Contact Us

The Top 10 Downtown Office Building Sales of 2016

Chicago Office

Last year's downtown office trading volume couldn't reach the record-shattering $6.2B of 2015, but there were still plenty of marquee assets that sold in 2016, along with Class-B and Class-C assets that yield-chasing investors gobbled up with an eye toward the future.

The top 10 office building transactions of 2016 still accounted for over $2.6B in transaction volume. Let's take a look at them, counting down to No. 1.

10. 1 North LaSalle


Price: $83M

Buyer: Hilco Global, MB Real Estate

Seller: Jonathan Chetrit

Sold: March

With most of the marquee assets sold in 2015, investors checked down to Class-B and C assets, seeking solid yields through renovations. Hilco EVP Gary Epstein told Bisnow that the Hilco/MBRE JV sees the 47-story building as an attractive option for tech, media and advertising as downtown continues to evolve into a 24/7 live/work/play destination.

9. 333 South Wabash


Price: $108M

Buyer: The John Buck Co

Seller: CNA Financial

Sold: March

John Buck closed on this deal in March, three months after announcing it would buy "Big Red." CNA will lease its 750k SF office footprint here until Buck delivers the new CNA Center at 151 North Franklin in summer 2018.

8. Old Main Post Office


Price: $130M

Buyer: The 601W Cos

Seller: Bill Davies

Sold: May

After years of failed attempts to partner with other developers, Davies finally disposed of the 2.5M SF building in May, days before he died. Davies was long seen as the main obstacle to redeveloping the Old Main Post Office and Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave him an ultimatum: sell the building or the city would claim it under eminent domain.

7. 180 North LaSalle


Price: $199M

Buyer: Ivanhoé Cambridge, Callahan Capital

Seller: Beacon Capital Partners

Sold: January

January was a quiet month for office activity, but the Ivanhoé Cambridge/Callahan JV made an early splash by completing a four-building, $325M deal it signed with Beacon in July 2015. Beacon bought the building for $126M in January 2014.

6. 440 South LaSalle


Price: $200M

Buyer: CIM Group


Sold: April

This was the beginning of a busy year for CIM and it wasn't even the firm's biggest acquisition. TIER REIT acquired this asset in a four-building, $832M deal in 2007.

5. Tribune Tower

Tribune Tower, Chicago

Price: $240M

Buyer: CIM Group, Golub

Seller: Tribune Media

Sold: August

The CIM-Golub JV emerged as the lead bidder for the landmark building last spring before finalizing the deal just before Labor Day. Ever since, speculation has run rampant over what CIM and Golub will do with it; Tribune Tower has emerged as an even more fascinating adaptive reuse play than the Old Main Post Office. With Tribune Media signing a lease at 303 East Wacker, we'll find out.

4. Sullivan Center

Sullivan Center

Price: $267M

Buyer: Madison Capital

Seller: Elad Canada

Sold: April

Elad Canada had the former Carson, Pirie Scott building on the market for 18 months before Madison Capital made its offer. The acquisition was a complicated affair involving developer Laurence Freed giving up his majority stake in the building and Elad waiving a provision that prevented a buyer from maximizing the building's value by separately selling Sullivan Center's retail and office components.

3. 1K Fulton

1K Fulton

Price: $304M

Buyer: American Realty Advisors

Seller: Sterling Bay

Sold: June

Sterling Bay eventually sold this for less than what many experts predicted, but it's still an eye-popping number for one of the most notable Chicago adaptive reuse projects in years and a highlight of Sterling Bay's breakout 2016.

2. 321 North Clark


Price: $321M

Buyer: Levy Diversified Real Estate

Seller: Hines

Sold: June

Class-A assets sell fast and Hines had no shortage of bidders for this 35-story River North tower once it went on the market in February. It also helped that Hines and Levy are frequent partners. Levy is an investor in Hines' 52-story River North tower and a partner in 1 South Dearborn.

1. AMA Plaza


Price: $470M

Buyer: Beacon Capital

Seller: Riverview Realty Partners, Five Mile

Sold: September

The year's largest deal is one that almost didn't happen. LaSalle Investment and China Investment Corp agreed to buy AMA Plaza for $570M last March. That deal fell through for unknown reasons, opening the door for Beacon Capital to swoop in with a bid $100M lower.