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Studio Gang And MAD Architects To Design George Lucas’ Museum Of Narrative Art

31 Jul 2014, 4:30 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Chicago—George Lucas, acclaimed film director and creator of the Star Wars franchise, is bringing a taste of Hollywood to the Midwest.

The design team for the highly-anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has been revealed. Following a lengthy selection process, museum officials announced they have chosen MAD Architects and Chicago-based Studio Gang to handle the project. Beijing-based MAD Architects, led by Ma Yonsong, holds an impressive portfolio which includes the Absolute Towers in Ontario, Canada; the global architecture firm will be the principal designer for the site.

Jeanne Gang, best-known for designing the innovative Aqua Tower in Chicago will handle the landscape design. Additionally, Studio Gang Architects also plans to build a pedestrian bridge to connect the LMNA to Northerly Island.

“We are bringing together some of the top architects in the world to ensure that our museum experience begins long before a visitor ever enters the building,” says Lucas.

The acclaimed film director further stated that he is extremely pleased with the team’s vision and looks forward to presenting it to the city of Chicago.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is expected to be “a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images – from illustration to cinema to the digital mediums of the future,” according to the LMNA official website.

The museum will also display George Lucas’ extensive collection of art and film memorabilia.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Lucas’ original plan was to build the museum in his home town of San Francisco. Following the rejection of his proposal by city officials, Lucas shifted his focus towards Chicago.

“We are honored to be partnering with the city of Chicago and the many cultural, educational and community groups that have come forward with ideas about how the LMNA will add to their work,” Lucas told the press back in June.

The LMNA is a welcome addition to Chicago’s extensive Museum Campus, a 57-acre site which houses some of the city’s most notable natural sciences museums. According to Chicago Curbed, the Star Wars creator intends to finance the entire development project out of pocket, with a total cost of close to $1 billion.

Image courtesy of MAD Architects

Construction Begins On Chicago’s New Wolf Point West Tower

24 Jul 2014, 7:14 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Chicago officials gathered on July 18th to celebrate the start of construction on a new 48-story luxury residential tower. Developed by Hines in partnership with the Magellan Development Group, the building will be part of a larger master plan designed by Connecticut-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Award-winning architect Cesar Pelli also designed the World Financial Center in New York and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pelli’s master plan for the Wolf Point area consists of three high-rise luxury towers. According to DNAinfo, The West Tower will be the first structure to be constructed, which will be a residential tower featuring 509 luxury rental units. The 950-foot high South Tower will be a mixed-use space and the tallest of the three. When completed, the South Tower will become Chicago’s eighth tallest structure, according to The Chicago Architecture Blog. The mixed-use East Tower will house a combination of office, retail, hotel and residential space.

The Wolf Point development, located at the Y-shaped intersection of the Chicago River’s northern, southern and eastern branches,was heavily debated for 14 months before being approved. As reported by DNAinfo, area residents initially opposed the project, claiming that the high-rise towers would block skyline views and increase traffic in the area. Developers eventually revised the project to feature no more than 950 feet, 1,410 residential units and 450 hotel rooms.

According to the Wolf Point project fact sheet, the development includes over 100,000 square feet of park and pedestrian areas as well as a riverwalk. The development intents to pursue LEED Silver Certification.

The Wolf Point area is historically significant for the city of Chicago. It was the location of Chicago’s first church, first hotel, first ferry and first bridges over the Chicago River. Today, Wolf Point is commonly used to describe a plot of land owned by the Kennedy family in the Near North Side community area.

Rendering courtesy of Magellan Development Group LLC


Sterling Bay Companies Announces Partnership with IPDNA to Redevelop Chicago’s Historic Old Post Office

25 Jun 2014, 11:53 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Sterling Bay Companies has recently announced a strategic partnership with International Property Developers North America to redevelop Chicago’s historic Old Post Office.

“We are very excited to partner with IPDNA and serve as the development partner on such a high profile project,” says Andy Gloor, managing principal at Sterling Bay Companies.

The rezoning plans for the site were approved last July by the Chicago Plan Commission and the City Council. Sterling Bay and IPDNA will now embark on an approximately $500 million dollar first phase renovation project which will convert the vacant historic structure into a high-end, mixed-use development.

