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Nov. 14, 2012

New York Investors Buying Up Prime Office Properties in Downtown Chicago

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

A venture led by Michael Silberberg of Nanuet, N.Y.-based Berkley Properties LLC has agreed to buy the downtown Chicago Bank of America Building for $97 million, ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com reports. The investor group, which includes Mark Karasick and Victor Gerstein, is buying the 936,800-square-foot tower from a joint venture that includes New York-based Gramercy Capital Corp.

Located at 231 S. LaSalle St., the 20-story Art Deco tower, built in 1924, is 88.4 percent leased and—apart from Bank of America—large tenants include Accretive Health Inc., kCura and Northern Trust Corp. The latter subleases over 200,000 square feet from Bank of America.

Mark Karasick and Michael Silberberg have also struck a tentative agreement to invest  about $100 million in Prudential Plaza, a deal that would give the New York investors a controlling interest in the 2.2-million-square-foot complex. Prudential Plaza was bought by Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes Holdings LLC in 2006, a time at which commercial real estate value was reaching its peak. The venture led by Karasick and Silberberg aims to save the property from the edge of defaulting on $470 million in loans. The deal must first be approved by lenders.

Overlooking Millennium Park, the complex includes the Prudential Building, built in 1955 at 130 E. Randolph St., and Two Prudential Plaza at 180 N. Stetson Avenue, which was built in 1990.

Mark Karasick of New York-based real estate investment firm 601 W Cos. is known for high-profile real estate transactions such as the sale of the Bank of America Center in San Francisco for $1.05 billion in 2005. On the other hand, Michael Silberberg is considered a relative newcomer, as his firm’s biggest acquisition came in 2010 when Berkley Properties LLC paid $73.2 million for 180 N. LaSalle Street.

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Images Courtesy of: www.gpchicago.com and J. Crocker via Wikimedia Commons

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