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 August 12.
- Union Station will transform into a mini indoor public park with synthetic grass, hammocks, tetherball games, picnic tables and more in the building’s historic Great Hall from August 24 to September 2, 2013. Space Architects + Planners developed the winning concept as part of a contest hosted by a city planning organization and Amtrak to draw more visitors to the commuter station at 225 S. Canal St.
- The towers at 10 and 120 S. Riverside Plaza are for sale: TIER REIT hired HFF to sell the 21-story neighboring buildings, which total 1.4 million square feet of rentable office space, of which 98 percent is already leased. The deal is expected to reach up to $410 million, given the buildings’ high occupancy, proximity to the river and direct access to Chicago’s Metra train stations.
- In another sign of strong investor demand for Chicago hotels, both the Renaissance hotel DoubleTree hotel are up for sale. The buildings at 1 W. Wacker and 300 E. Ohio, respectively, demonstrate that investors are bidding up Chicago downtown hotel prices amid rising occupancies and room rates, and overall heightened visitation and activity in and around the Loop.
- A collaboration between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Computation Institute, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and McCaffery Interests is underway to develop a framework for the Chicago Lakeside Development. The framework is necessary for developers to navigate the complex interplay between energy, water and waste along the 600-acre lakefront development, which will eventually be home to 50,000 people and millions of square feet of commercial, retail and public space.
- According to a new report from Greentech Media Research, the global smart grid market is expected to surpass $400 billion worldwide by 2020. There is a strong correlation between cities’ investments in smart grid technologies and CRE economic indicators, as strong employment, GDP growth and occupancy can all result from investment in smart grid technology.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.