This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet
LBX Investments paid $67M for Evergreen Plaza, a recently redeveloped, 255K SF neighborhood shopping center anchored by Whole Foods Market at 9500 South Western Ave. in suburban Evergreen Park, about 15 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. The seller was a partnership between funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group and Lormax Stern.
JLL advised the partnership on the sale, and arranged $45.4M in acquisition financing for the buyer, placing the 10-year fixed-rate acquisition loan with Angel Oak Commercial Lending.
"Evergreen Plaza represents the largest single-asset retail sale transaction in Chicago year to date and is indicative of capital trends from new investors seeking scalable, market dominant open-air retail,” JLL Managing Director Amy Sands said. “This is LBX’s first acquisition in the Midwest, demonstrating the strength and potential they see for the asset and the region.”
The center is 94% leased, and in addition to Whole Foods Market, provides space to T.J.Maxx, Burlington, Five Below, Ulta Beauty, DSW and Planet Fitness, among several others.
In addition to Sands, the JLL team representing the seller in the transaction was led by Clinton Mitchell and Michael Nieder. The JLL debt advisory team that handled the acquisition financing was Christopher Knight and Gregg Shapiro.
Chicago-based Mike Yazbec joined JLL Project and Development Services as national sector lead. In this newly created role, Yazbec will oversee business growth across the commercial real estate sectors of office, industrial, retail, life sciences, hospitality, healthcare, higher education, and sports and entertainment, while driving JLL practices in sustainability, move management, development, tenant interiors and multi-site. He was most recently at J.C. Anderson, where he served as president.
Bender Cos. acquired from CiTYR the New Colonies, a 672-unit, garden-style multifamily community in Steger, a suburb 35 miles south of downtown Chicago, for $69.5M. JLL arranged the off-market transaction on behalf of the seller. The New Colonies, originally constructed in 1973, comprises 72 studio, 390 one-bedroom, 150 two-bedroom and 60 three-bedroom units averaging 676 SF. The JLL team was led by David Gaines and Kyle Butler.
Clear Height Properties and its joint venture partner Buligo Capital Partners sold 814 Commerce, a three-story, 173K SF office building in Oak Brook to Chicago-based real estate investor Helios Properties. Since the partners acquired the building in late 2019, Clear Height invested $1.5M to improve the building’s exterior and common areas, parking deck and HVAC systems. The property was 56.1% leased to three tenants. The suburban office capital markets team from Cushman & Wakefield, including Dan Deuter, Michael Simpson and Paul Lundstedt, represented the sellers.
Chicago-based Stotan Industrial, and its joint venture partners LaSalle Investment Management and CA Industrial, acquired a 47.58-acre land site on Hayes Road in Groveport, Ohio, from Sunshine and Smooch LLC. The venture plans to build a speculative 640K SF warehouse and distribution facility with 36-foot clear ceiling height. CBRE’s Rick Trott, who represented Stotan on the purchase, has been retained as the leasing agent.
Laramar Group sold Brook Run Apartments and Townhomes, a 182-unit, garden-style multifamily community at 2734 North Buffalo Grove Road in northwest suburban Arlington Heights, to Redwood Capital Group. JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller. Its team was led by Kevin Girard, Marty O’Connell and Zach Kaufman.
Closings have started at 1400 Monroe, developer JK Equities’ seven-story condominium building in Chicago’s West Loop. New buyers can move in immediately, and the project is currently 75% sold. Wolf Residential leads the sales and marketing efforts. Chicago-based architecture firm Booth Hansen designed the project and the residences were designed by New York-based Mojo Stumer.
A limited liability company purchased Tesla, a 129K SF net-leased property at 1121 South Milwaukee Ave. in north suburban Libertyville, for $11.6M. The buyer was secured and represented by Marcus & Millichap’s Austin Weisenbeck and Sean Sharko. The property was sold to a local 1031 exchange buyer and closed prior to rent commencement for a brand new 10-year lease.
CIM Group and Golub & Co. signed The Museum of Ice Cream, an experiential retail tenant, to a long-term lease for 13K SF at The Shops at Tribune Tower in Chicago. Chicago will join New York and Austin as the only U.S. cities with a permanent flagship location for the MOIC, founded in 2016. The MOIC plans new features and attractions specifically designed for Chicago including a CTA-inspired "L" car called the Sprink-L. The MOIC anticipates opening by spring 2022. The Shops at Tribune Tower consists of 50K SF of retail spaces on the ground floor of the Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Ave.
Loadsmart, a digital freight broker, will move its headquarters from New York to Chicago, and occupy 34K SF on the 14th floor of Brookfield Properties’ newly redeveloped 175 West Jackson Blvd. building in the West Loop. 175 West Jackson underwent a repositioning to provide tenants with a new rooftop terrace, tenant lounge, conferencing facilities and a fitness center. Jordan Decker of Cushman & Wakefield represented Loadsmart. Jack O’Brien, Jeff Dowdell and JD Parcheta of The Telos Group represented ownership in the transaction.
CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
General contractor Summit Design + Build started the build-out construction of a WeWork space at 448 North LaSalle St., a new 174K SF building in River North. This location will be WeWork’s second in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The 56K SF coworking space will span the top four floors of 448 North LaSalle St. Partners by Design is serving as the project architect. Summit officials expect to wrap up construction in December of this year.
THIS AND THAT
There was a total of 1M SF of negative absorption in Chicago’s Central Business District in the third quarter of 2021, bringing the year-to-date absorption total down to negative 2.8M SF, according to MBRE’s latest market snapshot. The overall direct vacancy rate increased by 73 basis points to 16.8% at the end of the third quarter from 16.07% at the end of the second quarter. The total vacancy rate, including sublease space, increased by 72 basis points to 20.67%. MBRE researchers added that although leasing activity has risen compared to the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, it is still far below 2019 levels.