CommonWealth REIT Purchases 600 W. Chicago for $390M

600 W. Chicago Ave. has changed hands - moving from the books of 600 West Chicago Associates L.L.C. and onto the rolls of CommonWealth REIT - for a purchase price of $390 million.

September 12, 2011
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

Situated on the picturesque banks of the Chicago River, the building at 600 W. Chicago Ave. has changed hands – moving from the books of 600 West Chicago Associates L.L.C. and onto the rolls of CommonWealth REIT – for a purchase price of $390 million. The sale was arranged by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., which also arranged a $180 million refi for the previous owners in 2005.

“We had a lot of interest in the property,” Jamie Fink, senior managing director with HFF told Commercial Property Executive. “As a core property that is 99 percent leased, it holds a lot of value.”

Completely redeveloped in 2001, the building was originally built in 1908 as the distribution center for the Montgomery Ward catalogue division, and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark Building and is listed on the National Register. The property main office and retail tenants include Groupon, Wrigley, Fox Sports, Level 3, Japonais Restaurant and David Barton Gym.

According to a Jones Lang LaSalle report, Chicago CRE activity accelerated recently, with five major deals closing in the second quarter of 2011 – including 220,000 more square for Groupon at 600 W. Chicago. The firm notes that, while Chicago mirrors the larger national trend of economic slowdown, “the market outlook for the second half of the year is not exactly foreboding.”

“Chicago is a strong, stable market with a lot of institutional assets,” Fink said. “We’re continuing to see activity in Downtown and the previous ownership did a great job of leasing up the property.”