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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

Boutique offices, ones that allow smaller firms to have their own downtown spaces, rather than getting swallowed up in huge office towers, are proliferating across the Central Business District. Developer Moceri + Roszak just completed the latest addition to this growing sector, a 20-story, concrete tower at 145 South Wells, and signed its first lease. Firmspace, an Austin, Texas-based coworking firm, signed a 15-year agreement for three of the top floors in the 210K SF building, and will take occupancy in October.

145 South Wells
145 South Wells' top-floor lounge

The developers said such a building is ideal for companies looking for space in a new Central Loop building, but one that offers the kind of natural light more common in the loft-style warehouses of River North or Fulton Market. Each floor has 12-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and open layouts.  

“It was our vision to create a space unlike any other in Chicago, a place that melds boutique hospitality-like design with premier modern office space,” Moceri + Roszak principal Thomas Roszak said. “At 145 South Wells, forward-looking companies can transform entire floor plates into a progressive office workplace and have a truly modern central Loop location."

An amenity center occupies more than 12K SF on the top floor, giving tenants access to a set of conference rooms, an outdoor deck, a martini and espresso bar, a golf simulator and other features.  

JLL’s Mason Taylor and Chris Cassata handle leasing for the developer. Corey Siegrist, also with JLL, represented Firmspace in its lease negotiations.

EXECS

CBRE promoted Chicago-based Paul Reaumond, 36, to vice chairman, the youngest professional to ever receive that title at CBRE Chicago. He joined the firm in 2008, and since then completed 20.5M SF of transactions worth more than $4B. In the past year, the Greater Chicago Food Depository named him Office Broker of the Year at the Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards, and NAIOP Chicago awarded him its Office Transaction of the Year Award.

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Mike McMurray
Mike McMurray

Mike McMurray joined Wight & Co. as president of its transportation and infrastructure group. He will lead the architecture, engineering and construction firm’s efforts to create solutions for the region’s growing transportation needs. He will also head the Darien, Illinois-based Wight’s Chicago office. Most recently, he served as president of Globetrotters Engineering Corp., and was also the managing deputy commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation, among other top city positions.

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The NHP Foundation named Veronica Gonzalez its Chicago-based regional director of development for the Midwest. Most recently, Gonzalez was the vice president for real estate development at The Resurrection Project, a nonprofit developer that serves Chicago’s southwest neighborhoods and western suburbs.

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CBRE officials said its capital markets professionals Blake Johnson and Keely Polczynski will join up to tackle large office investment assignments throughout the greater Midwest, including Chicago. Johnson, executive vice president, will transition from his role as a managing director in the company’s global client care division. Polczynski, senior vice president, focused on urban retail and mixed-use investment over the past 10 years, and will continue to run her current practice as she partners with Johnson.

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Kimberly Fields
Kimberly Fields

Landtrust National Title Services Corp., a Chicago-based insurance agency, added three industry veterans. It hired Kimberly Fields as vice president of title operations and senior underwriter, Ronald Babos as vice president of sales, and Kerri McGee as title officer and underwriter.

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Lee & Associates of Illinois promoted Tom Boyle to principal. The industrial specialist joined the firm in 2018. He began his career developing low-income housing in Chicago, and was a founding partner of the Chicago Community Loan Fund.

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John Coleman was named senior broker at Des Plaines, Illinois-based MK Asset Brokerage. The 20-year veteran of the Chicago office and industrial real estate sectors has completed nearly 1,000 total transactions for several firms, including developer The Alter Group, brokerage firm Newmark Knight Frank and most recently, Transwestern Commercial Services. 

MK Asset Brokerage also named Samantha Johnson, who played six seasons for the Chicago Red Stars and Utah Royals F.C. of the National Women’s Soccer League, as client coordinator.  

TCF Bank Building Chicago
1400 West Fullerton Ave.

