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Mayor Rahm Emanuel Launches Retrofit Chicago’s Residential Partnership

15 Dec 2014, 4:19 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently revealed the 50th building to join Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative, and announced the launch of the program’s third phase, the Residential Partnership, alongside United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Retrofit Chicago’s Commercial Buildings Initiative is a voluntary leadership effort to reduce energy usage in the city by 20 percent within five years. According to a news release, the program now reaches 50 buildings and nearly 39 million square feet. The latest properties to join the initiative are Madison Plaza at 200 W. Madison and 440 N. Wells.

The Mayor took the opportunity to announce the launch of the third phase of the Retrofit program, a residential initiative meant to reduce total net electricity usage by 4.503 gigawatts over a period of 36 months.

Retrofit Chicago’s Residential Partnership with Elevate Energy aims to implement energy efficiency upgrades in 2,500 electric heated apartments and distribute efficiency products to 7,500 households over the next three years, as part of the Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda. Eligible buildings can receive free energy assessments and installation of energy efficient light bulbs in common areas. In order to participate, owners need to submit an application on the Retrofit website, retrofit.cityofchicago.org.

“Retrofit Chicago participants are leading a rising private sector energy movement that demonstrates how efficiency leads to saving money, reducing carbon emissions, creating 21st century jobs, and lowering the cost of doing business in Chicago,” Emanuel says.

The Residential Partnership is a joint effort between the City of Chicago and ComEd, Peoples Gas, Elevate Energy, the Community Investment Corp., the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association. 6731 S. Jeffrey Blvd. recently received one of the country’s first Energy Star certifications for multifamily buildings, with a score of 99 out of 100, after completing upgrades through the Residential Partnership program.

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Wacker-Randolph Building Debuts New Sustainability Program, Earns LEED Silver Certification

11 Dec 2014, 4:51 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

150 N Wacker Dr

CHICAGO – American Realty Advisors, a real estate investment manager with over $6 billion in assets recently launched a new sustainability initiative at 150 N. Wacker Drive, just days before the building received LEED Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). According to a news release, the building underwent LEED recertification process in early 2014, which included the development of a new plan to reduce energy and resource usage.

American Realty’s sustainability initiative for the Wacker-Randolph building is designed to reduce water consumption by 4,000 gallons per day, or 1 million gallons every year. The program includes the replacement of 115 restroom sink aerators, 4 showers, and 3 women’s toilets with low-flow versions, leading to annual savings of up to three times the cost of installing the water conservation fixtures.

“In addition to the saving the water itself, our sustainability strategy at 150 North Wacker reduced the energy needed to handle the water and sewage for the building by 90,750 kilowatt hours per year, which equates to a savings of 62.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually,” Jay Butterfield, Managing Director, Fund/Separate Account Operation, of American Realty said in a statement.

The 31-story, 233,255-square-foot office building at 150 N. Wacker topped out in 1970 and is managed by Transwestern. The property underwent extensive renovations in 2002, was awarded LEED certification in 2009, and received a 79 Energy Star rating in 2013. Known as the Wacker-Randolph building, the 393-foot office tower designed by Joel R. Hillman is conveniently located in Chicago’s upscale West Loop submarket, in close proximity to Ogilvy Northwestern Station and Union Station. Property Shark reports the building is currently valued at roughly $9 million.

150 N. Wacker is the first property to benefit from American Realty’s new sustainability program. The company plans to implement the new water saving features to its entire office portfolio, which includes more than 11.6 million square feet across the U.S.

“Commercial properties currently account for nearly 40 percent of total energy use in the U.S., and 38 percent of total greenhouse/carbon dioxide emissions,” explained Butterfield. “For this reason, sustainability strategies are a top priority for American and for our investors.”

Image courtesy of American Realty Advisors

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Acadia Realty Trust Pays $144M for Prime Retail Asset on Chicago’s Mag Mile

8 Dec 2014, 6:00 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Verizon Store at 840 N Michigan Ave

Acadia Realty Trust, a New York-based equity real estate investment trust, recently announced the acquisition of an 88.4 percent interest in 840 N. Michigan Ave., a prime street-retail property on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, at a cost of $144.3 million. CBRE|U.S. Equities Realty represented the seller, along with Doris Holleb and Robert Gerstein. According to a news release, Acadia will partner with CBRE|U.S. Equities to manage the property.

Located across the street from Water Tower Place and The John Hancock Center, the 87,000-square-foot, four-story building is 100 percent occupied by H&M and Verizon’s largest Destination Store in the country. H&M has been operating at the location since 2003 and currently occupies 59,500 square feet of retail space, while Verizon opened its 10,000-square-foot, two-level Destination Store on November 15. The upscale retail building is valued at roughly $32 million, PropertyShark reports.

