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Amata Opens New Shared Office Center at 150 South Wacker Drive

23 Apr 2014, 6:50 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Amata Office Centers has recently announced it is opening its sixth shared office center in Chicago featuring 16,950 square feet of space. Occupying the entire 24th floor of the building located at 150 South Wacker Drive in the West Loop neighborhood, the shared office center is scheduled to open May 1.

Amata’s 150 South Wacker Drive shared office center will feature over 50 private office suites, seven open workstations, six large team rooms, three state-of-the-art conference rooms, a café and lounge and Amata’s signature Cognac room.

“It seemed natural that our next location would be in the West Loop as it has quickly become one of the hottest areas for startups, especially those launching tech firms,” says Ron Bockstahler, Amata’s CEO and co-founder. ”We even took that into account in designing the shared office space at 150 South Wacker, as it will include an open loft concept, gigabit Ethernet connection and video games in the lounge. The building is also easily accessible from I-90 and I-94 as well as close to the Union and Ogilvy Metra Stations, making it a convenient location for commuters.”

Amata has been involved in the shared office movement for over ten years, connecting small, entrepreneurial businesses, as well as national and international companies that have been searching to set up offices in Chicago.

“Because of the increase in firms flocking to Chicago, we’ve seen an increasing demand for our cost-effective and flexible office solutions, so we’re excited to offer a new Amata location to companies,” Bockstahler says.

Certain Amata locations also provide special services that cater to specific industries. For example Amata’s “aLawCenter” locations at 161 North Clark Street and 180 North LaSalle Street cater to the company’s legal clients and offers private deposition rooms, paralegal support and docket services.

Photo Courtesy of: www.amatacorp.com



HOK-Designed Clark and Grand Hotel Complex Achieves LEED-NC Silver Certification

16 Apr 2014, 5:11 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

HOK recently announced that The Clark and Grand Hotel Complex has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) Design for New Construction (NC) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Designed by HOK and developed by Friedman Properties, The Clark and Grand Hotel Complex is the first high-rise select service hotel in Chicago made up of three distinct hotel offerings under the same roof.

Located in the River North neighborhood, the complex is on a block bounded by Clark Street, Grand Avenue, Dearborn Street and Illinois Street. In order to offer each hotel its own identity, HOK’s design has provided three separate entrances. The three hotels united under the same roof are: Aloft Chicago City Center – 272 guestrooms; Hyatt Place – 212 guestrooms; and Fairfield Inn & Suites – 180 guestrooms. Each hotel benefits from numerous efficiencies which are being achieved by sharing amenity and basement public spaces. All three properties are managed by White Lodging.

The Clark and Grand Hotel Complex is just the third new construction LEED-certified hotel project in Chicago. The energy performance of the hotels is 38 percent better than a typical hotel in the city. The building has numerous sustainable design features and strategies including the combination of a high-performance envelope with efficient mechanical systems and controls; and efficient heating and cooling systems. The complex achieved a 28 percent water use reduction by using low flow plumbing and also thanks to its landscape design that only uses non-potable water for irrigation.

“As the third new construction LEED-certified hotel project in Chicago, the energy performance of this complex is 38 percent better than a typical hotel in the city,” says Colin Rohlfing, Chicago-based HOK sustainable design leader. ”The success of this unique hospitality project was achieved by combining a high-performance envelope with efficient mechanical systems and controls, which both respond to the increase in perimeter thermal performance.”

Photo Courtesy of: www.hok.com



Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Acquires Chicago’s Trophy 203 North LaSalle

11 Apr 2014, 8:55 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Commercial real estate services firm Avison Young announced that it has completed an office property acquisition on behalf of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas within a trophy-class building in downtown Chicago.

The acquisition comprises 581,107 square feet of office space within the 27-story class A mixed-use building located at 203 North LaSalle in Chicago’s Central Loop. The transaction refers solely to office space, which comprises the building’s 13th through 27th floors, and does not include the retail space on the first and second floor, nor the 10 levels of parking. Sumitomo Corporation of Americas has named Avison Young as the exclusive leasing agent for the acquired office space.

The office space was acquired from a joint-venture partnership consisting of M&J Wilkow, which has held ownership in the building since its completion in 1985, and HCI Capital AG, which has shared in ownership since 2005. 203 North LaSalle will continue to be managed by M&J Wilkow.

“Sumitomo has been active on the coasts for years, and has always viewed Chicago as a world-class city,” says Tomonori Wada, senior vice-president, Living Related Business Group, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. “We have been looking for the right opportunity to invest in Chicago and hope to increase our presence here.”

