German-Based GLL Expands in Chicago

Munich-based GLL has decided to continue expanding in the United States with its second Chicago office purchase.

GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH, of Munich, has bought 550 W. Adams, an 18-story office building in downtown Chicago’s West Loop submarket, from SEB Asset Management, of Frankfurt, which had owned the property since it opened in 2006.

The announcement of the sale was made Friday, which was also when the transaction closed, a GLL spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. News reports in December, when the deal was first announced, indicated that the price was $185 million and that SEB had paid $178 million back in 2006.

The building is 94 percent leased and is anchored by the global headquarters of USG Corp. Other major tenants include law firm Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LPP; Humana HealthPlan; and JP Morgan. The latter recently renewed its lease and, like USG, will remain a tenant on a long-term lease, according to GLL.

“This is a high-quality building with strong tenant appeal and solid in-place income in a market that is undergoing several phases of significant infrastructure investment. We like the fundamentals,” Christian Goebel of GLL said in a release.

The 483,677-square-foot tower features column-free floor plans and is sited across the street from Union Station, which provides intercity rail services via Amtrak and which is about to undergo a $12 million renovation.

GLL currently manages more than 20 properties in the United States on behalf of its investors.  In the Chicago area, it also owns 444 N. Michigan Ave., which it acquired in 2006.

GLL appears to have rather the appetite for Class A office space in the new year. Just a few weeks ago, it bought Prominent Pointe I and II, a 256,000-square-foot Class A office complex in Austin, from DivcoWest for about $76 million.

GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH is a real estate fund management group with $7 billion under management. It was formed in 2000 as a joint venture between Lend Lease Corp. and Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali and is now majority-owned by its management team. GLL currently manages 15 funds employing varying property strategies and serving an investor group that includes pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign entities.