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Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

  1. Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Make Comeback – A hunt for yield and a gradually improving property market are bolstering a key engine of U.S. commercial property lending, helping borrowers to refinance but also reigniting fears the market is getting overheated. In all, lenders made $94 billion in loans bundled together and sold off as bonds to investors in 2014, the most since 2007 for the product known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, according to trade publication Commercial Mortgage Alert… Wall Street Journal
  2. Cyber sleuths move HQ to Chicago – Take that, all you evil-minded hackers! A fast-growing global cybersecurity company is moving its headquarters here. Prescient Edge, which has the likes of ex-Green Berets and federal intelligence agents in its executive suite, is setting up shop at One Prudential Plaza, where it is leasing about 24,000 square feet of space, according to the city and the company. Prescient Edge now is based in McLean, Va., not too far from Washington… Crain’s Chicago
  3. Jewel Osco HQ sold to Hamilton Partners – Feeling more optimistic about the suburban office market, Hamilton Partners added Jewel-Osco’s headquarters to its shopping cart for almost $24 million. The Itasca-based developer and investor bought the 185,020-square-foot office building at 150 Pierce Road in west suburban Itasca on Dec. 30 for $23.7 million, or about $128 per square foot, according to DuPage County records. The seller was Bethesda, Md.-based pension fund adviser ASB Capital Management… Crain’s Chicago
  4. Mezzanine Financing on the Upswing as Industry Sees More Construction – Borrowers have a growing appetite for mezzanine loans that is fueled by redevelopment and refinancing activity, as well as the return of new construction. Terra Capital Partners, a New York-based fund manager, has seen its mezzanine lending volume double over the past year and the firm expects that volume to double again in 2015. Although Terra Capital Partners does not disclose its total lending volume, it provided mezzanine or bridge financing on about 40 different projects last year. Mezzanine capital typically goes higher on the “capital stack” of project financing, layering on top of a first mortgage to provide a borrower with higher leverage… NREI
  5. Prices for Office Assets in CBDs Are on a Tear – Stronger job growth over the past year is beginning to have an impact on office building valuations, as Moody’s/RCA Commercial Property Price Indices (CPPI) registered an 8.6 percent increase in prices for office assets in Central Building Districts (CBD) in the three months ending in November 2014. The sector was the best performing of all core commercial property types at a time when commercial prices as a whole continued to go up. CBD office buildings have now recovered 145.6 percent of their losses peak-to-trough. All commercial properties taken together have recovered 105.8 percent of their losses… NREI