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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

A pair of Chicago-based companies formed a joint venture fund that will invest $300M of equity capital into infill multifamily developments in markets across the U.S. The CEDARst Cos. and Quartz Lake Capital will target Class-A development projects ranging in size from $75M to $125M in Southern California, South Florida and the upper Midwest, among other markets.

“The timing of this transaction could not have been better,” CEDARst CEO Will Murphy said in a statement. “Cedar’s ongoing national expansion will be accelerated through this partnership with Quartz Lake Capital amid a period of tremendous demand for rental housing.”

The Rosie

CEDARst currently manages a multifamily portfolio totaling more than 5,000 units in Chicago, San Diego, Portland, Minneapolis, Cleveland and other markets.

“We are optimistic about this strategy, namely urban multifamily development delivering into rapidly recovering and/or emerging growth markets,” Quartz Lake Capital founder and Managing Partner Jay Weaver said in a statement.  

Weaver, most recently a co-founder at Walton Street Capital, formed Quartz Lake Capital in late 2019.

The joint venture’s target level of equity investment will translate to a gross multifamily development portfolio of approximately $1B.


KeyBank Real Estate Capital appointed Chicago-based Thomas Reynolds to senior vice president and senior banker. Prior to joining Key, Reynolds was a senior vice president and multifamily finance relationship manager in the real estate group at Capital One. Previously, Reynolds was at J.P. Morgan Chase in the real estate banking group.


Alec Miller joined PREMIER Design + Build Group as general counsel. He will oversee risk management and all legal matters for the firm. Miller joins PREMIER from Chicago-based Rock Fusco & Connelly, where he was a partner who specialized in construction law. 


Cannabis Facility Construction hired Robert Spence as its new production manager. Spence joins CFC from 4Front, a cannabis multi-state operator, where he was director of facilities for mission dispensaries. He will lead the construction of cannabis projects from bidding, pre-construction, project launch, and closeout of cultivation facilities, processing centers and retail dispensaries. 


Clear Height Properties named Ryan Maher its director of acquisitions. Clear Height’s current portfolio is primarily industrial and office buildings in the Chicago metropolitan area, including Kenosha, Wisconsin, and totals approximately 3M SF. Maher will explore opportunities throughout the Midwest, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri. Since 2016, Maher was a broker in the Chicago offices of NAI Hiffman.

Timber Court


Timber Court, a 72-unit condo property at 3400-20 North Old Arlington Heights Road in northwest suburban Arlington Heights sold for $16M to a Chicago-based portfolio apartment investor. Kiser Group’s Ron Plonis, Lee Kiser and Jeff Leibovich represented both the condo association and the buyer. Built in 2007, Timber Court was originally designed to be a three-building campus, though only two buildings were constructed.


RCM Leasing sold a two-unit, 12K SF building at 135-139 Joey Drive in Elk Grove Village to Mextel, a Bensenville, Illinois-based telecommunications company that is adding a secondary location. Brown Commercial Group’s Trinity Scurto represented the buyer and Brown Commercial Group’s Mason Hezner represented the seller.


The Cloisters

The Baptist Theological Union sold The Cloisters, a 13-story, 86-unit rental community at 5801 South Dorchester Ave. in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood to Antheus Capital for $23.45M. BTU bought The Cloisters in 1961 from the University of Chicago, which has managed the property since then. The buyer plans to upgrade units and continue renting to university faculty and staff while also expanding to students and others. Interra Realty’s David Goss, Jon Morgan, Joe Smazal and Mark Dykstra represented BTU.


Chicago-based cryptocurrency startup CoinFlip signed a new 44K SF, long-term lease at the Old Post Office. The cryptocurrency ATM operator will move its headquarters to the building at 433 West Van Buren St. in the fall of 2021. CBRE’s Tony Coglianese and Brad Serot represented CoinFlip in the transaction. The owner was represented by Daniel Heckman, Matthew Whipple and Jamey Dix of Telos Group.  


Parkway North Center

Amcor secured a new North American corporate office in north suburban Deerfield, one of the largest suburban leases signed in the Chicagoland area in 2021. The packaging firm will integrate employees from multiple locations to approximately 60K SF in Three Parkway Boulevard North, a 262K SF, five-story building that’s part of the Parkway North Center, an 85-acre office park. CBIZ Gibraltar Real Estate Services represented Amcor, which employs roughly 48,000 people globally. Amcor needed more space after its 2019 acquisition of Wisconsin-based Bemis Co. and will move from its current 26K SF in nearby Buffalo Grove.


MCS Industrial Supply Co. signed a long-term lease renewal and expansion at 1575 Hunter Road in northwest suburban Hanover Park. With the lease, the company increased its current 181K SF footprint by another 106K SF and now occupies the entire 288K SF building. Colliers International’s Ron Behm and Ken Enos represented MSC in the transaction. The distribution facility serves as MSC’s Midwest distribution hub and is a critical location in the company’s U.S. distribution network. Prologis, the building’s owner, was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Britt Casey, Al Caruana and Jeff Mattella in the transaction.

Chicago Board of Trade Building


J.C. Anderson completed a 32K SF spec suite build-out for Glenstar in the Chicago Board of Trade Building at 141 West Jackson Blvd. The company was hired to complete a build-out to the property’s spec suites on the 13th floor of the art deco building, which was built in 1930 and designated a historic landmark in 1978. Construction included renovating seven spec suites as well as the elevator lobby and common corridor. The spec suites range from about 2K SF to more than 7K SF and include conference rooms, private offices, huddle rooms, break rooms and open office areas. J.C. Anderson’s team was led by Joe Maguire, Larry Regovic and Jose Verduzco. MRSA Architects & Planners provided the architectural services.


The National Association of Realtors unveiled the completed renovations of its Chicago headquarters at 430 North Michigan Ave., where it has operated since 1974. NAR worked in partnership with Chicago-based real estate companies GNP Realty Partners and One Development to redevelop its headquarters. The project includes new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; biometric security infrastructure; a new elevator system; a redesigned plaza and a new circular boardroom. Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended the Tuesday event.


The suburban Chicago office market had 1.43M SF of new leasing activity in Q2 2021, the strongest figure since the 2.19M SF recorded in Q1 2020, according to an NAI Hiffman report. The vacancy rate at midyear was 24.63%, compared with 19.24% at midyear in 2020. Net absorption for suburban Chicago was negative 826K SF in Q2 2021 versus negative 1.8M SF in the Central Business District. It was the fifth consecutive quarter the suburbs outpaced downtown in net absorption, according to NAI Hiffman.