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January 4, 2011 
Dos Casas

As we move forward in 2011, we're curious what you think are the hottest topics in the real estate world. Have an idea or topic for a future event? Send us an e-mail.

Mi Casa es su Casa, and Casa Morelos and Casa Maravilla es the “2010 Project of the Year” within the Residential Construction category awarded by the Construction Industry Service Corp. McShane Construction built the two residences in 2009 and 2010.
Casa Morelos and Casa Maravilla
McShane's Mark Tritschler says the site's owner, the Resurrection Project, wanted to improve on the vacant land between a new medical clinic and its own converted apartment building near 20th and Morgan in the improving neighbordhood. The Casa Morelos, completed in 2009, added 45 units of affordable housing toward the back of the site in 2009 and the Casa Maravilla created 73 affordable seniors living units this summer. The Casa Maravilla's new geothermal heating and cooling system is especially practical for a seniors housing facility where the landlord is paying all of the electrical bills, Mark says. The system should pay for itself in less than 10 years. Both buildings have green roofs and are part of the Chicago Green Homes initiative.
Mark Tritschler
Another perk for the neighborhood will be the first senior citizen satellite of the Chicago Department of Family and Support located on site, so residents don't have to travel for services. One challenge of the buildings, Mark reveals, was the tight site plan—subcontractors and delivery personnel had to use the same driveway as the tenants of the existing building, so coordination was key. Next up for the contractors: a new 19-building, low-rise affordable housing development called Park Douglas near California and Roosevelt. There's also another teaming up with The Resurrection Project, which is serving as owner’s rep on behalf of Instituto del Progreso Latino for its Instituto Health Science Career Academy, a three-story, 101k SF converted warehouse for a high school focused on health careers, also in the Pilsen neighborhood.

Three Suburban Hyatts Sold
Hyatt Deerfield
As Hyatt and the Pritzker Family look to reinvest their assets, they've sold three suburban hotels to Aimbridge Hospitality: the 316-room Lisle Hyatt, the 296-room Deerfied Hyatt (pictured), and the 201-room Rosemont Hyatt. Aimbridge plans to manage all three hotels and renovate two of them while they continue to operate under the Hyatt name. Aimbridge now operates 70 hotels (with ownership interest in 55 of them). Aimbridge's Rich Sprecher tells us it bought the hotels for about $60k a room and changed management without closing the hotels in mid-December. Rich says Hyatt is working to develop new hotels in larger markets. It's also selling some of its suburban properties at prices well below replacement cost.
Hyatt Lobby Bar
Aimbridge will invest $6M to $7M in the renovation of the Lisle hotel's common area. Another $5M to $6M will go into the Deerfield hotel's rooms and public area. Rich cites the new Navistar lease at the former Lucent Technology campus along I-88 as a possible boon to business travelers. And he thinks the Rosemont hotel could book more quickly once the new Des Plaines Casino opens next year. Aimbridge is planning to acquire another five to 10 lodging assets over the next year to take advantage of the down hotel market. They're also hoping to pick up another 10 to 15 properties for third-party management.

330 N. Wabash Hotel Sold
330 N. Wabash
Selling a hotel may be the trend of 2011. LaSalle Hotel Group announced last week that it sold its 95% interest in the hotel space on floors 2-13 of the former IBM Plaza building for $58.8M, taking an $8M loss on the improvements it had already made. LaSalle Group spokesman Kenneth Fuller says the company was waiting for the appropriate opportunity to develop the hotel, but it never arose, and LaSalle chose to sell and reinvest in other assets. The buyer was a JV of Oxford Capital Group and Langham Hotels, which will develop the property into the country's third Langham Hotel.

Jim Fetgatter

72% of Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate members, who hold $627B in CRE ($265B of that in the US), plan to invest more capital in the US this year than they did in 2010. The James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate (Wisconsin School of Business) survey found that investors are narrowly targeting NY and then DC among global cities, says AFIRE chief Jim Fetgatter. Chicago ranks seventh on the list of targeted cities. The US ranked four times as high as second-ranked UK as an investment target (if we can get Prince William to have his wedding at Rosewood Restaurant, we'd really stick it to the Brits). 60% of respondents called the US the best potential for capital appreciation (54% over China). Multifamily remains the primary target, hotel and retail moved up to second and third, and office and industrial dropped to fourth and fifth.


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