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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

Structured Development broke ground on the first two residential buildings at The Shops at Big Deahl. The mixed-use, mixed-income development in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood sits on a site bounded by Blackhawk, Dayton and Kingsbury streets adjacent to where the Cabrini-Green housing project once stood. The developer celebrated the start of construction in a ceremony last week with 27th Ward Alderperson Walter Burnett Jr. and representatives from the Chicago Community Land Trust, co-living provider Common and other project partners.

The Shops at Big Deahl

The first building, called The Seng, is a four-story, 34-unit affordable condo building the developer plans to complete by December 2022. Chicago Community Land Trust, a nonprofit corporation administered and staffed by the Chicago Department of Housing, will select its income-restricted buyers. New York-based Common will operate the second building, a 10-story, 400-bed co-living community called Common Lincoln Park, that Structured plans to deliver in March 2023.

“Big Deahl brings true economic diversity to the neighborhood, offering a dynamic mix of affordable for-sale housing and market-rate rentals,” Structured founding principal Mike Drew said in a statement. “As the city looks to address the shortage of housing available to low- and middle-income households, we’re proud to be introducing affordable, family-sized condos to a neighborhood with virtually no comparable options available. Similarly, the adjacent co-living community will make Lincoln Park more accessible to cost-conscious renters who value the amenities and social experiences these developments are uniquely positioned to provide.”

The structures will eventually be part of a three-building, 487-unit residential community centered around a new public park. Structured anticipates breaking ground on Building A, a 27-story, 327-unit market-rate rental tower that will be built on the western end of the property, in March 2022.

Developing The Seng will help the developer meet its obligations under Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance, which requires many new developments on the Near North Side to set aside 20% of the units as affordable housing. Structured is also investing $14M in developing an additional 40 affordable for-sale townhomes off-site at its Harrison Row Townhomes community at 2849-59 West Congress Parkway in East Garfield Park, a historically underinvested neighborhood.


Chicago-based CA Student Living appointed Sean Spellman, CA Ventures managing principal and chief development officer, and Thierry Keable, senior vice president of QuadReal’s Operating Partner Group and CASL board member, as interim presidents. Additionally, industry veteran David Rose, who previously served as head of institutional capital for CASL and principal at Walton Street focused on investment strategy and capital formation, has been promoted to the role of chief investment officer.


Newmark hired Natalie Cico as vice president of property management in Chicago. Prior to joining Newmark, Cico was the vice president of property and asset management for VEREIT in Chicago, where she oversaw a 55M SF, 255-asset office, industrial and retail portfolio valued at $3.5B.


MK Asset forged an exclusive alliance between MK Asset Brokerage, its brokerage division, and Investment Property Advisory Services, an investment property real estate brokerage firm. As an MKAB Alliance, IPAS will continue under the leadership of William Rodney, a former deputy commissioner of the real estate division for the Chicago Department of Aviation.


Proper Title hired Brent Fielder as executive vice president of business development. In this role, Fielder will expand the firm beyond its home state of Illinois, initially with a new location in northwest Indiana. Most recently, Fielder served as executive director of sales and marketing for Meridian Title Corp. in South Bend, Indiana.

828 Noyes St.


Evanston-based GDS Development sold 828 Lofts, a mixed-use development at 828 Noyes St. near Northwestern University in north suburban Evanston, to a private buyer for $17.1M. It developed the 44 apartments and one street-level retail space in 2018. Interra Realty’s Colin O’Malley represented the buyer, and Interra’s Paul Waterloo and Patrick Kennelly represented the seller. It was the 13th Evanston apartment building Interra helped sell since 2018. Local restaurant Stacked & Folded occupies the property’s more than 3K SF retail space.


RPT Realty sold Market Plaza, a 166K SF Jewel-Osco-anchored retail center on 12.45 acres at 525-613 Roosevelt Road in west suburban Glen Ellyn, to North American Real Estate Group for $30.2M. Completed in 1965 and renovated in 2009, Market Plaza hosts a mix of retailers, including Ross Dress for Less, Dollar Tree, Staples, Sherwin-Williams, Sweet Basil and others. The JLL Capital Markets team representing the seller was led by Amy Sands, Clinton Mitchell and Michael Nieder.


