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Aviv Wins in Chicago REIT Olympics

Chicago Healthcare

An index of Chicago-based REITs rose 36.2% through Dec. 11 versus 26.5% for a US REIT index, Crain’s Chicago Business reports (via SNL Financial data). The leader of the pack? Skilled nursing facility-focused Aviv REIT (you can read our profile of CEO Craig Bernfield, pictured, here), whose shares returned 50% this year. Aviv had a stellar couple years, going public at $20/share in March 2013 and announcing a $1.7B buyout by Maryland-based rival Omega Healthcare Investors this October. (The deal values Aviv at $34.97/share, up 16% from its closing price the day before the announcement.) The reason our other hometown REITs (EQR, ELS, GGP, etc.) have fared so well: more consumer spending and business expansion, interest rates staying unexpectedly low and a development pipeline that’s remained relatively unclogged.