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2015 Downtown Office Sales Shatter Old Record

Chicago Office


2015 will be remembered as the year of the blockbuster office sale. According to numbers from JLL, downtown office building sales set a new record of $6.1B, and that number could grow with almost two months remaining in the year.

The new record was paced by Blackstone Group's $1.3B purchase of Willis Tower in May. Blackstone paid $11.4M in state and local real estate transfer taxes in that deal. Other deals completed in the first half of the year included Mid-Continental Plaza ($367M), One South Wacker ($345M), River Center ($304M) and One North Wacker ($240M).

One and Two Prudential Plaza, and Aon Center, Chicago

The second half of the year has been just as hot. Piedmont Office Realty's $712M sale of Aon Center to the 601W Cos was finalized Oct. 29, according to Crain's. PNC Realty Investors' $320M deal for 333 W Wacker was finalized Nov. 4.

There are other buildings on the market that could push those stats even higher. Tribune Media is courting buyers for Tribune Tower, and 190 S LaSalle is for sale. Several factors are behind the record volume. Downtown vacancy rates are below 13% for the first time since 2008, while Chicago's affordability, compared to the coasts, continues to attract investors. The previous record of $5.3B was set in 2006. [Crain's]