Joint Venture Acquires Unfinished Chicago Structure, Plans Apartments

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Chicago--Related Cos. and Clark Wacker L.L.C. have formed a joint venture to acquire 111 West Wacker Dr. in downtown Chicago, with about 500 upscale apartments planned for the building.

Chicago–Related Cos. and Clark Wacker L.L.C. have formed a joint venture to acquire 111 West Wacker Dr. in downtown Chicago, otherwise known as the unfinished Waterview Tower. The JV plans to complete the structure to create about 500 upscale apartments with on-site parking.

Waterview Tower is one of the most visible commercial property victims of the credit freeze and recession of the late 2000s. Originally styled “Waterview Tower and Shangri-La Hotel,” it was to have been a 90-story tower with more than 200 ultraluxury condo units, as well as more than 200 luxury hotel rooms, on the Chicago River. Work began in 2007, but the previous developers ran out of money in 2008 and could obtain no more.

More than a year of litigation followed, after which a consortium of contractors who had been owed money for their work on the partly completed structure took possession of it. The property had been on the market since then, unsuccessfully seeking a buyer, until the announcement by the Related-Clark Wacker JV.

The buyers declined to specify a price, though did say that the purchase will be funded through the Related Cos.’ “distress opportunity fund.” The JV will seek a construction loan in the future, and work on the project is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2012, but for the moment the JV is offering no further details about the project beyond that.

Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest, stresses the project’s prime location. “111 West Wacker Drive presents a great development opportunity in a marquee location on the waterfront in downtown Chicago,” he tells MHN. “The rental market has demonstrated its strength in recent months and we believe the new rental product at this location will be very successful.”

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