Harbor Buys Chicago’s One South Wacker for $221M, Plans Upgrades

Affiliates of Harbor Group International, of Norfolk, Va., have acquired One South Wacker, a 40-story, 1.2 million-square-foot Class A office building in Chicago’s West Loop, for $221 million.

Affiliates of Harbor Group International, of Norfolk, Va., have acquired One South Wacker, a 40-story, 1,195,000-square-foot Class A office building in Chicago’s West Loop, for $221 million, HGI announced Friday. The transaction closed the previous day.

HGI’s major investment partner in the property is Clal Insurance Co., one of the largest insurers in Israel. (HGI maintains an office in Tel Aviv.) Among Clal’s subsidiaries is Guard Insurance Group, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., which specializes in insurance for small- and mid-sized businesses nationwide.

The building’s website identifies TIAA-CREF as the owner and Jones Lang LaSalle as the leasing and management agent. Eastdil Secured was the seller’s broker.

One South Wacker was designed by Helmut Jahn and completed in 1982 by the Walken Co. Its amenities include a 135-car parking garage, fitness center, casual dining and an upscale restaurant. The property’s tiered setback design gives it three distinct floorplates, ranging from 26,000 to 37,000 square feet. It’s currently 80 percent leased to more than 40 office and retail tenants.

 

A $10 million–plus capital improvement program for One South Wacker has already been sketched out, with the goal of enhancing tenant retention and leasing efforts, HGI president T. Richard Litton Jr. told Commercial Property Executive. Much of that will focus on improvements to the lobby and atrium winter garden, the street-level presence and the building entrances, with enhancements to elevator cabs and common corridors in addition.

 

“We also believe that a tenant conference center, which we will add, is a missing and much-needed tenant amenity at the property,” Litton said. The conference facility will be joined on the mezzanine level by a health and wellness center and a tenant lounge overlooking the entry atrium.

Litton emphasized that the capital program “is almost exclusively value-add in nature, as opposed to deferred maintenance or building system repairs.”

HGI also owns several other office towers in downtown Chicago: 300 South Wacker (512,500 square feet), 111 West Washington (580,000 square feet) and 2 North LaSalle (715,000 square feet).

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