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July 14, 2020

This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

[Webinar] What Makes A Building A Good Candidate For Repositioning? Find Out At Repositioning & Re-Use: What Is Old Can Be Made New Again July 16

Investors are still jumping at opportunities to quickly create new rental apartments through condo deconversions. Chicago-based North Park Ventures recently paid $17M for 2730-66 Hampton Parkway, a condo property near Northwestern University in Evanston, and plans to convert its 91 units into rentals. It was the largest condo or apartment building sold in Evanston since 2018 by unit count, according to CoStar, with a per-unit sale price of about $187K.

This Week's Chicago Deal Sheet

Although the Chicago City Council reformed the deconversion process last year and required potential buyers to convince 85% of the owners before a condo sale can go forward, 75% support is required in the rest of the state.   Interra Realty’s Pat Kennelly and Paul Waterloo helped 2730-66 Hampton Parkway’s condo association…

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Sterling Bay Leases Half Its New Life Sciences Center And Has Its Eyes On The Future

Sterling Bay has leased about half the space in its recently redeveloped, 125K SF medical research lab at 2430 North Halsted St. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Its life sciences division, The Labs, signed a 4K SF lease with Vanqua Bio, a biotechnology startup focused on the research and development of novel therapies for neurological disorders.

Sterling Bay Leases Half Its New Life Sciences Center And Has Its Eyes On The Future

Historically, Chicago frequently lost life sciences startups to markets such as Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Kendall Square or San Francisco’s Mission Bay, due to a lack of adequate lab space, especially for young firms that secure venture capital and are ready for…

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Sandeep Mathrani On Why He Decided To Save WeWork And How He Plans To Pull It Off

At the turn of the year, taking over as chief executive of WeWork might have looked like drinking out of a poisoned chalice. But that’s not how Sandeep Mathrani saw it.

The company had problems — big problems — but a lot going for it, too. 

“I find it invigorating to find solutions. I like the adrenaline, like when you are running a marathon and the endorphins kick in,” Mathrani, the recently installed CEO of the world’s most high-profile flexible office company, told Bisnow in an extended interview last week. “There were a lot of levers to pull to make it profitable.”

WeWork is the most visible, and potentially the most arduous, turnaround job real estate has seen in living memory. Mathrani gave Bisnow the most detailed insight so far into the restructuring strategy that he is implementing, alongside Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure, SoftBank Group's chief operating officer.

Read the full story here. 

 
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Pandemic Was A Gut Punch, But Fulton Market Multifamily Is Back On Track

Pandemic Was A Gut Punch, But Fulton Market Multifamily Is Back On Track  

Like many people in the early days of the pandemic, Marquette Cos. President Darren Sloniger underestimated just how big of a disruption the coronavirus would become.

But the full scale of it was made clear when the institutional backer of the firm's plan for several new apartment towers on the 1400 block of West Randolph Street in Fulton Market called to say it was backing out. 

"That was a big punch in the gut," Sloniger said.  

But the much-anticipated development is coming back to life. 

The Naperville, Illinois-based firm had counted on breaking ground this year on the development, which would eventually bring more than 500 new units to the neighborhood, easily one of the hottest residential areas in the city. To keep it on track, Sloniger decided to set aside the company's traditional way…

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CRE Training Group Project REAP Releases Call To Action On Strengthening Diversity At Top Firms

The persistent lack of diversity across commercial real estate has long vexed the industry, despite much public acknowledgment it needs to improve. One group is seizing on a moment of global awakening to directly call on some of the world’s biggest companies to create change, and laying out seven actions they should use to make it happen.

Project REAP, which stands for Real Estate Associate Program, runs a 10-week real estate training program for multicultural talent to give them the skills and networking opportunities to establish themselves in the industry. It is the U.S. commercial real estate industry's largest racial and ethnic diversity initiative.

This week, it is issuing an urgent “Call to Action” to the C-suites of leading commercial real estate firms and Fortune 500 companies, outlining some of the steps it considers necessary to increase the number of people of color across the industry.

Read the full story here.

 
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The National Unemployment Rate Was 13%. One Recruiter Says The CRE Rate Is Closer to 4%.

 

While some roles and sectors in the commercial real estate industry are seeing furloughs and layoffs and some employees are finding that good job interviews are few and far between, the industry overall may be in much better shape than the national average.

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