Vornado Closes $675M Refi of Iconic Chicago Building

At 4.2 million square feet, Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world upon opening in 1930.
theMART, Chicago

theMART, Chicago

by Bogdan Odagescu

ChicagoVornado Realty Trust recently announced it has completed the $675 million refinancing of theMART building in Chicago. The five-year, interest-only loan has a fixed rate of 2.7 percent. Vornado realized approximately $124 million in net proceeds after repaying the existing 5.57 percent, $550 million loan and closing costs.

Also known as Merchandise Mart, the iconic art deco building located at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza totals 4.2 million square feet of space, including approximately 3.6 million rentable square feet. After being owned by the Kennedy family for more than half a century, theMART was purchased by Vornado in 1998 as part of a $625 million portfolio acquisition. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, experts now estimate the building’s worth at more than $1 billion.

The property’s current tenant roster includes Motorola Mobility, Braintree, Yelp, eBay, the 1871 incubator, ConAgra and Allstate. According to Yardi Matrix data, the Class A high-rise offers floor plates ranging between 8,000 and 210,000 square feet, 2,250 parking spaces and 38 passenger elevators. Amenities include more than 20 on-site dining options and a 16,000-square-foot, tenant-only fitness center.

Built by Marshall Field & Co. and completed in 1930, the 25-story property was, at the time of opening, the largest building in the world. Boasting LEED Gold certification since 2013, theMART continues to be the world’s largest wholesale design center. The building was completely renovated in 1991 and 2007 and is currently leased through Cushman & Wakefield.

Image courtesy of Vornado Realty Trust