Contact Us

Is There A Bidding War For The Pittsfield Building?

The Pittsfield Building, 55 East Washington, Chicago

The historic Pittsfield Building, built by Marshall Field in 1927, may be one of the most enticing adaptive reuse projects in Chicago if a buyer can be found to bring it out of bankruptcy. There are now two options, as a New York investor has entered the picture with a bid for the 40-story building, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

It was revealed in bankruptcy court filings that Pioneer Acquisitions put in a $16.5M bid to buy the 30-floor office portion of the building from Morgan Reed Group. Last month, Akara Partners signed an agreement with Morgan Reed to buy the Pittsfield Building for $16M, and the higher Pioneer bid is seen as a stalking horse intended to drive up the bidding process.

The Pittsfield Building has been an albatross around the neck of owners Morgan Reed since it bought the property for $15M in 2001. Alter converted floors 13 through 21 into student housing but the remaining floors have been the subject of several lawsuits, including one from developer Adam David Lynd alleging that Morgan Reed misled him into believing the city was OK with him converting the floors into a hotel. A Morgan Reed affiliate with some ownership stake in the building filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March to give the firm time to line up a buyer.

Akara Partners CEO Rajen Shastri said his firm is not pulling itself out of consideration for the property yet, and said the building lends itself to a host of adaptive reuse options. Pioneer, which has been buying sizable portions of the University of Chicago's real estate portfolio, is entitled to a $100K breakup fee if Akara or another investor tops its bid. A buyer for the property will be announced in a June 26 auction.