Landmark Civic Opera Building Sold for $126 Million

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor Tishman Speyer Properties L.P. has sold the Civic Opera Building to a New York venture for almost $126 million, Chicagorealestatedaily.com reports. According to Cook County property records, cited by the same source, an affiliate of Nanuet, N.Y.-based Berkley Properties LLC bought the 915,000-square-foot building for $125.8 million. The deal was financed [...]

Tishman Speyer Properties L.P. has sold the Civic Opera Building to a New York venture for almost $126 million, Chicagorealestatedaily.com reports. According to Cook County property records, cited by the same source, an affiliate of Nanuet, N.Y.-based Berkley Properties LLC bought the 915,000-square-foot building for $125.8 million. The deal was financed with a $95 million loan from UBS Real Estate Securities Inc.

Located at 20 N. Wacker Dr., the building is close to being 81-percent leased. The sale does not include the Opera House performance space and a floor of offices bought in 1993 by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, which invested $100 million in renovation.

The landmark building is well known for its ability to create a fast turnover on low-square-footage tenants. One of its former owners, developer Steve Fifield, once jokingly said “it was like operating a hotel”. Fifield acquired the property in 1994, and after subsequent redevelopment, he sold it in 1997. During his ownership, around 180 tenants passed through the building.

J. F. McKinney & Associates Ltd. has taken over leasing of the building and, according to Senior Vice President Brian Whiting, the new ownership plans to attract some large tenants after a solid investment in improving the interior.

The building is currently fetching around $27 per square foot in gross rents, just over half what most neighboring towers receive in the high-demand area of the West Loop.

This will not be the Berkley’s first endeavor in downtown Chicago. The venture previously acquired a 770,191-square-foot office building at 180 N. LaSalle St. in 2010 and a 540,000-square-foot building at 111 W. Jackson Blvd. for $35 million in 2011.

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Photo Credits: © Jeremy Atherton, 2006 via Wikimedia Commons