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This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

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The apartment boom in Chicago’s Lakefront neighborhoods continues to gather steam. McCaffrey Interests and Hines Monday welcomed the first residents to The Apartments at Lincoln Common, a 538-unit community the partners built at 2345 North Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Common Rendering
The Apartments at Lincoln Common

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in partnership with Antunovich Associates, the two towers replace what had been Children’s Memorial Hospital. McCaffrey officials said they have conducted more than 200 tours at the site since leasing began in February.

Although developers recently began focusing more attention on neighborhoods to the north, including Edgewater and Uptown, Lincoln Park and Lakeview still have active pipelines. According to a new market report from Essex Realty Group, developers had 1,663 units in 15 developments (including Lincoln Common) either underway or planned in the two latter neighborhoods at the end of the year.

The new development includes a plethora of amenities, which most developers believe are essential to compete in a marketplace that offers prospective tenants so many options. Each unit offers floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit washers and dryers, quartz countertops and walk-in closets. Residents can also access a private on-site dog run and pet spa with owner’s lounge, a coworking lounge with complimentary WiFi, 20th floor open-air rooftop lounges, and a fitness center and yoga studio.

Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes are also available for qualified applicants under the City of Chicago Affordable Requirements Ordinance.

EXECS

Garrison Benson joined Chicago-based Lexington Homes as vice president of sales. He will manage sales for the company’s five townhome and single-family row home communities, and will oversee the launch of a number of new communities later this year. Benson has more than 30 years of experience in home sales, in both the city and suburbs. Most recently, he founded Garrison Partners, a Chicago-based real estate brokerage and consulting firm that managed more than $3B in for-sale residential real estate throughout the U.S. Lexington Homes plans to open sales for nearly 200 additional new homes in 2019, and has projects underway in Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Morton Grove, Oak Park and Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.

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Roosevelt University Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate executive director Collete English Dixon
Collete English Dixon

Waterton, a Chicago-based real estate investor and operator, appointed Collete English Dixon to its advisory board. Composed of a group of three independents and Waterton’s co-founders, David Schwartz and Peter Vilim, the board provides strategic counsel to Waterton’s leadership committee. English Dixon, a nationally recognized real estate executive, currently serves as executive director at Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate and administrative chair of the real estate department of the Heller College of Business. Prior to joining Roosevelt in 2017, English Dixon spent more than 30 years at PGIM Real Estate, formerly Prudential Real Estate Investors.

LEASES

Clear Height Properties, a Chicago-based investment and management firm, has completed an office lease at 150 North Wacker Drive in the West Loop, and will relocate from space in River North. Company officials said they expanded recently, in terms of assets under management and the people required to effectively operate the organization, and ran out of space in River North. Over the last 12 months, the company acquired 12 properties totaling over 1.2M SF, including 26TwentyFive Butterfield, a 202K SF office building in Oak Brook that was part of a four-building portfolio; a portfolio of five industrial properties from American Landmark Properties; and, most recently, an industrial flex asset in Carol Stream.

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Orbit Medical leased contiguous suites totaling 15K SF of flex office and industrial space within 550 North Commons Drive in Aurora. The company, a Medicare-contracted supplier of medical equipment, relocated its operations from Naperville. Clear Height Properties acquired the property in May 2018 and completed extensive, customized tenant improvements for Orbit Medical. The building is now 100% occupied. NAI Hiffman’s Adam Johnson and Ryan Maher lease the building for Clear Height Properties. Orbit Medical was represented by Bespoke Commercial Real Estate’s Victor Sanmiguel and Mike Kraft.

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Timber Hill Group, a Chicago-based private equity firm specializing in the acquisition and development of logistics-related industrial real estate, signed Hub Group Trucking to a 10-year, full-facility lease at its 8.8-acre property at 4901 South Monitor in Forest View, Illinois. The site is zoned I-3 Intensive Industrial and allows five-high container stacking and parking for up to 300 trailers. Located in unincorporated Cook County, the site is proximate to the new, full interchange at Interstate 55 and Central Avenue and offers multiple entrances and exits via Central and Monitor avenues. In addition, the site is adjacent to a new FedEx freight development and near three intermodal lines: BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern. Timothy McCahill and Brian Vanosky of Lee & Associates represented Timber Hill.

