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 November 14:
Chicago commercial real estate giant Sam Zell entered the luxury hotel market with a deal to buy the two-year-old Elysian Hotel in the Gold Coast and convert it into a Waldorf Astoria. Zell agreed to pay about $95 million for the 188-room hotel, which is the highest per-room price ever paid for a Chicago hotel.
- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first budget plan was passed by City Council with a unanimous 50-to-0 vote. The $6.3 billion 2012 budget tackles the city’s deficit by raising water rates, city sticker fees, hotel taxes, parking fees, criminal fines and misdemeanor fines, among other initiatives.
- Sam Zell’s apartment company, Equity Residential, has emerged as the lead bidder in the contest to buy 53 percent of rival Archstone. Equity Residential offered more than $2.5 billion in cash and stock for what would be one of the largest real estate transitions since the economic downturn.
Winthrop Realty Trust is the lead bidder for the Chicago landmark Sullivan Center on State St. The 15-story former home of Carson Pirie Scott & Co.’s flagship department store is the future site of a Target store.
- GE Capital expanded its office space lease at 500 W. Monroe St. by 20 percent. The 370,000-square-foot lease is the second-biggest downtown office lease of 2011.
What headlines caught your attention this week? Leave us a comment and let us know.