First Office High-Rise Since 2010 to be Built in Downtown Chicago; Shorenstein Properties Acquires Former Apparel Center

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor Since 2010, when the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building at 300 E. Randolph was completed, downtown Chicago has not seen the rise of any new office buildings. A report on the market by CB Richard Ellis [...]

Since 2010, when the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building at 300 E. Randolph was completed, downtown Chicago has not seen the rise of any new office buildings. A report on the market by CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. shows that the office market is recovering with downtown office vacancies at 14.3 percent, the lowest rate in the past seven quarters. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Alter Group Ltd. and White Oak Realty Partners LLC are seizing the opportunity and seeking approval for an office building project on the Near West Side, a year after the initial announcement of the plan.

The developers signed an agreement with Old St. Patrick’s Church to build a 22-story office high-rise on the church’s parking lot at 625 W. Adams.

The plan calls for 500,000 square feet of office space and five levels of parking spaces. According to the agreement, the church will receive two levels for a community center and assembly space.

The design of the building was elaborated by the architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz and plans include a green roof. According to initial estimates, announced by the developers a year ago, the cost of the building will be over $120 million.

In other news, Shorenstein Properties LLC has acquired the former Apparel Center from Vornado Realty Trust for $228 million. ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com reports that the sale of the 1.2-million-square-foot office building, located at 350 N. Orleans, was brokered by Eastdil Secured. The 23-story high-rise is currently 96 percent leased, with tenants including the Chicago Sun-Times and Fiserv Inc.

This is the second investment by the company in Chicago, after partaking in a joint-venture that acquired the 65-story building at 311 S. Wacker Drive in 2006.