Alliance Picks Up Chicago’s Burnham Center for $95M

Alliance Partners has acquired downtown Chicago's 580,000-square-foot Burnham Center office building from Harbor Group International for $94.6 million.

Burnham Center


Alliance Partners HSP L.L.C. has acquired downtown Chicago’s 580,000-square-foot Burnham Center office building from Harbor Group International for $94.6 million. Alliance, the East Coast arm of real estate firm The Shidler Group, sealed the deal just five months after the historic property hit the market, and six years after HCI paid $79.5 million for the asset. 

The lending community looked kindly upon Alliance’s pursuit. “There were many lenders interested in providing financing for Burnham Center, with a heavy concentration of CMBS capital sources,” Ian C. Russell, a vice president with commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, told Commercial Property Executive. JLL marketed the asset on behalf of the seller and orchestrated acquisition financing for Alliance. “Lenders were attracted to Alliance’s strong reputation, the quality and location of the asset, improving fundamentals of the Chicago leasing market and the upside potential for the Sponsor to improve the value of the collateral through active asset management.”

Carrying the address of 111 W. Washington St., the 22-story tower has been part of the Chicago skyline since 1914 and carries the distinction of being one of the last existing buildings designed by celebrated architect Daniel Burnham. While it holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, Burnham Center, isn’t showing its age, having undergone a major renovation in 1985 and, recently, a $4.2 million capital improvement program. And Alliance has its own plans for upgrading the property as it looks ahead to a long-term hold. 

Burnham Center is home to a bevy of notable tenants. Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy occupies more than 100,000 square feet; Cook County claims nearly 65,000 square feet and online food ordering service GrubHub relocated its headquarters to a 60,000-square-foot space in the building in 2012. However, there is room for more, as the building is only 75 percent occupied. Alliance has tapped JLL to spearhead leasing.