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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet


Downtown office space continues to be hot in Chicago, with John Hancock Real Estate announcing that it will pay about $345M for a 40-story tower in the West Loop.

The current owner, Harbor Group International, paid $221M for the 1.2M SF tower at 1 S Wacker Dr in 2012. Chicago has been experiencing a surge in interest in office spaces thanks to low interest rates and strong leasing activity, according to Crain's, most notably with the Blackstone Group's purchase of the Willis Tower for a record-breaking $1.3B earlier this year.

Avison Young has sold four industrial buildings in Chicago’s suburbs through a fund managed by JP Morgan Asset Management to Exeter Property Group. The 900k SF portfolio is comprised of fully leased buildings, according to representatives. The buildings are at 25777 and 25975 S Cleveland Ave in Monee, IL; 1160 Pierson Dr, in Batavia, IL; and 5900 Carlson Ave in Portage, Northwest Indiana. Avison Young principals Erik Foster and Mike Wilson led the transaction.


A 43.5k SF industrial building in Downers Grove, IL, was sold by Heartland Bank and Trust Co to Midwest Industrial Funds. Bradford Allen directors Ryan Moen and John Millner repped Heartland in the sale. The building is 32% occupied.


The Kiser Group closed two Chicago property sales in March with a total value of $7M. One building, a vintage, 164-unit high-rise on South Shore Drive, sold for $6.75M. The other property was a 10-unit walk-up at 5255-57 W Fletcher Ave in Belmont Cragin.


The 135-room, 88.1k SF Atrium Hotel & Conference Center in Alton, IL, has been sold to Alton Key Group LLC. CBRE Hotels’ Brian Silberman and Stanley Wang represented the Alton Partnership, the property owner, in the transaction. The hotel’s features include a full-service food and beverage operation and banquet hall.


A 4.3k SF single-tenant Citibank retail property in Elmhurst, IL ,has sold through the Boulder Group for $3.1M. Randy Blankstein and Jimmy Goodman repped the seller, a Midwest-based real estate development and investment firm. The Citibank lease expires in June 2023 and features a 10% rental escalation every five years.


Englewood Construction has announced two projects to bring restaurant tenants to new buildings. One restaurant, Earl’s Kitchen + Bar, will be located in the much-anticipated New City development at Halsted Street and Clybourn Avenue. It is slated to open this fall. The other, Buffalo Wild Wings, will open in the Maxwell Building at Clinton and Taylor streets in the South Loop in early fall.


JBS Commercial Real Estate partners Jason Shibata and Brian Silverman have leased several new properties, including a 20k SF property with AAA Movers in Lake Zurich, IL. JLL’s Robin Stolberg, Kurt Sarbaugh, Francesca DeAmicis and Greg Bast repped the owners. The packaging services company Unified Solutions has signed a lease for a 31k SF warehouse in Arlington Heights. Brian and Jason repped Skokie-based American Landmark Properties, and JLL’s Robin repped Unified. Brian and Jason also recently leased a 8.7k SF flex-lease property in Lombard to Key Interiors on behalf of owners Rothbart Realty.


The global data center company Equinix has signed a lease at 311 South Wacker for 6.8k SF on the 16th floor. Alex Smith of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the deal for Equinix, and Zeller's Cody Sundberg and Howard Meyer repped the landlord. 311 South Wacker has also signed new leases with the trading firm OneChicago and Ryan Law, and re-signed a lease with Novantas. ZRG acquired 311 South Wacker in March 2014.


Bradford Allen has hired Dan O’Neill (pictured) as managing director of investment sales. Dan will focus on office, industrial and retail property in the Chicago suburbs. He comes to Bradford Allen from Cawley Chicago Real Estate, where he was the SVP of investment sales.


Northbrook-based Pine Tree Commercial Realty has hired Conor Bossy as a senior associate of acquisitions. Conor will assist in the sourcing and analysis of new acquisitions. He previously worked on Rushmore Properties’ acquisitions team and as an analyst for Mid-America Real Estate Corp.


JC Anderson has completed a 40k SF renovation of two buildings on DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus. The buildings, Byrne Hall and the McGowan South Science Building, each required build-outs, including new offices, conference rooms, study lounges, and labs on multiple floors. The Science Building also now has a rooftop garden and two rooftop greenhouses.


I.M. Construction Group will be renovating a property in Libertyville, IL, for the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. Construction on the 7.5k SF masonry building begins this month and will require the complete demolition of the existing interior. Brubaker Architects is providing the architectural services.


Chicago-based Goettsch Partners is designing a 445-meter tower in Nanning, China. The tower will be 255k SM and linked to public transportation underground. It will be the tallest building in Nanning, and it will include over 170k SM of Class-A office space and 5k SM of boutique retail, and a luxury hotel. With its angular shape, the tower will look like “a crystalline form ascending to the sky,” according to GP principal Paul De Santis.