“Sterling Bay has had great success transforming large, underutilized properties into highly desirable office destinations. The firm has played a significant role in transforming Chicago’s West Loop, and we feel that their knowledge of the city and current market trends will lead us to initiate the first phase of one of the most notable projects in Chicago in the last 50 years,” says IPDNA Chairman Bill Davies.

Upon completion of the first phase, the Old Post Office will feature over 2.7 million square feet of office space and retail amenities. Later phases could include further retail, hotel, residential and leisure accommodation.

“There are very few, if any, properties today that can accommodate corporate users looking for large, open floor plates, and/or tech companies looking for creative, non-traditional work space. We feel we are in an excellent position to capitalize on this growing demand,” says Gloor.

In the last several years, Sterling Bay has undertaken numerous projects in the Near West Side, including the redevelopment of 111 North Canal, 400 South Jefferson and 1000 West Fulton.

Photo Courtesy of: www.ipdamerica.com

29th Street Capital Acquires MF Property; eBay to Expand Presence in Illinois

18 Jun 2014, 6:28 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Real estate investment and advisory firm 29th Street Capital recently announced it has closed on a multi-family property located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago.

Located on the city’s Near South Side, bounded by the South Branch of the Chicago River, Bridgeport is an ethnically diverse community that serves as an affordable, safe and family-friendly alternative to some of the more expensive nearby areas such as the South or West Loop neighborhoods. 29th Street Capital has announced plans to upgrade the interior and exterior of the building. Besides the building renovations, the firm also plans to create a large outdoor common patio in a previously unused space.

“The current residents are excited about the renovations, and the property is certainly going to be attractive both to renters and future buyers. Bridgeport is a gentrifying neighborhood with a rich history,” said Dan Howard, director of acquisitions.

29th Street Capital intends to seek other investment opportunities in the Chicagoland area. The firm will continue to pursue value-add deals which will offer its investors above market return.

In other local real estate news, The Chicago Business Journal reports that Braintree will move into 60,000 square feet of leased space in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. The online and mobile payment platform has been acquired by eBay in 2013. eBay will also expand its presence in Illinois and will add 360 new jobs over the course of the next three years.

eBay has received a tax credit, under the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy, worth an estimated $12 million over 10 years from The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. As per the EDGE agreement, eBay will invest $24 million in its Chicago expansion and pledges to create 216 full-time jobs by March 18, 2016, and another 144 by March 18, 2017.

Logo Courtesy of: www.29thstreetcapital.com

W.P. Carey Inc. Acquires $48 Million Distribution Facility

12 Jun 2014, 3:35 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

W.P. Carey Inc. recently announced it has acquired an 824,624-square-foot distribution facility just outside of Chicago. The property was purchased from Exeter Property Group for a price of about $48 million.

Located in University Park, Ill., the facility is fully-leased to a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Company for a period of nine and a half years. The original 575,024-square-foot facility was built in 2008 and Exeter expanded it by 249,600 in 2013 to facilitate the distribution of coffee under the Folgers brand, which Smuckers acquired in 2008.

“This investment represented an opportunity to acquire a new Class-A logistics facility that serves as a primary distribution center for all of Smuckers’ varied products,” says Gino Sabatini, W. P. Carey Managing Director and Co-Head of Global Investments. ”In addition, the transaction demonstrates W. P. Carey’s ability to work with a variety of sellers, including those whose investment time frame is shorter and who are predominantly IRR-focused. Because our strategy is to generate income and cash flow over the longer term, we are an attractive source of liquidity to owners, developers and investors with shorter term investment horizons, as was the case with the Exeter Property Group.”

Located in Chicago’s South Suburban submarket, the modern Class-A distribution center with 32-foot clear height is one of only six distribution centers operated by Smuckers in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to consummate this win-win transaction for Exeter and W. P. Carey. We acquired the property in a non-stabilized condition and utilized Exeter’s development and leasing skills to add value and high investment performance to Exeter’s institutional partners, and are pleased to have made an outstanding asset available to a high quality organization like W. P. Carey,” says Ward Fitzgerald, Exeter CEO.

Logo Courtesy of: www.wpcarey.com

One Response to Chicago Archive

  1. Joselyn Overley

    Sep. 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I just think it’s too hard for small businesses to try to purchase a property, renting or leasing is their only real option

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