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The Civic Opera Building
The Civic Opera Building (20 N Wacker) traded hands last week in a deal that shows that it'll never be 2007 again in the downtown Chicago office market. Nanuet, NY-based Berkley Properties came to town and took the 915k SF property off the hands of Tishman Speyer in a one-off sale for about $126M. Tishman had bought the building five years ago as part of a six-building Chicago portfolio, valuing it at $185M at the time. For most of the 2000s, the 1920s-vintage Civic Opera Building was the property of EOP, but Sam Zell got out while the getting was good in '07, selling his Chicago office buildings to Blackstone et al, who in turn flipped them to Tishman.
The Civic Opera Building interior
The building is something of an odd duck in West Loop, surrounded by newer structures. Most of its office space is made up of small spaces, as seen above—that's an office on the building's 17th floor as it appeared in the mid-2000s, and visible through the door is a significant chunk of the available space including a lonely chair, begging to be used (at most five people could work there). Smaller tenant spaces also mean higher turnover. Word is the leasing firm that Berkley is tasking to attract tenants, J.F. McKinney & Associates, wants to bring in bigger tenants. McKinney did not return calls to discuss its strategy for the building.