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Most Improved Award

Chicago

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Most Improved Award
We're not sure if it's because last year was so slow or because this year rocks, but Chicago is the most improved investment market for the 12 months ending in Oct. 1, according to brand new Cushman & Wakefield report. (We should get $5 for a report card like that.)
 
Greg Vorwaller
C&W's global capital markets chief Greg Vorwaller (snapped in his office at NBC Tower) told us yesterday that Chicago's 160.1% growth in investment volume comes mostly from sales of high-quality buildings with long-term tenants, like the Hyatt Center (below), which sold to Irvine Cos for $625M late in 2010. The variety of investors looking at Chicago has grown, too. Major buildings sold in the last year have been acquired by private REITs, high-net-worth individuals, and international investors, Greg says.
Hyatt Center
Often, investors look at coastal markets first, but Chicago buildings have delivered high yields (up to 6.5% ROI) over the last year because of those long-term leases. While the Second City doesn't have as much rent growth as New York or DC, some investors like that it doesn't have the same risk either. In the past, Chicago's pro-development attitude has tempered rents by creating a wave of new buildings just as rents go up. But there's no indication yet as to how the city's new administration will deal with new office development. As several new proposals are lined up, Greg says we'll have to wait and see what Mayor Emanuel will do about permitting speed and TIF incentives.