Chicago’s Historic Wrigley Building Could Be Up for Sale

The owners, a group that includes Zeller Realty and BDT Capital Partners, have something to chew on, since the iconic Mag Mile office property may fetch more than $200 million.

Wrigley Building, Chicago
Wrigley Building, Chicago

Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building, the pair of Michigan Avenue office towers with just a hint of the fairytale palace about them, is expected to be on the market soon, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The owners, a group that includes Chicago’s Zeller Realty Group and BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago-based merchant bank, reportedly have been interviewing sales brokers for the building, whose sale could bring in more than $200 million.

If the building does sell for something in that price range, it would represent a stellar return, based on the $33 million purchase price the current owners paid for the building in 2011, and even when accounting for an estimated $70 million that was spent on renovations.

The BDT-led group bought the building from the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., which was completing its move out of the building to its headquarters at the Wrigley Global Innovation Center, on Chicago’s Goose Island. (Wrigley Co. is the world’s largest maker of chewing gum and is wholly owned by Mars Inc.). After that move, the Wrigley Building was about two-thirds vacant.

The Class A property, at 400-410 N. Michigan Ave., was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and was completed in 1924.

The building totals about 502,000 rentable square feet of office and retail space, about 338,000 in the 18-story North Tower and about 164,000 in the 27-story South Tower. Currently, the North Tower has spec suites ranging from 1,231 to 3,695 rentable square feet and 39,362 rentable square feet of contiguous raw space. The South Tower has available suites ranging from 678 to 2,392 rentable square feet and 17,862 rentable square feet of contiguous raw space, according to the building’s website.

Since the recent renovation, the building’s amenities include a fitness center, conference facilities, concierge services and a bike room.

How much is history worth? 

It would not be implausible for the Wrigley Building to be sold for something approximating the reported asking price, said Gary DeClark, senior managing director & principal of Valbridge Property Advisors, Chicago metro. The CRE market at the time of the 2011 sale “was not robust,” he said, while currently, despite all the political uproar here, the United States “is still the best place to buy real estate.

Assuming that the tech side of things was well taken care of during the renovation, DeClark said, the building’s historic appeal, though secondary, would add extra value.

Investors from the Middle East, South America and Asia/Pacific are on the hunt for trophy buildings like this and “will pay big prices to hold on for the long haul,” he concluded.

Image via Wikipedia Commons