West Suburbs Poised to Muscle In On City
More than 200 joined us at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center on Tuesday for Bisnow's The Future of the West Suburbs and Beyond event, which addressed how outlying Chicago-area communities are competing against the allure of the big city for office, mixed-use and multifamily deals.
Among our panelists, NAI Hiffman’s Jim Adler (pictured) says the most interesting deal this year so far is Blackstone’s and Wells Fargo's blockbuster April acquisition of most of GE Capital Real Estate’s portfolio for $23B. The deal includes marquee west suburban properties like the 1.1M SF Westbrook Corporate Center in Westchester, the 515k SF Commerce Plaza in Oak Brook, the 792k SF Oakbrook Terrace Tower, and One Lincoln Center in Oakbrook Terrace at 303k SF.
Hamilton Partners' Phil Sheridan says prospective tenants are afraid of hearing about 18% suburban office vacancy rates but notes that strong absorption rates make that number deceiving. Further, Phil says, Hamilton Partners is making working in the suburbs more appealing to urban dwellers by running shuttle buses from some office properties to the city. Then, he says, there's always the Golden Rule of real estate: finding the best-located properties
GlenStar co-founder Michael Klein continues to look for office properties GlenStar can adapt for reuse, since the demand for multi-tenant office space is strong. Michael also says investors who didn't want to do business in the west suburbs five years ago are returning to find a more competitive market.
Tucker Development CEO Rich Tucker says he’s never seen interest rates stay as low as they are for this length of time, which can contribute to a false sense of security regarding the current debt market. Rich says Tucker Development takes advantage of floating rates on short-term properties but locks in the interest rates on any properties the agency will hold onto for longer than seven years.
Choose DuPage Economic Development director Bryan Gay says he's excited for redevelopment and reinvestment opportunities along the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway expansion in Itasca, Bensenville and Wood Dale. That's 127 square miles of opportunity, he says. Bryan adds he's keeping tabs on the future fundraising efforts of Chicago's 1871 tech incubator, as the results could benefit Choose DuPage's own tech hub, the Rev3 Innovation Center.
Gibson Electric and Tech Solutions operations VP Fran Sikor (right) found today's panel very informative, as hearing what the experts have to say motivates him to get involved. Fran is joined (from left) by Giuseppe Muzzupappa, assistant manager of the National Electrical Contractors Association’s Northeastern Illinois Chapter; Bruce Creen, executive director of NECA’s Northeastern Illinois Chapter; Power Forward DuPage executive director Karyn McCarthy; and Construction Industry Service Corp executive director Daniel Allen.