“Flagship locations, such as 840 N Michigan Ave, located in live-work-play-visit cities, enable our retailers to pair highly-visible branding with access to thousands of shoppers daily,” says Joel Braun, executive vice president and chief investment officer of Acadia Realty Trust. “In our experience, retailers have been highly motivated to invest their own dollars to uniquely merchandise these flagship stores.”

840 N. Michigan Ave. is conveniently located on a prime corner on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a world-famous upscale section of Michigan Avenue that stretches from the Chicago River north to Oak Street within the city’s Gold Coast. The Mag Mile is Chicago’s largest shopping district, with more than 3 million square feet of luxury retailers, world-class restaurants and hotels, condominiums and museums. Some of the country’s tallest buildings are located here, such as the John Hancock Center and the Trump International Hotel and Tower. Other famous Chicago landmarks located on the Mag Mile include the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, the Allerton Hotel, and the Ritz-Carlton Chicago.

Images courtesy of Stephen J. Serio via Crain’s Chicago Business

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Lowe Enterprises Investors Pays $97M for Bourbon Square Apartments in Palatine, Chicago

3 Dec 2014, 5:05 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Bourbon Square Apartments

Lowe Enterprises Investors, an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises recently announced the purchase of the 612-unit Bourbon Square apartment community in suburban Chicago, in partnership with an investment client. The seller, a joint venture between Arcapita and Marquette Companies was represented by Moran & Co., according to a news release. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the property located at 500 East Constitution Drive in Palatine was sold to Lowe for roughly $97 million.

The 41.5-acre Bourbon Square apartment community features one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with balconies, parking space, and fireplaces. The garden-style community also offers residents a fitness center, indoor pool, tennis courts, theater room, a lakefront clubhouse, as well as two lakes and roughly 1,100 trees. According to a news release, each residential unit will be upgraded to feature new countertops, stainless steel appliances and new kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.

“Bourbon Square is a substantial apartment community with a park-like setting well-located near the area’s abundant retail, dining and entertainment options in one of the most attractive suburban Chicago markets,” says Brad Howe, co-CEO of Lowe Enterprises Investors. “With an average unit size of over 1,300 square feet, the property offers both luxury and value unique to the market.”

Located at the intersection of Lake Cook Road and Hicks Road in the northwest suburban Chicago community of Palatine, Bourbon Square offers easy access to downtown Chicago and the O’Hare International Airport through its Palatine and Arlington Park Metra train stations. The property is also conveniently situated close to Deer Park Town Center.

“Only one new apartment community has been built in the County in the past 25 years,” says Andy Sands, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Investors. “We will improve the property by investing in substantial unit renovations and upgrades to common areas, elevating Bourbon Square to a premier residential option.”

Image courtesy of Bourbon Square Apartments

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McPier Greenlights $564M McCormick Place Hotel and Events Center in Chicago’s South Loop

1 Dec 2014, 7:01 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

DePaul Arena

The Chicago Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, also known as McPier, recently announced it has awarded the contract for a hotel and events center at McCormick Place to Prairie District 3 Partners. The partnership is led by Clark Construction Group Chicago and includes Bulley & Andrews LLC, Goettsch Partners, Moody Nolan, Old Veteran Construction, and McKissack & McKissack Midwest. World-renowned architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli handled the design of the project.

The McCormick Place Events Center, also known as DePaul Arena was first announced in May 2013, and is expected to break ground in 2015. The project includes a $164 million, 10,000-seat sports arena, as well as an adjacent 1,206-room, 40-story Marriott hotel, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The 30,000-square-foot DePaul Arena will serve as the home court for DePaul University basketball and is located three miles south of DePaul’s downtown center.

DePaul Arena

Located on the corner of Cermak and Indiana in Chicago’s Near South Side area, the McCormick Place Events Center is expected to take about 22 months to complete, the Chicago Tribune reports. The arena’s design features glass exterior walls, an undulating roof, as well as retail and hospitality space on the ground level. The initial plan included a “dug-in” design which placed the basketball court below ground level, however the idea proved to be financially challenging and was eventually dropped, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

The DePaul Arena will be owned and managed by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, who will be splitting the cost of the project with DePaul University. The arena is an integral part of the $841 million McCormick Place Entertainment District, an initiative meant to redevelop and revitalize the area around the McCormick Place convention center, the largest in the country.

Renderings courtesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli via Curbed Chicago

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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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