It is unknown what impact the omicron variant will have on downtown activity, but it could squelch what had become a gathering recovery. Chicago Loop Alliance just released its latest monthly report on the downtown and found office occupancy, pedestrians and CTA ridership all in the run-up to the holidays hit their highest-measured rates since the pandemic began.
In stark contrast to 2020, holiday attractions like the Christkindlmarket, the city of Chicago’s official Christmas tree lighting in Millennium Park and the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade returned, attracting tens of thousands to the Loop, according to CLA officials. Loop theaters also reported packed houses, and downtown retailers saw a rush of shoppers.
Courtesy of Chicago Loop Alliance/Adam Alexander
“After many downtown holiday traditions were postponed or taken virtual in 2020, it’s wonderful to see the Loop so vibrant and spirited this season,” Chicago Loop Alliance CEO Michael Edwards said in a statement. “The sidewalks are bustling, offices are fuller than at any point since the pandemic hit, and the energy is palpable.”
Pedestrian activity on State Street hit 60.7% of 2019 levels, the highest reported during the pandemic. November saw the second- and third-best weekly visitor totals in the pandemic recovery.
And although human office occupancy declined during Thanksgiving week, Chicagoland’s occupancy rose to 39.1% of normal in late November — the highest since CLA began collecting this data in July 2020. That means the Chicago metro area is keeping pace with the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., areas, and exceeding occupancy levels of the Bay Area.
CTA ridership levels steadily grew in October, the latest month for which CLA has data, to reach 55% of 2019 levels for the week of Oct. 25. Those mark the highest levels since March 2020.
Stream Realty Partners hired Paige Gunn to serve as a vice president of industrial brokerage in its Chicago office. She joins Stream from Transwestern, where she helped lead a capital markets team. Gunn signed on at Transwestern in 2016 as an investment sales analyst and rose to senior director leading the Chicago investment sales group. She has been involved in the origination and execution of more than $310M of office and industrial investment sales transactions throughout Chicago and the Midwest, totaling more than 4.7M SF.
After 14 years at the helm as co-founder and managing partner of Luxury Living Chicago Realty, Amy Galvin will step into the company’s new role of chief culture officer. She will focus on setting culture strategy for LLCR and its more than 50 team members. Chris Faye, the current director of operations, steps into the role of managing director. He has been a member of the company’s leadership team for four years. In addition, LLCR’s Maggie Levinsohn was promoted to people operations manager from experience manager.
Ben Azulay, principal and president, Chicago region at Bradford Allen Realty/TCN Worldwide, was elected to his second term on the TCN Worldwide board of directors. He was originally elected to TCN’s board in 2017, serving as its secretary. 2022 board members also include Gerald Sullivan, principal and managing broker at PW Commercial/TCN Worldwide in Chicago. He will serve as board chairman.
Courtesy of Ryan Cos./Peter McCullough
Sidra Capital bought out its joint venture partner Ryan Cos. to become the sole owner of Oakmont Point, a 92K SF office building at 700 Oakmont Lane in suburban Westmont, about 20 miles west of downtown Chicago. The partners in 2019 completed the three-story building, which is 91.2% leased to two tenants, JLL and Ryan Cos. JLL arranged the transaction and secured a 10-year, fixed-rate loan with a multinational investment bank. The JLL team representing the seller was led by Sam DiFrancesca, Patrick Shields, Jaime Fink, Jeffrey Bramson and Bruce Miller. Logan Roston provided support. The JLL team leading the transaction included Lucas Borges, Claudio Sgobba and Christopher Carroll. Callie Meisel and Matt Maksymec provided support.
Stepan Co. sold a five-story, 56K SF office building at 1135 Skokie Blvd. in north suburban Northbrook to Josselyn, a mental wellness care provider. The organization will use the new space to provide more outpatient mental health services for adolescents, teenagers, young adults and families. Stepan relocated its employees, so the building was marketed as vacant. It was represented by Avison Young’s James Hanson, Danny Nikitas, Jordan Mellovitz and Marissa Rose, all based in the firm’s Chicago office. Josselyn was represented by Gail Sturm of Sturm Realty.
6123 Monroe Court in Morton Grove
Chicago-based Dayton Street Partners sold a 208K SF distribution center at 6123 Monroe Court in north suburban Morton Grove to Brookfield Property Group for an undisclosed price. The facility features 28-foot clear warehouse space and is 100% leased to five tenants. DSP acquired the property in 2016 and embarked on an interior and exterior renovation campaign, converting the antiquated industrial facility into a distribution center. The developer updated the façade, repaved the parking lots, installed a new roof and added new signage. CBRE’s Michael Caprile, Zach Graham and Ryan Bain represented Dayton Street in the transaction.
A Chicago-based developer sold a Chipotle drive-thru-anchored strip center, a nearly 10 K SF retail property at 651 East Lincoln Highway in southwest suburban New Lenox, for $4.9M. Brian Parmacek of Marcus & Millichap’s Chicago Downtown office marketed the property on behalf of the seller. Other tenants include MOD Pizza, Smoothie King and Classy Nails.
Courtesy of 41 North Contractors
720 North Washington St. in Naperville
A development group led by Joshua Voit sold for $6.8M The Washington, a 10-unit boutique property at 720 North Washington St. in Naperville. Completed in late 2018, it includes eight rental residences, more than 6K SF of commercial space and 36 parking spaces. Essex Realty Group’s Brian Karmowski represented Voit’s group, and Ron Plonis, a broker with Kiser Group, represented the buyer.
