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Chicago Commercial Real Estate – In the News

Tom’s Recommended Reading for the Week

An exciting couple days ahead of us with the NCAA tournament starting yesterday. Check out these articles before heading into the action packed weekend!

  1. Clashing Over Office Clutter – All nine employees of TheSquareFoot.com in New York City have neat, clean desks—except one.Co-founder Jonathan Wasserstrum’s desk and the floor around it are strewed with paper, files, tech gear and old boxes. “I like being near my stuff rather than fishing for it in a cabinet somewhere,” he says. Being near Mr. Wasserstrum’s stuff is harder for Justin Lee, the company’s other co-founder. At times, “some of his crud will spill over onto my desk,” Mr. Lee says. Other co-workers at the online commercial real-estate leasing and brokerage company sometimes print new copies of documents to avoid handling food-smeared paperwork from Mr. Wasserstrum’s desk… Wall Street Journal 
  2. Downtown office sales hit highest level since 2007  –  Investors spent more on downtown Chicago office buildings last year than they have in any year since the crash, drawn by an improving leasing market and the buzz generated by big corporate moves from the suburbs to downtown.Downtown office building sales totaled $3.25 billion last year, up 23 percent from 2012 and the highest total since 2007, according to Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle Inc… Crain’s Chicago
  3. Rents for Trophy Office Space Pass Records, Spur New Construction – The national office market has rebounded, with no segment showing the comeback more clearly than trophy properties. It’s no surprise that class-A office space attracts the most demand, but what’s notable is how fast the landlords of those buildings have gotten back in the driver’s seat.A lack of development since the start of the recession, along with exploding demand in both traditional primary markets and those led by energy and technology booms, have pushed demand for class-A space through the roof… NREI
  4. Oprah cuts her last commercial ties to Chicago – Oprah Winfrey, who put an obscure stretch of the Near West Side on the map when she moved her television show there in 1990, is set to sell Harpo Studios for around $32 million to a Chicago developer making its own dramatic imprint on the neighborhood.After a bidding war that enticed investors from as far away as China, Ms. Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. has agreed to sell the four-building campus to Sterling Bay Cos.For Ms. Winfrey, selling off the last of her commercial real estate represents a final step out of Chicago, which she left almost three years ago to form Oprah Winfrey Network in Los Angeles… Crain’s Chicago
  5. Sterling Bay Companies completes Fulton West portfolio acquisition – Sterling Bay Companies has completed the acquisition of Fulton West, a portfolio of existing and partially completed office, retail and parking facilities, from an affiliate of Marc Realty. Sterling Bay purchased the property, with existing superstructure that can accommodate additional future development, for approximately $22 million. In its current stage of development, Fulton West consists of three loft-style office buildings totaling approximately 165,000 square feet and parking facilities — structures and surface lots — for more than 314 automobiles… RE Journals