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Franklin Street Properties Has A Buyer For 303 East Wacker: Beacon Capital Partners

303 East Wacker, Chicago
303 East Wacker

Beacon Capital Partners remains bullish on downtown Chicago office real estate. The Boston-based firm is nearing a $182M deal for 303 East Wacker Drive, Crain's Chicago Business reports. Once the ink is dry, Beacon's immediate objective will be to find some tenants for the building.

Beacon will be taking ownership of a building that is 31% vacant, more than double the overall vacancy rate in the central business district. But the arrival of Tribune Media, which signed a 61K SF lease on the 17th and 18th floors two years ago, including a new studio for WGN Radio, may be the momentum needed to land new tenants.

The seller, Franklin Street Properties, purchased the building for $167M in 2007 and has tried to sell it before. It first listed the building for sale in 2016, but could not find a buyer. It next put the 28-story building on the market in April, believing it could find a buyer for the building in a strong first half of 2018 for downtown office building sales. 

Beacon Capital has been on a buying spree the past three years. Its most notable deal was its $470M acquisition of AMA Plaza in 2016. Beacon Capital also acquired 515 North State in a venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge/Callahan Capital Properties in 2015. That building also had a large vacancy issue that seemed to be resolved when Outcome Health agreed to a 400K SF lease in March 2017. Outcome Health backed out of the lease in December after allegations the company misled investors and advertisers.

JLL's Bruce Miller and Nooshin Felsenthal are representing Franklin Street Properties in negotiations.