The $683K-per-unit price was the most paid for a Naperville mixed-use property in the last several years, according to a statement by Karmowski. The first-floor commercial tenants, Great Western Flooring and Gantos Dental Group, are currently on 10-year triple-net leases that expire in 2028 and 2029, respectively.
KBS signed a 17K SF long-term lease agreement with LifeSpice Ingredients, a research, developer and manufacturer of seasonings for the food industry, at 213 West Institute Place, a seven-story, 155K SF office property in the River North neighborhood. The property is owned by KBS Growth & Income Real Estate Investment Trust. Built in 1888, the renovated brick-and-timber building was originally developed for a bicycle manufacturer that eventually became the car company American Motors Corp. Scott Sessa of Ameritus represented KBS in the lease transaction.
KBS also signed two lease agreements totaling 34K SF for its Accenture Tower, a 40-story, 1.46M SF office tower at 500 West Madison St. in the West Loop. The property is owned by KBS Real Estate Investment Trust III. PatientPoint, a tech-enabled patient engagement company, will occupy 18K SF at the property, while the General Services Administration, a federal agency, will renew and expand its lease to 16K SF at the tower. KBS this year completed $22M in upgrades to Accenture Tower. Improvements included a new hospitality-inspired office lobby, a conference center with an area for pre-event gatherings, a tenant lounge and an outdoor terrace with gardens and fire pits. Wendy Katz and Matt Lerner of Stream Realty handled the leasing transactions on behalf of KBS. Eugene Smith and Chad Habeeb of FD Stonewater also handled the General Services Administration leasing transaction for KBS.
Courtesy of ML Realty Partners
55 West Army Trail Road in Glendale Heights
Three firms signed pre-leases with ML Realty Partners totaling 474K SF of the 900K SF it currently has under construction at Army Trail Trade Center in Glendale Heights and near Busse Road and Devon Avenue in Bensenville.
At Army Trail Trade Center, Clyde’s Donuts pre-leased the 153K SF facility at 85 West Army Trail Road for production and distribution. Kelly Disser and Michael Freitag of NAI Hiffman represented Clyde’s, and Mike Antonelli and Dan Brown of Brown Commercial represented ML Realty Partners in the transaction. At 55 West Army Trail Road, Advanced Technical Services pre-leased 24K SF. Bill Lussow and Matt Kelly of Bespoke represented ATS, and Mike Antonelli and Dan Brown of Brown Commercial represented ML Realty Partners in the transaction.
In addition, Apex Logistics pre-leased the 297K SF building underway in Bensenville. Matthew Stauber and Tom Rodeno of Colliers represented Apex Logistics, and Andrew Maletich, Matt Garland and Dustin Albers of Cawley Chicago represented ML Realty Partners.
Owner 601W Cos. invested $30M into its 1 South Wacker property, and the 1.2M SF property secured 150K SF of new deals and more than 200K SF of total leasing in 2021. As part of a repositioning, 1 South Wacker, built in 1982, opened its new amenity package earlier this year, including a fitness center, rooftop deck and a tenant lounge within an all-glass, vaulted, three-story atrium. Tenants that signed new deals in the building this year include Gogo Aviation, CohnReznick, Quinnox, Quadient and BAL Global. The building has two large blocks of space left, one with 140K SF and the other spanning 160K SF. Nikki Kern and J.D. Parcheta of The Telos Group represented ownership in transactions.
One Six Solutions signed a new lease for nearly 5K SF on the second floor in the redeveloped two-building, 100K SF Mural Park, a creative office and commercial redevelopment at 924 West 19th Place in the Pilsen neighborhood. The tenant, an IT consulting firm founded in 2013, was represented by Avison Young’s Konstantine Sepsis, Danny Nikitas, Matt Ward and Melissa Hemberger, all based in the firm’s Chicago office.
Courtesy of Community Investment Corp. on behalf of Associated Bank
Chicago’s Chatham community
Associated Bank supported Chicago’s Community Investment Corp. with a $12.5M line of credit. This credit will aid CIC’s community development mission to provide mortgage loans for acquisition, rehabilitation, refinancing and construction of affordable multifamily rental housing in low- and moderate-income communities. Associated and its predecessors have invested in CIC since 1991 and currently holds a $10M investment in their multifamily loan pool, which provides long-term funding for CIC’s mortgage loans. In its 2021 fiscal year, CIC delivered $74M in loans and grants to preserve more than 2,700 units of affordable rental housing. Teresa Rubio, a senior vice president with the bank’s Associated Community Development, manages the CIC relationship and closed the line of credit.
CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
The Missner Group was chosen as the general contractor for the renovation of World Hyundai at 5337 Miller Circle Drive in south suburban Matteson. Construction will include the addition of 30K SF to accommodate the dealership’s growing demands. The Missner Group’s project team includes Paul Cohen, Scott Clark, Angelo Christopher and Peter Hughes. The dealership will remain open throughout construction, which is set for completion in the middle of next year.
Venture One Real Estate acquired 264 acres on a speculative basis and began developing two e-commerce logistics facilities totaling about 1.8M SF in Huntley, about 51 miles northwest of Chicago. Phase 1 is a 629K SF development at 11500 Freeman Road for an undisclosed user, which Venture plans to complete during Q2 2022. Phase 2, a 1.1M SF facility at 11400 Venture Court, is also for an undisclosed user and is scheduled to be completed during Q3 2022. Venture One was represented by Brian Kling of Colliers International in the transaction, and Ryan Cos. is the general contractor.