North Wells Capital's new acquisition in River North
320 West Huron St. between Orleans Street and Franklin Street

SALES

North Wells Capital, the investment management affiliate of Chicago-based Urban Innovations, acquired a 32K SF surface parking lot at 320 West Huron St. between Orleans and Franklin streets, one of the few remaining large land sites in River North. A previously approved condominium development wasn’t moving forward, North Wells Capital CEO Jim Fox said, so the company, which owns a number of other properties in the neighborhood, decided to take a run at it. In the coming months, it will choose a specific vision for the tract, currently zoned DX-5, and able to accommodate high-rise, mixed-use buildings.

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ML Realty Partners acquired a 218K SF industrial building at 701 Devon Ave. in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The building features heavy power, 16 exterior docks and 24-foot clear height. Steve Stone of Cushman & Wakefield represented ML Realty Partners.

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Marcus & Millichap’s Kyle Stengle and Stephen Lieberman completed the sale of the third and fourth floors of the Museum of Broadcast Communications building, located at 360 North State St. in Chicago’s River North. After over 20 property tours and multiple competing offers, floors three and four sold for $6M to Chicago-based Fern Hill Co., which plans to renovate and reposition the property. The four-story, mixed-use condo building totals approximately 54K SF. Until the sale, MBC occupied the upper three floors, but will now occupy the second floor. 

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Greenstone Partners sold Regency Point, a 55K SF, multi-tenant retail center along East Ninth St. in Lockport, Illinois, a southwest suburb of Chicago. Planet Fitness and Ace Hardware anchor the fully occupied property, both with long-term lease commitments. Other tenants include e-commerce-resistant outlets such as Dunkin’ Donuts, ATI Physical Therapy, the U.S. Postal Service, Subway and Edward Jones. Greenstone Partners represented the seller, a Chicago-based investor, and also procured the buyer, a 1031 exchange investor based in South Florida. Greenstone’s Bradford Dessy was lead adviser, and garnered 10 offers from local, regional and national players.

Washington & Barron Commons, a four-building retail center located in the Chicago suburb of Grayslake
Washington & Barron Commons

CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

The Woodmont Co. plans to develop Washington & Barron Commons, a four-building retail center at East Washington Street and Barron Boulevard in Grayslake, a suburb about 50 miles north of Chicago. The company plans to start construction on Phase 1 this summer; it will consist of a 9K SF free-standing building for Kiddie Academy and a 4,500 SF single-tenant building still available for lease. Phase 2 will consist of an 8K SF multi-tenant building and a 3K SF single-tenant building, both still available for lease. Woodmont’s Grant Gary and Robert Snider oversee leasing at Washington & Barron Commons. 

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J.C. Anderson completed a 22K SF build-out for OMS National Insurance Co.’s new headquarters at 425 Martingale Road in suburban Schaumburg. Relocating from 6133 River Road in Rosemont, the insurance company, which specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery, needed J.C. Anderson to follow an aggressive schedule, and the builder finished by early January. The construction team for J.C. Anderson was led by Seth Erlich, Andrew Mott and Steve Perry. NELSON provided the architectural services and JLL provided project management services.

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Patzik, Frank & Samotny’s new office at 200 South Wacker in Chicago’s West Loop
Patzik, Frank & Samotny’s new office at 200 South Wacker

Summit Design + Build completed the interior build-out of Patzik, Frank & Samotny’s new office at 200 South Wacker in Chicago’s West Loop. The law firm relocated from 150 South Wacker to occupy 17K SF on the entire 17th floor. Its new office includes nine conference and meeting rooms, 34 private offices along the exterior wall, open office work stations, a custom reception desk, a wellness room and an updated kitchen. The space has numerous custom features, among them a media wall at reception and custom millwork including sliding barn doors. Summit worked alongside the project architect, Forum Studios, project manager, Savills Studley, MEP engineers, Environmental Systems Design, and structural engineer, Klein & Hoffman.

THIS AND THAT

The Old Town Triangle Association filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals and the owners of 1848 North Lincoln Ave., a historic property, to overturn ZBA’s decision that allows the construction of a garage a few feet off the sidewalk. Association members said ZBA’s decision damages Old Town’s historic landmark integrity and threatens to undo 50 years of significant financial investment by neighbors.

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The Illinois House Commercial Law Subcommittee last week voted down HB255, which had proposed to overturn the state’s current prohibition of local rent control laws.