Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Here’s what caught our attention the week of October 24:
Virgin Group’s hotel chain has bought the landmark Old Dearborn Bank Building at 203 N. Wabash Ave. The 27-story Art Deco building will be converted into a 250-room hotel with restaurants, lounges and other public areas. The John Buck Company was selected as project developer.
- The Illinois legislature overrode Governor Quinn’s veto and passed smart grid legislation into law. The $3.2 billion statewide smart grid build-out for Illinois consumers served by utilities ComEd and Ameren will begin next year.
- FedEx Corp. recently opened a new, 175,000-square-foot package sorting center at O’Hare International Airport with a green roof – the largest at a U.S. airport and the largest on a freestanding building in the Chicago area. It is expected to reduce air pollution, storm water runoff and energy costs by 35% per year, or about $1.4 million over the roof’s life.
- The 16-story office tower at Block 37 (22 W. Washington St.) was sold to Prudential Real Estate Investors for $182 million. The 439,434-square-foot building is 98.9 percent leased.
- Chicago area’s retail vacancy percentage fell for the sixth consecutive period in Q3 2011, to 9.6 percent from 9.7 percent, according to CB Richard Ellis. Although local retail leasing continues to gradually improve, landlords and brokers are braced for a slow recovery.
- More than 180 building and affiliate members turned out for our Diversity Celebration last week, which raised $27,000 for BOMA/Chicago scholarships. The Ollie Scholarship was awarded to Marisol Olvera of Lincoln Property Company. Thanks to all who attended!
What headlines caught your attention this week? Leave us a comment and let us know.