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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

The Foundation for International Blockchain and Real Estate Expertise, an international network for professionals in commercial real estate, information technology and the blockchain sector, has expanded to the U.S. and South America.

Newmark Knight Frank Executive Managing Director Geoffrey Kasselman was named its Chicago regional chair.

CRG's Geoffrey Kasselman with Lech Walesa at SIOR 2018 in Warsaw

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the not-for-profit FIBREE aims to educate others about blockchain technology and expand the decentralized meetup network across the world. It also wants to enhance exchanges between different local hubs and between corporations, startups, tech companies and related experts.

Eight co-founders, all experienced real estate experts and early blockchain adopters, founded the organization in July and launched efforts in eight European countries, as well as India, Israel, Taiwan and Australia. Membership in FIBREE is free and it now has a vetted network of more than 15,000 professionals. FIBREE officials said they will further expand its network in the Americas and other countries throughout 2019.

“It’s all about forging adoption, scale and change management — and shaping the future of the entire real estate industry,” Kasselman said in a statement.  

Regional chairs will lead and facilitate local and regional blockchain networking events, education, use cases, partnerships, sponsorships and membership, and advance FIBREE’s mission in their respective markets.


Golub & Co. expanded its leasing team by hiring Sandy Macaluso to lease and market commercial properties in its downtown Chicago portfolio. Macaluso has more than 15 years of experience in agency leasing and tenant representation, negotiating more than 500 office and retail transactions in major U.S. markets. In her previous role with GlenStar Properties, she helped reposition the Chicago Board of Trade building and draw a more diverse tenant base following a major renovation. She also served as a vice president at Transwestern.

NEMA Chicago at 1200 South Indiana Ave.


Crescent Heights officially started pre-leasing this week and will soon open its 800-unit NEMA Chicago, now the tallest rental residence in Chicago. Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly with interiors by David Rockwell, the 76-story building rises above Grant Park at 1200 South Indiana Ave. and includes 70K SF of amenities. This is the second NEMA-brand tower. Crescent Heights opened the original NEMA in San Francisco in 2013, and will soon complete the next tower, NEMA Boston in Boston's Seaport. 


Podolsky Circle CORFAC International arranged a long-term lease renewal and relocation of RPG-Life Transition Specialists and Senior Services of Illinois at 2610 Lake Cook Road in suburban Riverwoods. Podolsky Circle's Adam Tarantur and Randy Podolsky represented the property owner, RCC JV LLC. The Class-A, 46K SF office building, known as Riverwoods Corporate Center, sits on nearly 3 wooded acres. It has remained at or above 90% occupancy since it opened in 2006.


Lee & Associates closed two industrial leases transactions totaling 203K SF in Elgin. In both transactions, Steve Bass and John Sharpe represented the owner, Stockbridge Capital Group. At 2414 Galvin Drive, Giant Bicycle Inc. renewed its lease and expanded its footprint by 50K SF to 180K SF. Cushman & Wakefield’s Al Caruana and Britt Casey represented the tenant. At 2530 B Vantage Drive, Caruana represented Essentra Plastics in a long-term lease of 22K SF.

New Continuum's data center in West Chicago


New Continuum Holdings Corp., which operates New Continuum Data Centers, acquired its flagship mission critical data center at 603 Discovery Drive in suburban West Chicago. The facility was purpose-built as a data center by the previous owner.

Post Road Group, a bridge lender and investor in U.S. middle-market telecommunications infrastructure, provided the senior debt financing for this transaction. New Continuum began leasing the property in the fall of 2013 when it started redeveloping the building, and began operating a multi-tenant data center in 2015 after completing construction. It added incremental cooling capacity in the summer of 2018.

“When we began this redevelopment project, it was always our objective to eventually own the underlying real estate asset as well,” Chairman and CEO Eli Scher said.


Interra Realty brokered the sale of Riviera Apartments, an 84-unit rental community at 9739 South Kedzie Ave. in suburban Evergreen Park, about 15 miles from downtown Chicago. Interra Managing Partner James Clough represented both the buyer and seller in the $6.6M transaction. Built in 1968, the property encompasses three buildings fronting Kedzie Avenue that house 57 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom apartments. It was 97% occupied at the time of closing.


Lakeside Village of Mundelein at 313 South Hickory, Mundelein, Ill.

Essex Realty Group Inc. completed the $14.7M sale of Lakeside Village of Mundelein. Located at 313 South Hickory St. in Mundelein, the property consists of 10 buildings totaling 152 apartments. Approximately 110 apartments have received upgrades since 2011. The Essex brokerage team of Doug Imber, Kate Varde and Clay Maxfield represented the seller, and Brian Kochendorfer, Brian Karmowski and Troy Beebe represented the buyer.


