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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

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The strength of the multifamily market has made condo deconversion a popular business, and not just in the city. Rockwell Partners, a Chicago-based investment and property management firm, just deconverted Huntington Condominiums, a 356-unit residential complex in west suburban Naperville.

Huntington
The former Huntington Condominiums in west suburban Naperville.

In 2016, the company purchased 313 unsold condominium units from the developer. Over the next two years, it worked with the remaining owners and their lenders to work out sale agreements.

Originally constructed in three phases beginning in 1973, Huntington sits on a 21-acre site just east of downtown Naperville. The property consists of 16 buildings, a clubhouse, two pools, tennis courts and a recreational park. The former owners acquired the property and converted it to condominiums in February 2007. But due to economic conditions, only 43 units sold, resulting in fractured ownership.  

Since the original purchase of 313 units, Rockwell has improved Huntington’s common areas, in-unit finishes and features, clubhouse and property amenities. It also took over property management.

“Huntington is another example of a residential complex located in an extremely vibrant community that suffered as a result of the economic downturn of the last decade,” Rockwell Partners principal Doug Fisher said.

“Rockwell understands the needs of these residents, how to help them and how to revitalize a community that had deteriorated physically and financially,” he added.

Rockwell Partners manages about 3,000 units.

EXECS

Draper and Kramer promoted four senior executives. It named Edward Polich its executive vice president of real estate, and Blas Puzon was promoted to chief investment officer. Julie Stevlingson stepped into an expanded role leading construction services and property operations, and Christine Ramsey was promoted to chief administrative officer.

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IDI Logistics appointed Tim Moore to lead its newly created Central Region, which includes 99 Class-A properties totaling 33M SF in Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Memphis, Dallas, Houston and Austin. The company has another 3.3M SF under construction in the region. Based in Memphis, Moore will manage all capital deployment and operations for the region, including building acquisitions, dispositions, development and asset management.

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Pine Tree promoted Michael Gold to executive vice president and chief operating officer. Gold has been with Pine Tree for nearly five years, serving as a senior vice president in asset management. He will oversee operations and the company's $800M portfolio.

Prior to joining Pine Tree, Gold was with CBRE and represented retail landlords and tenants in the leasing of Chicago-area shopping centers. A Chicago native, he earned an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt School of Business.

3701 Centrella
3701 Centrella in Franklin Park, Ill.

LEASES

Colliers International Chicago’s Tom Rodeno and Matthew Stauber represented both tenant and landlord in a 107K SF lease at 3701 Centrella St. in Franklin Park. Owned by Morgan Stanley, the newly constructed facility is across the street from O’Hare International Airport, less than 1 mile from the I-294/I-90 interchange. Apex, its new tenant, will move in on March 1.

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Chicagoland Quad Cities Express renewed its lease for a 412K SF distribution compound in Bridgeview. The third-party logistics company handles warehousing and transportation services. Including this building, the firm occupies 501K SF of warehouse space in the Chicago region. Pritzker Realty Group’s Katie Michel led lease negotiations for the owners. Terri Wintermute and Gary DiGrazia of Chicagoland Quad Cities Express negotiated on their company’s behalf. Darwin Realty’s Adam Haefner acted as Pritzker’s broker, and George Cibula represented Chicagoland Quad Cities Express.

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Bradford Allen Realty Services’ Joel Berger and Ben Azulay completed a new 41K SF headquarters lease for MedSpeed at 140 Industrial Drive in west suburban Elmhurst. The healthcare logistics firm has leased space for its central support and Chicago operations at Elmhurst’s Corporate Commerce Center on Grand Avenue for more than 10 years, but needed something new after growing 350% over the past five years. Korman, Lederer & Associates’ Patrick Lederer represented the property owners.

