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 January 14.
- The 50-story former Chicago Title & Trust Center, 161 N. Clark St., is for sale. Tishman Speyer plans to sell the property after bolstering the tower with a big naming-rights and lease deal with Chicago-based Grant Thornton, bringing occupancy to 95 percent. The 1.1 million-square-foot building could sell for $325 per square foot, or around $348 million.
- Two long-debated Chicago property discussions ended this week. First, a Cook County judge refused to overturn a decision by Chicago officials to withhold landmark status protection from the former Prentice Women’s Hospital. Preservationists, city officials and property owner Northwestern University have debated for months about developing the property into a functional research laboratory despite its famed architecture and history. Second, the prime property next to McCormick Place will be auctioned off. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court dismissed the property owner’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy reorganization and pay off debt, saying it failed to show it had firm financial backing. This clears the way for the lender to foreclose on the property and proceed with an auction.
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel and executives at Ivanhow Cambridge, The Levy Organization and Hines formally broke ground on River Point office tower at 444 W. Lake St., the first spec office building in more than a decade. The property owners also secured a letter of intent from their first anchor tenant: law firm McDermott Will & Emery announced it will lease 225,000 square feet in the 45-story tower, scheduled for completion in 2016. River Point still needs at least one more anchor tenant of a similar size, as well as other smaller leases. Industry experts believe securing the initial large tenant adds significant credibility to a project, which could give the Hines venture a leg up as it competes with other proposed downtown office towers.
- Large commercial real estate firms are continuing take over smaller companies to build out platforms, management infrastructure and technology systems, as well as expand nationally and internationally. The global firms that have been successful in these efforts are raising the bar for client expectations.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.