CRE News: What We’re Reading the Week of June 2

By BOMA/Chicago

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 June 2.

Rise in Price Despite Occupancy Decline
Hearn Co. has purchased Three First National Plaza, located at 70 W. Madison St., for $375 million. A Hong Kong-South Korea venture purchased the 1.4 million square foot tower in September 2011 for $344 million. The rise in the 57-story tower’s value comes despite occupancy falling from 92% to 88% since 2011.

Portion of LaSalle Tower for Sale
The owners of the LaSalle-Wacker Building, located at 221 N. LaSalle, have hired CBRE to sell the 360,000 square feet still available within the fragmented space. The Cape Horn venture bought the tower in 2006 for $53 million and began selling off individual pieces. Its retail space, parking garage and some office space are now owned separately. The space currently for sale totals 87% of the building and it is expected that the price will range between $110 to $135 per square foot.

Braintree Secures a Slice of the Mart
Chicago-based Braintree Inc. plans to more than double its headquarters by moving its space from the West Loop to the Merchandise Mart. The company has signed a long-term lease for about 60,000 square feet in the Mart and plans to move during the third quarter. Braintree more than tripled its space just two years ago when it moved into its current 27,000 square foot space located at 111 N. Canal St.

Punchkick Moving to Monroe
Punchkick Interactive, Inc., a mobile marketing company, will be moving into 23,401 square feet of space located at 55 East Monroe. The firm will move from its current 22 West Ontario St. location later this year. GlenStar Properties, LLC and partner Walton Street Capital redeveloped the Monroe building in 2005. The partners converted the top nine floors of the property into luxury condominiums, a project that remains the largest partial conversion of an existing office building into luxury residential condominiums in Chicago history.

CLA Renounces SSA Expansion
After facing major opposition from BOMA/Chicago, the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) has renounced its plans to expand a special service area (SSA #1) tax district that included commercial properties along Michigan and Wabash avenues. The CLA’s initial plans to expand the SSA would have required BOMA/Chicago member buildings within the proposed boundary to pay increased taxes to cover the costs of the services the CLA planned to provide. The CLA will now only seek to renew the existing tax area, which is set to expire at the end of 2015. Read more about BOMA/Chicago’s opposition to SSA #1 by reading a Crain’s Chicago Business article published earlier this week.

What CRE or Chicago news headlines from the past week captured your interest? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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About BOMA/Chicago

The voice of Chicago's office building industry since 1902.
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