Sterling Bay Cos., J.P. Morgan Form Strategic Partnership

Sterling Bay Cos. has a new JV partner – J.P. Morgan Asset Management – as it continues developing several Chicago commercial projects, including the future home of Google and Harpo Studios.

1000 West Fulton Chicago

Sterling Bay Cos. has a new joint venture partner – J.P. Morgan Asset Management – as it continues developing several Chicago commercial projects, including the future home of Google and Harpo Studios.

“Partnering with an investor of J.P. Morgan’s caliber provides Sterling Bay with increased credibility and capacity in the marketplace as we continue to build the company in a purposeful manner,” Sterling Bay Principal John Gavin said in a news release. “We have been seeking a strategic partner for several years and have known J.P. Morgan to be a formidable firm with a heritage of disciplined real estate investing.”

Sterling Bay, founded in 1986, is a real estate investment and development company that has focused the majority of its activities in the Near West Side of Chicago. The firm has recently acquired and redeveloped 111 North Canal, 400 South Jefferson and 1000 West Fulton, the former Fulton Market Cold Storage building that will have 525,000 square feet of loft-style office and retail space and house Google’s 500-person Chicago headquarters.

Gavin told Commercial Property Executive that the firm has aggregated more than $100 million in equity and 30 properties within the Fulton Market area over the last two years.

“The JPM JV calls for SBC to contribute the assets to the new joint venture and we will co-develop with JPM,” he said. “The major assets within the portfolio include 1000 W. Fulton, Fulton West and Harpo Studios.”

Under the joint venture, J.P. Morgan, a global real estate advisor with $74 billion of assets under management, will co-invest and co-develop the properties with Sterling Bay. The partnership will include future investment and development opportunities in Chicago and elsewhere, according to the news release.

Sterling Bay has been buying properties in the West Loop for the past several years and planning numerous developments that have attracted high-tech tenants like Google, Twitter, GoGo Inc. and Uber.

In addition to 1000 W. Fulton, which it now calls 1K Fulton, Sterling Bay acquired Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, a 3.5-acre site on West Washington Boulevard, for $32 million, according to the Chicago Tribune. The sale-leaseback deal calls for Harpo Studios to remain on site for at least two years. Sterling Bay has not announced plans for the four-building property yet but it is expected to be a mixed-use project. Fulton West is a multi-building phased development at the corner of Fulton and Elizabeth streets that will eventually see 900,000 square feet of development, parking for 750 cars and green space, according to the company.

Last month, Sterling Bay announced a strategic partnership with International Property Developers North America to redevelop the city’s historic Old Post Office into a high-end, mixed-use development. The first phase is expected to cost $500 million and feature more than 2.7 million square feet of office space and retail. The partners could add a hotel, residential space and more retail in later phases.