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 March 17.
Harpo Campus Sold to Sterling Bay
After a bidding war that lured investors from all over the world, Harpo Inc. has agreed to sell its four-building campus to Sterling Bay Cos. This $32 million sale includes terms where Harpo will lease back the property for two years so that the studio can continue to produce programming for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Strong and Enticing CBD
Data in JLL’s recently released Spring 2014 Chicago Skyline Review indicates that in the past year, vacancy rates have declined from 15.1% to 14.3% and gross asking rents grew from $36.47 to $36.94 per square foot, the highest asking rate since 2008. The data was taken from a study of 54 class A properties in downtown Chicago that stretch from 300 E. Randolph St. to 540 W. Madison.
In another report by JLL, it was reported that Chicago downtown office building sales totaled $3.25 billion last year, a 23% increase from 2012 and the highest total since 2007. The dramatic increase is said to stem from an improving leasing market and the large number of big corporate moves from Chicago suburbs to downtown.
High ROI for Hines
Hines Interests LP has hired JLL to sell 101 N. Wacker Drive. Hines purchased this 24-story, 599,503 square foot tower from Tishman Speyer in 2007 for $129.5 million. Hines’ decision to sell this building stems from strong investor interest in Chicago office towers. The property is expected to sell for at least $200 million, or 55% more than Hines paid in 2007.
Top Floor Negotiations
Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC is in the process of finalizing a long-term lease to move its headquarters to the top floor of the proposed tower at 150 N. Riverside Plaza. Victory Park broke off negotiations for the top floor of River Point, a 54-story tower being developed at 444 W. Lake St., to secure the lease at 150 N. Riverside Plaza. Once signed, Victory Park will be leasing about 25,000 square feet in the 1.2 million square foot project.
Three New Leases at River North Point
Rocket Fuel Inc., an advertising technology firm, has signed a seven-year lease for nearly 45,000 square feet at the top of 350 N. Orleans St., also known as River North Point. The firm currently leases an 8,700 square foot space at 444 N. Wabash Ave. and plans to open its new office at 350 N. Orleans St. within the next two months. River North Point, formerly known as the Apparel Center, has recently secured two other tenants — Discover Financial Services Inc. for 26,000-square feet and Stryker Corp., which will lease about 20,000 square feet.
What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.