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 October 29.
- This week, superstorm Sandy ripped through the Northeast, causing power outages, flooded streets and subway lines, and general havoc. While 800 miles from the storm, Chicago encountered severe weather that grounded planes, waves as high as 25 feet on the lakeshore and canceled Amtrak train service. The Chicago business community was also hit by Sandy, as restaurants could not receive fresh food from the Northeast, the NYSE was closed on Monday and Tuesday, and retail stores saw dramatic sales losses.
- New plans were unveiled for the three proposed towers on Wolf Point, the first new towers proposed in Chicago since 2008. The buildings in the controversial $1 billion-plus riverside project would still rise 950, 750 and 525 feet, but would taper at the bottom to create more open ground-level space on the 3.9-acre parcel. Developers also outlined changes designed to address traffic concerns, including revised access routes, new traffic signals, turn arrows and medians and a reduction of parking spaces to 1,285 from 1,800.
- MetLife agreed to buy 125 S. Wacker Dr., a 31-story office tower in the West Loop, for approximately $109 million. This is MetLife’s third high-rise acquisition in Chicago in less than a year; other purchases were 550 W. Washington St. and the 249-unit EnV apartment tower in River North. The Chicago office building market is improving, and the traditionally strong West Loop is leading the way with the two biggest downtown deals of 2012.
- Two New York investors struck a deal for Prudential Plaza at 130 E. Randolph St. and 180 N. Stetson Ave. Lenders still need to approve the transaction, which includes investing $100 million into the office complex to gain control of the building and stave off a default on $470 million in loans.
- The Chicago Children’s Museum announced a 90-year lease with Navy Pier. Under the new lease agreement, the Chicago Children’s Museum will expand by 27,000 square feet. According to Chicago Mayor Emanuel, “The museum’s expansion will serve as a strong pillar in the redevelopment vision for Navy Pier to remain a world-class destination and an attractive public space for the growth of cultural and commercial partners.”
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Or do you have comments or further thoughts on the five items noted above? We highly encourage you to post a comment.