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2010 All Over Again

2010 All Over Again
It seems like just yesterday we were lamenting the  lack of buildings sold in the CBD in 2009 and complaining that CMBS would never return to 2007 levels. And now it's already time to relive 2010,Bisnow's first full year in Chicago.
Water Tower Place
GGP had a tumultuous year (after declaring bankruptcy in '09), rejecting an offer from Simon Properties, and accepting one from Brookfield. Jones Lang LaSalle acquired its management practice, and all the non-mall properties were spun off into a company conveniently called Spinco. GGP emerged from bankruptcy in November and is ready for a big year in 2011.
Alta at K Station
The Alta at K Station opened, bringing 848 new units to the luxury apartment marketplace in River West. Fifield and Pacific Life Insurance Cos formed a JV to open the buildings, which included a coffee bar and basketball court, gym, and outdoor pool. Units are still renting starting at $1,455 a month.
First Industrial's Bruce Duncan
REIT Week swept through Chicago in June, and First Industrial's Bruce Duncan told us of the Chicago-based company's plan to de-lever. Simon Properties declared it was “done” with chasing down GGP, and Inland Real Estate announced it was partnering with a Dutch asset management firm. Macerich, the California REIT that owns Northbridge Mall, reported the property would consider raising rents this year. Strategic Hotels' Lawrence Gellar reported that demand for  luxury product was up and supply was down in the hotel markets.
JLL softball team
Downtown Real Estate Softball League provided Bisnow with some fun/embarrassing moments, including JLL's championship (they broke the trophy) and the un-republishable CREO Idol, which JLL's Adam Cook won with a special “ring” to his song. DRESL League Commissioner Richie Klein was named to the Chicago 16” Softball Hall of Fame in the organizer category with help from his DRESL colleagues.
300 N. LaSalle
Late July brought the closing of  300 N. LaSalle, which Hines sold to KBS Realty for $655M, setting a record for the largest price per square foot at the River North Tower. HFF repped Hines in the sale of the  1.5M SF LEED Gold building, which is 96% leased and was developed in 2009.
Bisnow panel, September
Our biggest breakfast event in Chicago was held in September (550 of you graced us with your presence), when we greeted Zeller Realty's Paul Zeller, CB Richard Ellis' Todd Lippman, JLL's Bruce Miller, and Friedman Properties' Al Friedman. Zeller told us financing would not be the same sausage factory Chicago real estate pros had seen in the past. Todd predicted vacancies rising up to 19% in the CBD.
Des Plaines Casino
The guys from DMA and JMB Financial  showed us the new Des Plaines Casino that's under construction and set to open in the first half of 2011. The casino floor is built above a small pool of water  to accommodate Illinois law. The 150k SF casino is designed by  Klai Juba, who also designed Mandalay Bay. It may be the first LEED casino in the country.
301 S. Wacker
A flurry of new development announcements hit town in November.Trammell Crow is planning 301 S. Wacker (pictured), although it doesn't have pre-leasing or financing yet on the 1M SF proposed project. White Oak Realty and The Alter Group  are teaming up to develop 625 W. Adams, a 490k SF building on a site formerly owned by St. Pat's in the West Loop.
2010 All Over Again
Just last week, 353 N. Clark was sold from developer  Mesirow Financial to Tishman Speyer for $385M. JLL's Bruce Miller, who repped Mesirow, said the deal was a great opportunity for Tishman to fill some of the buildings  21% vacancy and own a well-located trophy asset.
2010 All Over Again
And now for a snippet from our Bisnow family holiday letter. We're celebrating one year and eight months in Chicago and a presence in 10 markets with  240,000 subscribers across the country. Look for 10 events in Chicago next year, and also for reporter Maureen Wilkey— she's looking forward to getting a snapshot of you next year!