zara and Puma opened in the 280k-SF mall in time for the holiday shopping season.


One lone office building at 303 W. Madison was sold in 2009. CBRE repped the seller, McMorgan & Co., while American Executive Developer was advisor to the buyer, the real estate subsidiary of Jose Cuervo. The 311k-SF, 26-story building was sold in October. Maybe its owners will give a round of tequila to the first buyer this year.


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Ideas for Bisnow? Contact Maureen Wilkey, maureen@bisnow.com.

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