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 November 26.
- Accounting firm Grant Thornton announced it will move its headquarters to 161 N. Clark St. The 137,000-square-foot lease deal includes naming rights of the tower, formally known as the Chicago Title & Trust Building. The property is expected to be about 95 percent occupied when Grant Thornton, the largest Chicago-based accounting firm by total employee count, begins its lease in 2015.
- The delinquency rate for Chicago-area CMBS loans is at its lowest level in three years. The local rate fell to 6 percent in Q3 2012, according to New York-based research firm Trepp. Rising occupancies and rents are helping some landlords catch up on loan payments; but the primary reason delinquencies have fallen is
this: banks are selling off their bad debt.
- In the latest news related to the building’s assets, an investor that specializes in broadcast and wireless towers, American Tower Corp., paid $70 million for the antennas atop the John Hancock Center. A joint venture of Deutsche Bank A.G. and NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., which seized the Chicago landmark tower earlier this year, has been selling off the 100-story tower’s parts separately in a plan that could deliver a higher return than selling the entire property to one buyer. Earlier this year, Prudential Real Estate Investors purchased the high-rise’s retail and restaurant space, and Paris-based Montparnasse 56 Group paid $45 million for the Hancock’s observation deck.
- Two ongoing, controversial discussions about marquee Chicago buildings were halted this week. Ald. Brendan Reilly pulled the proposal to build three towers on Wolf Point from the agenda of the Chicago Plan Commission. Ald. Reilly indicated he was blindsided by last-minute modifications to plans that had been presented to the public during spirited community meetings in May and October.
- Additionally, a Cook County judge granted temporary landmark status to the former Prentice Women’s Hospital and questioned the procedures city officials used to clear the way for the building’s potential demolition. The lawsuit, filed by preservationists, voiced skepticism about an unusual process the Commission on Chicago Landmarks followed in rejecting landmark status for Prentice. At a November 1 meeting, the commission voted that Prentice merits landmark consideration, and then it voted a second time rescinding that action after receiving a city report explaining Northwestern’s plans to develop the property.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.