A Chicago-based developer sold for almost $5M a 10K SF Chipotle drive-thru-anchored strip center at 651 East Lincoln Highway in southwest suburban New Lenox. Brian Parmacek of Marcus & Millichap’s Chicago Downtown office marketed the property on behalf of the seller. The other tenants include MOD Pizza, Smoothie King and Classy Nails.


The Motion Agency signed a lease for 19K SF in the Reid Murdoch Building at 325 North LaSalle Drive in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Colliers Chicago’s Dougal Jeppe arranged the deal on behalf of Motion, a creative communications agency, which had been a subtenant in the space since summer 2018. 


JLL Capital Markets group arranged a $690M financing for a 6.85M SF portfolio of 44 net-leased industrial, office and data center properties around the U.S. JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, to place the two-year, floating-rate, nonrecourse loan with Wells Fargo Bank. In addition, the New York agency of Singapore-based United Overseas Bank committed half of the arranged capital post-closing.

The portfolio includes warehouse, bulk warehouse, light industrial, office, laboratory, truck terminal, data center and land. It is more than 80% leased, with properties in markets such as Chicago; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Boston; El Paso, Texas; Atlanta; and Minneapolis. The JLL team was led by Trey Morsbach, Michael Cosby, Bo Beidleman and Ryan Pollack.

Optima Verdana


Developer Optima broke ground for its six-story, 100-unit Optima Verdana apartment building at the corner of Central Avenue and Green Bay Road in downtown Wilmette on Chicago’s North Shore. The development is the firm’s second new Chicago-area retail and apartment building to break ground in the last year. Optima plans to complete the 198-unit Optima Lakeview in spring 2022, then welcome Optima Verdana’s first residents in spring 2023. Optima Verdana will mark the Chicagoland debut of the firm’s vertical landscaping system, which will allow all of Verdana’s private resident terraces to stay green year-round, as well as reduce dust and smog levels and decrease ambient noise.


Kinzie Builders started construction on 4th and Broadway, a new rental townhome development in north suburban Libertyville. The project, which will bring seven three-story townhomes to the site, replaces a vacant commercial building at 234 North Fourth St. and is close to the village’s main shopping, dining and entertainment district. The architect for the development is Libertyville-based Linden Group, and Kinzie Builders will employ more than 30 subcontractors during construction.


Chicago-based Vermilion Development and its sales and marketing firm, @properties Development Group, announced that a group of townhomes is now available at Alcove Wicker Park, a new community between Division Street, Paulina Street and Milwaukee Avenue. The four-story townhomes, designed by Hirsch MPG Architecture, are in a private, off-the-street location at 1648 West Division St. The Alcove Wicker Park development includes a separate condominium building with 43 residences.


Old Post Office spec suite

Skender completed the interior build-out for 43K SF of spec suites in the north building of the historic Old Post Office in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The 11 divisible office suites provide lease options ranging from 1K SF to 7K SF, as well as an accompanying amenity space with two conference rooms, a reading room and a library. The suites feature preserved historic touches, including mosaic tiles as well as salvaged doors from building storage that were reworked and reinstalled along the corridor of the space. Skender worked with building owner 601W Cos., architect Partners by Design and project manager JLL.


The amount of available office sublease space in the Chicago CBD is holding steady. After increasing by 78% between Q1 2020 and Q2 2021 to a historic high of around 5.8M SF, the available amount contracted slightly by the end of Q3, then increased by about 7K SF since then, according to a new report by MBRE. Some progress was made in cutting down the amount of available sublease space, including Tegus’ signing for 46K SF of Career Builder’s space at 200 North LaSalle St. In addition, the Uber sublease at 433 West Van Buren St. has been taken off the market. But large additions have canceled out those gains, including Schiff Hardin’s decision to put 118K SF at Willis Tower on the market.