Avison Young Principal Suzanne Martinez, who led the brokerage team that represented Sumitomo Corporation of Americas in the sale transaction says: “This was a complex deal not only due to the multi-tiered ownership of the building, but also because Sumitomo was seeking a 1031 Exchange opportunity whereby capital-gains taxes are deferred until a future date in accordance with federal law. We identified the property at 203 North LaSalle as a great asset to satisfy Sumitomo’s 1031, but also it gives Sumitomo the opportunity to acquire office space in a building that can be repositioned for today’s market.”

The 29-year-old building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and has achieved LEED Gold certification and an Energy Star label. The building offers direct access to the Clark and Lake Chicago Transit Authority station and the Loop-spanning underground pedestrian walkway.

Sumitomo plans to make improvements to the lobby and elevators and install amenities such as a fitness center for tenants. Tenants at 203 North LaSalle include the University of Phoenix, Masuda Funai and DLA Piper.

Photo Courtesy of: www.wilkow.com



Governor Quinn Announces New “Welcome Home Illinois” Home Loan Program for First-Time Buyers

3 Apr 2014, 6:09 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced the new Welcome Home Illinois program which aims to help Illinois’ first-time home buyers. The program provides $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.99 percent for a secure, 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

“Welcome Home Illinois will provide more opportunities for everyday people across Illinois to have their chance at homeownership,” Quinn says. “Homeownership and home-buying are essential to our economy. That’s why we are rolling out the welcome mat for families and hardworking men and women by giving them the resources they need to pack up and move into a new home.”

The program is funded through Illinois Jobs Now! and the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The program is open to first-time buyers or anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years in Illinois. Borrower income limits are up to 140 percent of the area median income, or $106,120 for a family of three or more in Cook County and $82,915 for a family of three or more in Springfield. The home buyer is required to have a credit score of at least 640.

Through the program home buyers can receive a forgivable loan of $7,500 that is secured by a second mortgage to help with closing costs or down payment. The borrowers are required to contribute the greater of one percent of the overall purchase price or $1,000 toward the down payment.

Apart from creating new ownership opportunities the Welcome Home Illinois loan will also stimulate statewide economic activity. It is estimated that the program will generate 1,500 full-time jobs, $50 million from real estate-related industries, $40 million in economic activity for the state and an extra $16 million in other statewide spending.

“Governor Quinn understands there’s never been a better time to buy a home in Illinois, so he created Welcome Home Illinois to help more buyers take advantage of historically low-interest rates,” says IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney. “Now that Illinois’ economic recovery is gaining momentum, housing prices are trending up and buying a home will enable families and individuals to build wealth for their future.”



Governer Pat Quinn Praises 111 West Wacker Drive Development and Workers

28 Mar 2014, 12:02 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

As the long awaited 111 West Wacker Drive project gets closer to completion, which is scheduled for this summer, Governor Pat Quinn recently saluted the developers and workers.

As previously reported by Commercial Property Executive, the long-stalled Chicago project was acquired by Related Midwest in 2011. The project had been stagnant since 2008 but Related Midwest secured $115 million in construction financing from U.S. Bank in 2012 and re-launched the development.

Originally envisioned as a 90-story tower featuring upscale for-sale residences and a Shangri-La hotel by its previous owner, Waterview L.L.C., 111 West Wacker Drive has been reimagined by Related Midwest as a LEED Silver 60-story ultra-luxury residential tower. The architect of the project is New York-based Handel & Associates LLP and the interior designer is Chicago-based Kara Mann Design.

“This development is further proof that Illinois is making a comeback,” Quinn says. “After stalling during the worst recession since the Great Depression, today this monumental project is back on track and has employed more than 1,000 skilled workers. This is what happens when the state’s business climate encourages private investment and creates good jobs for Illinois’ hardworking men and women.”

Situated on the corner of Wacker Drive and Clark Street, the 950,000-square-foot development will feature 504 rental units, 440 parking spaces and street-level restaurant and retail offerings. The project has employed over 1,000 skilled construction workers for a total of 510,000 hours to date, twenty-five will be permanently employed upon completion of the building and another 100 service providers will service the building.

“The transformation of this site into one of Chicago’s finest, new apartment buildings has been a long but very rewarding journey,” says Related Midwest President Curt Bailey. “I could not be more proud of the dedicated and extremely talented workers who have helped us create a best-in-class building for a world-class city. We are very excited to unveil 111 West Wacker to Chicago and help establish the Loop as one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods in the city.”

Rendering Courtesy of: www.relatedmidwest.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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