MetLife Spends $125M on Chicago Luxury Multi-Family Tower

Amid a flurry of multi-family trades in Chicago, MetLife has bought EnV, a luxury high-rise tower, from LYND Development Partners for an estimated $125 million.

January 12, 2012
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

Amid a flurry of multi-family trades in Chicago in December 2011 – including Miami-based Crescent Heights’ purchase of 1212 S. Michigan Ave. for $60 million and L&B Realty Advisors’ $90 million purchase of 77 W. Huron – MetLife Inc. has bought EnV, a luxury high-rise tower, from LYND Development Partners. Crain’s Chicago estimated the sale price at approximately $125 million.

The development, situated in the city’s River North neighborhood, was developed by LYND starting in 2008 and features 249 rental units in a LEED-certified building. MetLife, which was very active in the capital markets during 2011, originating $550 million in loans for San Francisco and Washington, D.C., office properties, saw the EnV purchase as way to “manage each of our investments for the long term.”

“EnV is an excellent fit for MetLife’s real estate equity strategy of acquiring core properties in top-tier markets,” Robert Merck, senior managing director and head of real estate investments for MetLife, said.

The vacancy rate in the Chicago apartment market continues to fall, and is on track to drop to 4.6 percent for 2011, marking a decline of 100 basis points from 2010, according to a third quarter report from Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. The city’s outlook into 2012 appears to be strong as well, with total employment across the city increasing by 0.3 percent in the first half of 2011 as employers added 10,800 positions to their rolls – up strongly from the 1,500 jobs created in the previous six-month period.

The Chicago office of CBRE Group Inc. brokered the sale on behalf of the seller.