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London Firm Likes Undervalued Chicago

Chicago Office

London-based 90 North Real Estate Partners just made its second US buy with the 351k SF Continental Automotive office building in Deer Park. The upstart international player is planning several hundred million in US acquisitions in 2015, new Chicago-based head of North America operations Dan Cooper tells us.

The investment advisory firm focuses on yield-driven investments for global institutional clients from Dubai to Malaysia, Dan (snapped exploring the top of the world, 90 North, and the universe at Adler Planetarium last month) says, and he sees Chicago as a strong, undervalued market, especially in the suburbs. Fortune 500 companies need access to top tier talent, and many of those folks still want to raise their families in the ‘burbs, he tells us. The 60-acre Deer Park property (renamed The Reserve at Deer Park, below, inspired by its wetlands and walking trails) was a sale/leaseback with Continental Automotive, Dan says, offering a value-add opportunity with 135k SF remaining to lease and upcoming renovations.

90 North is targeting a wide variety of assets in the $40M to $125M range (industrial, multifamily, student housing, office, development) across secondary markets like Austin, Raleigh and Denver, Dan says. As a new player in the competitive US market, the trick has been leveraging Dan’s 25 years of relationships (he most recently ran a $1.8B real estate fund with HSBC) to source deals, he says. 90 North has purchased $105M in the US this year with $125M more under control, and its pipeline includes 3M SF. Dan moved to Chicago from Carmel, IN, in October and he and his two daughters are exploring the foodie scene.