Each week, The Elevator Speech summarizes news related to some of the key industry trends, buildings, deals and dealmakers that shaped headlines. Below are articles that caught our attention the week of July 9.
- MetLife Inc. agreed to pay $112 million for 550 W. Washington Blvd. The deal represents a rare case of an insurance company buying a local office property instead of financing a transaction. The building is a 16-story, 372,000-square-foot office tower in the West Loop, which is more than 93 percent leased.
- Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward authored a proposal to allow Michigan Ave. malls to erect flashing and changing-image signs. The proposed ordinance would limit the signage to Water Tower Place, 900 N. Michigan Shops and Chicago Place Mall, and would require all signs to be equipped with dimmers. According to the proposal, building owners would not be able to erect billboards that obstruct the property’s architecture, so “Michigan Ave. will not become the next Times Square.”
- Hines Interests L.P. purchased the site at Madison and Des Plaines avenues with plans to develop a 500,000-square-foot office tower. In addition to Hines’ new site, the company is preparing to break ground on a 45-story 900,000-square-foot tower at 444 W. Lake St. and is currently awaiting city approval for potentially two more buildings. The sale is another vote of confidence in the downtown Chicago office building market from Hines.
- Interactive design agency Manifest Digital moved its main office to the Jeweler’s Building at 35 E. Wacker Dr. Manifest Digital doubled its space to 23,000 square feet in the move, and created a futuristic “Beta Space” office design.
- Commercial properties are beginning to return to health, according to a report from National Real Estate Investor. But with pressure to retain tenants and attract new ones, coupled with heightened expectations for 24/7 service, property managers have more responsibilities now than ever.
What headlines caught your attention this week? Leave us a comment and let us know.