Iconic Wrigley Building Sold to BDT Capital, Groupon Co-Founders

In a move as noteworthy for its investors as for its property, the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. announced that it sold Chicago's iconic Wrigley Building to a consortium of investors for an undisclosed amount.

September 20, 2011
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user ericrichardson

In a move as noteworthy for its investors as for its property, the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. announced that it sold the iconic Wrigley Building to a consortium of investors. The investors, led by BDT Capital Partners, include Zeller Realty Group as well as Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, the co-founders of Groupon, who joined the project as minority investors.

The building, which sits on the Chicago River across from the Tribune Tower, has been a part of the Chicago landscape since its groundbreaking in 1920. Calling the building “an iconic Chicago asset in a and is a meaningful symbol of the city’s rich history and growth,” Byron Trott, managing partner & chief investment officer for BDT, reaffirmed his company’s commitment to the property. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, the building will retain its name and the consortium will seek landmark status.

“We look forward to partnering with BDT to reinvigorate this notable Chicago skyscraper,” Paul Zeller, president of Zeller Realty Group, said. He further stated the goal to be “a vibrant 21st century environment” for the building.

As part of the firm’s renovation plan, the consortium intends to make improvements to the plaza between the two buildings and better optimize existing ground-floor retail in both buildings. Chicago-based Zeller will also function as marketing and leasing agent, as well as property manager.

The involvement of Lefkofsky and Keywell comes as no surprise, as previous reports had connected them to the purchase of the Wrigley Building.

The Wrigley Company will continue to lease space in the building through the end of 2012, while it relocates its global headquarters to the company’s campus on Goose Island.  Neither Groupon nor any of the companies affiliated with Lightbank, co-founded by Lefkofsky and Keywell, have immediate plans to relocate into the Wrigley Building.

The sale includes both the 460,000-square-foot Wrigley Building and 443 Wabash, an adjoining 1.5 acre lot.  The transaction was supported by Jones Lang LaSalle and DLA Piper.

While financial terms were not disclosed, a previous MarketWatch estimate placed the building’s value between $35 million and $45 million.