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JMG Realty, Empire Square Group Acquire 482-Bed Student Housing Community in Chicago’s West Side

24 Apr 2015, 2:26 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Automatic Lofts

A joint venture between Atlanta-based JMG Realty and Empire Square Group of New York City has purchased Automatic Lofts, a 482-bed student community on Chicago’s West Side.

The building located at 410 S. Morgan/1001 W. Van Buren was formerly home to the Automatic Electric Co., known for developing the Strowger electromagnetic telephone switch. The six-story plant opened in 1910 and housed 850 employees. The property was redesigned by Chicago-based Brush Architects, LLC into a modern student community in 2006, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Automatic Lofts is conveniently located in close proximity to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, Columbia, Robert Morris and DePaul Universities. Additionally, the community is just steps away from the CTA Blue line station, offering students easy access to popular downtown Chicago destinations.

The community at 410 S. Morgan offers students fully furnished apartments with card key access, a lobby/lounge with pool table, on-site fitness center and laundry facility, private study rooms, bicycle storage and a heated parking garage. Additionally, the property incorporates 5,800 square feet of ground-level retail space.

JMG and Empire Square intend to implement Gigabit Internet and Wi-Fi in each individual unit, and will invest in enhancements to the common areas and building services over the coming months.

Image courtesy of Brush Architects, LLC

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Oak Grove Capital Secures Construction Financing for Logan Square TOD

23 Apr 2015, 6:59 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

2211 N. Milwaukee

Oak Grove Capital of St. Paul, Minn., has secured construction financing for a transit-oriented development in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. According to a news release, Principal Real Estate Investors provided $27.9 million in construction financing for New York City-based Property Markets Group to build a 120-unit, market-rate, mid-rise luxury apartment building at 2211 N. Milwaukee.

“This opportunity was appealing to us, as the development is well located in a large metropolitan city, is urban in nature and has the added benefit of being very transit oriented,” said Jon Buenneke, investment director for mortgages at Principal Real Estate Investors. “”We are excited to provide this comprehensive financing package to PMG so they can develop a quality property in a great location.”

The TOD at 2211 N. Milwaukee was designed by Brininstool + Lynch and features 120 market-rate apartments, 67 parking spaces and 5,246 square feet of ground-floor retail, Curbed Chicago reports. The development, expected to become LEED certified, will also include outdoor green spaces and private gardening areas for residents. The property is designed to reduce traffic congestion in the area and will also include bicycle parking spaces.

Rendering courtesy of Brininstool + Lynch via Curbed Chicago

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Jeanne Gang-Designed Skyscraper Could Become Chicago’s Third Tallest

17 Apr 2015, 8:07 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Wanda Vista Hotel & Residences

A recent public meeting at Chicago’s Aqua Tower discussed a $900 million mixed-use supertall skyscraper proposed by The Dalian Wanda Group and Magellan Development for Lakeshore East. Wanda Vista Hotel & Residences was announced in July 2014 and is slated for completion in 2019, pending approval.

According to Curbed Chicago, the current proposal includes 405 condominiums, 169 hotel rooms, 410 parking spaces, as well as a 5,400-square-foot ballroom. If approved, the 93-story skyscraper would become Chicago’s third tallest building, behind Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower.

The project brings together an all-star team of professionals: Studio Gang will act as lead architect; Gensler of San Francisco will design the hotel; bKL Architecture will serve as architect of record; Philadelphia-based OLIN will handle the landscape design; and Seattle-based Magnusson Klemencic Associates will be the structural engineer.

Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Wanda Vista Hotel and Residences will incorporate more than 1.8 million square feet of space at 381-383 E. Wacker Drive, according to the Chicago Tribune. The development would also include a public plaza and a drop-off area for vehicles arriving at the hotel, and would improve traffic and circulation through Lakeshore East.

The project, Wanda’s first in the U.S., is expected to create over 2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs. If finalized, the tower would also become the world’s tallest building designed by a female-led architecture firm. Jeanne Gang is best known for designing the undulating Aqua Tower, also in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood.

Rendering courtesy of Studio Gang Architects.

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The Boulder Group Completes Sale of Newly Constructed Walgreens in Chicago Metro Area

17 Apr 2015, 7:43 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Walgreens Oak Lawn, IL

The Boulder Group recently brokered the sale of a newly constructed, single tenant net leased Walgreens property in Oak Lawn, Ill. According to a news release, the 61,909-square-foot building sold for $10.7 million to a Northeast-based family office. Both the buyer and the seller – a Midwest-based developer – were represented in the transaction by Randy Blankstein and Jimmy Goodman of The Boulder Group.

Located at the southwest corner of W. 95th St. and Southwest Highway, the new Walgreens replaces a previously successful Walgreens store that did not incorporate a drive-thru. The new store is conveniently located in close proximity to the Chicago Ridge Mall and just five miles south of the Chicago Midway International Airport. Approximately 400,000 people reside within a five mile radius of the property and more than 71,000 vehicles circulate the area each day.

The Walgreens lease is for a period of two decades and features eleven five-year renewal option periods, according to a news release.

“The market for Walgreens properties remains active as investors are attracted to investment grade rated companies with long term leases,” said Randy Blankstein, president of The Boulder Group. Jimmy Goodman, partner of The Boulder Group, added that markets such as Chicago are particularly attractive to investors when it comes to single tenant properties.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is in the midst of a massive restructuring effort meant to close down unprofitable retail stores. The Chicago Tribune reports that the company plans to close 200 stores across the country and open 200 new ones in more profitable locations.

Image courtesy of The Boulder Group

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660-Unit Self-Storage Facility Planned for Suburban Chicago

9 Apr 2015, 1:36 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Rendering of the proposed building conversion

Lake Forest, Ill.-based Metro Storage LLC has announced plans to convert a former warehouse in the village of Northbrook into a state-of-the-art self-storage facility. According to a news release, the industrial building located at 2121 Shermer Road will be redeveloped into a two-story, state-of-the-art Metro Self Storage facility encompassing 67,000 rentable square feet of storage space in 660 climate-controlled units.

“There is high demand for quality self storage in the Chicago area,” said Matt Nagel, chairman of Metro Storage. “This property is located in excellent location to meet that demand.”

The Chicago Tribune also reports that self-storage demand in Northbrook is growing at a steady pace, with various projects in the pipeline, although Northbrook currently has only one such facility, the Storage Mart at 2727 Shermer Road.

Demolition and redevelopment work is scheduled to begin in May 2015, with completion expected in the fall. The new facility, the company’s 18th in the Chicago area, will incorporate multiple elevators and loading points, a spacious business office and state-of-the-art security systems. The developer will also add a second-floor mezzanine within the new facility.

The warehouse at 2121 Shermer Road was built in 1970 and is valued at $370,416, according to data collected by Property Shark.

Image courtesy of Metro Storage LLC

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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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