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Lee & Associates completed a lease renewal for 68K SF at 1625 Hunter Road in Hanover Park. Lee & Associates’ Mike Plumb and Andrew Block represented the owner, Prologis. Jeff Janda, also of Lee & Associates, represented the tenant, Schnidt Cartage. The Lee & Associates team also recently leased 30K SF at the same property to SWF Inc., represented by Cawley Chicago’s Andrew Maletich.

SALES

Marcus & Millichap’s Andrean Angelov and Ryan Engle completed the $2.3M sale of Regency Apartments, a 32-unit community at 230 South State St. in suburban Elgin.

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Newmark Knight Frank’s Adam Marshall, Tatsuru Kono and Mark Deady represented owner Tigerflex Corp. in the sale of its 801 Estes Ave., a 59K SF manufacturing facility in Elk Grove Village. Diesel Radiator Co., represented by John Greene Industrial’s Cory Ramey and Shamus Conneely, acquired the property for an undisclosed amount, but Cook County records show a purchase price of $2.6M.  

JC Andersen's new space at Aon Center
J.C. Anderson's build-out for MERGE at Chicago’s Aon Center.

CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

J.C. Anderson completed a headquarters build-out for MERGE at Chicago’s Aon Center. The media and creative agency asked the builder to modernize its existing space and increase efficiencies with an open office concept. The construction team was led by J.C. Anderson’s Joe Maguire, Michael Dunn and Joe Rojas. Perkins+Will provided the architectural services, and JLL provided project management services.

FINANCING

American Street Capital arranged $15.4M in permanent loans for the cash-out refinance of a seven-building multifamily portfolio in Chicago’s Bronzeville and Kenwood neighborhoods. The properties, over 90% occupied at closing, were all recent acquisitions from long-term owners that required significant upgrades. The loan was co-originated by Igor Zhizhin and Alexander Rek.

Real estate Softball game
The Downtown Real Estate Softball League on Jan. 25.

THIS AND THAT

The Downtown Real Estate Softball League, founded 41 years ago, proved its mettle on Jan. 25. About 40 members braved 6-degree weather and eight inches of snow to play in the eighth annual Winter Classic, held outdoors at North Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, according to Taurus Modal Group’s Richard Klein, the league commissioner and inductee of the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame.

The group played a set of three-inning games with a cross-section of players from CBRE, The Retailers, JLL, MBRE, SVN, Avison Young, several others, and a squad from Taurus, Klein said. Taurus went 3-0.

The league has 16 teams, primarily leasing brokers, and plays every Monday night from May to August at the North Avenue fields and at Lake Shore Drive and Waveland Avenue.   

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The end of the Great Recession ushered in an era of stupendous growth in downtowns across the nation. PropertyShark analyzed how pricey downtown living became, and found huge discrepancies between urban cores and outlying neighborhoods. Of the 34 cities examined in 2018, Chicago witnessed the biggest gap between the downtown’s median and the rest of the city. To live in the city’s core, you need to put down an extra $675K, far more than the roughly $300K premium needed for Philadelphia, Boston and Manhattan.

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CBOT Building
CBOT Building

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago announced the winners of The Outstanding Building of the Year Awards, which recognize excellence in office building management. This year, 11 TOBY Award finalists competed in six categories. Finalists were judged on tenant relations initiatives, commitment to environmental sustainability, emergency preparedness, budgeting, work order systems, security standards, staff experience and continuing education opportunities.

The following six buildings earned TOBY Awards:

  • Historical Building: Chicago Board of Trade Building, managed by GlenStar Asset Management.
  • Mixed-Use: 737 North Michigan/Olympia Centre, managed by CBRE.
  • Renovated Building: 203 North LaSalle, managed by M&J Wilkow Properties.
  • 250K-499K SF: 550 West Washington, managed by JLL.
  • 500K-1M SF: 180 North LaSalle, managed by JLL and owned by Ivanhoé Cambridge.
  • Over 1M SF: 500 West Madison, managed by Transwestern and owned by KBS Realty Advisors.