Alliance Buys Chicago Burnham Center

Posted on 31 March, 2013 by Jodee Redmond

Alliance Partners has bought Burnham Center in downtown Chicago for $94.6 million. The company, which is the east coast branch the real estate firm The Schidler Group, signed the deal for the 580,000 sq ft property only five months after the historic building was put up for sale.

Lenders were quite interested in offering support for this financial venture. Ian C. Russell, a vice president with the commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), commented that there were a number interested in providing the financing for this deal, “with a heavy concentration of CMBS capital sources.”

JLL was chosen to market the property for the vendor and arranged the acquisition financing for Alliance.

“Lenders were attracted to Alliance’s strong reputation, the quality and location of the asset, improving fundamentals of the Chicago leasing market and the upside potential for the Sponsor to improve the value of the collateral through active asset management,” Russell  said.

The 22-story tower located at 111 W. Washington Street has been part of the Chicago cityscape since 1914. It has the distinction of being one of the last remaining buildings designed by architect Daniel Burnham.

Burnham Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but is in incredibly good shape for her age. The building underwent extensive renovations in 1985. It also recently benefitted from a $4.2 million capital improvement programme. Alliance has plans for upgrading its latest acquisition as well.

Burnham Center has a number of noteworthy tenants. Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy has leased more than 100,000 sq ft in the building.

Cook County is another major tenant and occupies almost 65,000 sq ft.

GrubHub, the online food ordering service, moved its HQ to a 60,000 sq ft space in the building last year.

Burnham Center is only 75 per cent occupied, and Alliance has approached JLL for assistance with finding tenants.

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