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February 17, 2010 
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It's not too late to join our next big Breakfast & Schmooze, again at the great Metropolitan Club on the 66th floor of Willis Tower. Even better, on the increasingly popular topic of Multifamily, starring Golub's Lee Golub, @properties co-founder Michael Golden, and Waterton co-founder Peter Vilim. Recession-busting prices.

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Simon Properties, an Indianapolis-based retail owner, announced yesterday plans to buy General Growth Properties for more than $10 billion, including $9 billion in cash. But Chicago-based GGP, which has struggled since filing for bankruptcy in 2008, might just leave Simon at the altar.

GGP's Adam Metz responded to Simon in a letter indicating that the company was looking to explore other options, including “ a stand-alone restructuring funded with institutional equity capital as well as potential business combinations.” Some of GGP's more popular properties include Water Tower Place, just north of the Hancock Center on Michigan Ave, and OakBrook Center. Simon offered GGP shareholders $9 per share ($6 cash and $3 in a distribution of GGP's ownership interest in Simon). Existing secured debt of GGP's portfolio of assets would remain in place. The GGP letter indicated that it still wished to start exploring options by March and invited Simon to participate.

Simon chairman David Simon says that the offer would allow certainty to the protracted process of GGP's reorganization. Michael Stamer, counsel for the Official Committee of General Growth's Unsecured Creditors, says Simon's offer for full payment to those creditors would be a great result. Quantum Real Estate Services' Chad Firsel, who works in retail investment in the Chicago area, says the purchase would alleviate stress for tenants looking to lease in former GGP properties because Simon will pay off any debt GGP has run up. Simon currently owns several malls throughout the eastern half of the US.

Danny Queenan

After Opus North was purchased by Opus Holdings, president and CEO Danny Queenan took a deep breath, looked in the mirror, and asked what the future held. The result was a personal decision to leave North to become president of Central Operations for Trammel Crow Company. While Danny says he'll miss the people he's worked with in two stints at Opus, he's looking forward to the new challenge of taking on TCC's healthcare division, as well as operations in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Austin (though he's never worked in Texas). Danny will remain the president of NAIOP's Chicago chapter and will start at TCC in mid-March. He expects his successor at Opus will be named by the end of the week.


CB Richard Ellis' Todd Lippman
CB Richard Ellis' accomplished Todd Lippman recently was named vice chairman, but that doesn't mean he knows it all. Todd tells us his favorite part of the job is that he learns something new with every lease. Beginning his career at Rubloff 22 years ago and leaving to co-found Goldie B. Wolfe & Company and then selling the firm to Insignia (which was purchased by CBRE in 2003), Todd has always been an office tenant rep, but has carried his work ethic and sense of adventure across the country representing law firms and companies of all sizes. At CBRE, he's enjoying the chance to teach young brokers as they come into and mature in the business.
CB Richard Ellis' Todd Lippman

Todd spends his Tuesday afternoons with CBRE's newer brokers, combing over aspects as small as a single clause in a lease. He says now is a great time to get into the industry: “Your first two years should be like getting an MBA; you should spend every spare moment learning every detail of the transaction process and the real estate market.” Having been through a few recessions himself, Todd says every one is different, but ultimately, as soon as you think things are never going to get better, they do. He anticipates 2010 will be a good year for tenants looking to evaluate their space.

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February 19 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze - State of the Market: Multifamily - Michael Golden, Lee Golub, Peter Vilim, and more. Metropolitan Club. 7:30-10:15am. Info.

March 03 - Roosevelt University's Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative - Speed Networking - Mix and mingle with top professionals and peers; focus on making new business contacts and career development. 5-7pm. Info

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