CBRE arranged the sale of the 108-room Country Inn & Suites at 600 North Milwaukee Ave. in Prospect Heights to Palwaukee Hospitality LLC. CBRE Hotels’ Brian Silberman, Scott Miller, Paul DeLucia and Matt McClure represented the owner, RK Hospitality. The hotel sits next to Chicago’s Executive Airport, less than 1.5 miles from Interstate 294 and 8 miles from O’Hare International Airport. The new owner plans to convert the five-story, concrete and steel structure into a Holiday Inn Express & Suites by the summer, according to Silberman. Cook County property records show the price was $4.9M.


Podolsky Circle CORFAC International completed the sale and financing of 300 Millennium Drive, a 92K SF, single-tenant, high-tech industrial property in suburban Crystal Lake. The company’s investment advisory team composed of Alissa Adler, John Homsher, Paul Tesdal and Steven Podolsky represented the buyer, MR Michigan LLC. The fully leased property was sold by a local investor for $8M. The Podolsky team also secured financing of approximately 75% loan-to-value from a local bank on behalf of the client. National Gift Card, an automated gift card provider and fulfillment company, occupies the entire property.

AZEK's new HQ in 1330 West Fulton St.


Skender completed interior construction of the new 24K SF headquarters for The AZEK Co., a provider of premium building products. AZEK relocated from Skokie to 1330 West Fulton in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood to accommodate its rapid growth. The third-floor open-plan office includes a single porch with pergola and lattice ceiling made from AZEK-produced materials. Later this month, Skender will finish building out AZEK’s product demonstration and vendor training space nearby at 316 North Elizabeth. As general contractor, Skender collaborated with HED, ESD Global and JLL on the project. The company has completed similar construction projects in 1330 West Fulton for numerous inaugural tenants, including Sterling Bay, Glassdoor, The Climate Corp. and its own headquarters.


IDI Logistics acquired 57 acres of industrial land in Romeoville in the I-55 submarket. It plans to deliver a 351K SF speculative facility built on about 30 acres in 2019. The facility will offer 36-foot clear height, over 40 docks, 65 trailer spaces and signal-controlled entry/exit. Cawley Chicago's Joshua Hearne and Daniel Cawley will represent IDI Logistics on the project known as Romeoville Gateway.


Bridge Development Partners acquired a former perfume manufacturing facility in Bedford Park. It will immediately demolish the existing structure and, after an extensive environmental remediation, begin constructing a 219K SF distribution center called Bridge Point Bedford Park. Located on 12 acres at 6855 West 65th St., the now-obsolete building was originally built in 1937. The new facility, which the firm plans to finish by the end of 2019, will feature a 32-foot clear height and be divisible down to 45K SF. The Darwin Realty team of Zeke Rowan and Adam Haefner represented the seller, and will market and lease the new building.


Capital One provided a $15.1M fixed-rate HUD 232/223(f) loan to refinance Avantara Park Ridge, a 154-bed assisted living facility in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago. Senior Vice President Joshua Rosen originated the transaction. The transaction allows the key principals to replace bank debt with low-rate, long-term financing and to recoup their capital expenditures and partner debt. Since purchasing Avantara in 2014, the borrowers have extensively renovated the facility, which has a five-star rating on


Common Addams at 15th and Loomis

Maverick Commercial Mortgage Inc. secured $17M in construction financing for a ground-up co-living development in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s Near West Side. The construction loan closed on Nov. 20, funded by a regional bank. It will finance the construction of the 223-bed property called Common Addams, the third Chicago partnership between Common, a national residential brand that offers community living, and CityPads. The development will offer four stories of co-living apartments and open in 2020. The partners said rents will start at approximately $975 per month.


If you live in Chicago’s Old Town, it turns out you have the city’s most annoying neighbors. That was one of the findings of Digital Third Coast, an internet marketing firm, which analyzed the number of 3-1-1 complaints filed with the city in the 30 most densely populated neighborhoods. The firm tallied results for three types of issues: noise, garbage in alleys and dog poop. Old Town residents led the way, followed by those in Bucktown, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park and Greektown. Residents of Ukrainian Village, Near North Side and Near West Side were found the least annoying.    


Orangetheory Fitness opened its 50th location in Illinois at 731 North Milwaukee Ave. Since 2010, Orangetheory has spread throughout the U.S. and overseas, with over 1,000 franchise licenses awarded. The first-ever Orangetheory studio, Orangetheory Naperville, has grown out of its original space and in November relocated to 8 West Gartner Road. Orangetheory studios provide a group personal training workout that uses intervals of cardiovascular and strength training.