SALES

JLL closed the $7M sale of an 8K SF, single-tenant building triple-net ground leased to TCF National Bank at 1400 West Fullerton Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. A Chicago-based buyer purchased the property in a 1031 exchange. The JLL team representing the seller consisted of Alex Sharrin, Nicholas Kanich, Marc Mandel and Steve Schrenk.

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Essex Realty Group closed the sale of Ellsworth Station, a new 39-unit multifamily property at 320 North Ellsworth St. in west suburban Naperville. It sits across the street from Burlington Square Park and the Naperville BNSF Railway Line Metra station, a few blocks from Naperville’s downtown shopping district. Essex’s Doug Imber and Kate Varde represented the sellers, while the firm’s Doug Fisher, Abe Eilian and Matt Feo represented the buyer, a 1031 exchange investor. The property was listed for $15.7M, but the sales price was undisclosed.

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Venture One Real Estate closed on the acquisition of a 24K SF industrial building at 3945 Stern Ave. in west suburban St. Charles. The single-tenant, precast building was constructed in 1997, and 100% leased at acquisition. Combined Commercial Realty’s Pat Ryan represented the seller. Nick Krejci and Noel Listen of Darwin Realty represented Venture One.

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Westlake Plaza
Westlake Plaza

A JLL team led by Amy Sands and Clinton Mitchell represented Chicago-based Newport Capital Partners in its sale of Westlake Plaza, a 42K SF neighborhood shopping center at 3207 Lake Ave. in affluent north suburban Wilmette. A private real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital purchased the asset.  

LEASES

NAI Hiffman represented CPG.IO in a 144K SF lease at 1150 North Swift Road in suburban Addison. CPG.IO, which helps companies grow their e-commerce operations, had subleased 100K SF in the distribution facility before signing this seven-year lease agreement, and now occupies about 75% of the 188K SF building. Cushman & Wakefield represented Lincoln Property Co., which leases and manages the property for its owner, a pension fund.

FINANCING

Newmark Knight Frank represented buyer Cantor Fitzgerald, and its partner, BH Equities, with a $61M structured debt loan to finance their $96M purchase of Naperville’s Railway Plaza, a transit-oriented multifamily property with 417 units. An NKF team of Bill Weber, Henry Stimler and Daniel Sarsfield worked with Freddie Mac to finance the 10-year, fixed-rate loan. The property has 13 three-story buildings.

Fifth Avenue Apartments
Fifth Avenue Apartments

CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

McShane Construction Co. began construction for Interfaith Housing Development Corp. on Fifth Avenue Apartments, a 72-unit affordable housing development on South Fifth Avenue in west suburban Maywood. McShane officials say it will feature precast and metal studs, unusual for multifamily buildings, but growing more popular with builders and owners due to the greater speed and efficiency in construction. The project, which the company expects to finish in one year, will also have 4K SF of ground-floor retail.

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CEDARst Cos. completed Bush Temple Phase 2, a new 129-unit, 16-story tower connected to historic Bush Temple, which was built in 1901 and designated a Chicago landmark in 2017. Altogether, the connected buildings now provide 230 apartments, mostly studios or small one-bedrooms.

THIS AND THAT

MBRE officials said 181 West Madison conserved more than 2.7 million kilowatt hours of energy in 2019, and was awarded a $238K rebate check from ComEd through the utility's energy-efficiency program. MBRE manages the property, and with support from Trane Inc., MBRE engineers Jerry Palmere and Jose Chavarria helped the 1M SF high-rise save enough electricity to power 319 homes for a year, company officials said. 181 West Madison also earned LEED Gold recertification in 2019.

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The Chicago chapter of the Society of Industrial & Office Realtors named its 2020 executive board officers. Lee & Associates’ Tom Boyle will lead the organization, which includes about 200 top office and industrial brokers. Additional board members include Newmark Knight Frank’s Adam Marshall, who will serve as vice president; CBRE’s Sam Badger, who will serve as chapter secretary; and NAI Hiffman’s Chris Gary, who will serve as chapter treasurer.