NAIOP Chicago recently honored five HFF Chicago investment sales professionals as the winners of the Broker Transaction of the Year – Office Investment award at the 29th Annual NAIOP Chicago Awards for Excellence. HFF Senior Managing Directors Jeff Bramson, Jaime Fink, Mark Katz and Associate Directors Bryan Rosenberg and Patrick Shields were recognized for their work on the Old Main Post Office transaction, which had a total transaction value of $125 million. The HFF team represented the buyer, New York-based investment group 601W Companies.
“The deal was in the works for more than 12 months and was completed amid escalating pressure from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who, initially, wanted the city of Chicago to take ownership of the Old Post Office Building via eminent domain,” Mr. Fink said. “Adding to the complexity, the building’s prior owner had outstanding real estate tax payments to the city in addition to several building code violations. HFF and 601W Companies were able to successfully navigate these numerous challenges, which resulted in 601W Companies successfully acquiring the Old Post Office.”
The Old Post Office Building, a 2.8 million-square-foot riverfront development site in Chicago’s West Loop along the Chicago River, comprises the former art deco-style, 14-story Post Office Building constructed in 1932 and adjacent sites. Detailed planning entitlements incorporating an additional 7.5 million square feet were obtained from the City Council in 2013; designed by the eminent Chicago architects Antunovich Associates. Situated at 433 West Van Buren Street, the property is adjacent to the Eisenhower Expressway, within one block of Union Station and located above connections to the CTA Blue Line Station, Metra, Amtrak and the future high-speed rail terminal platforms. The riverfront location also allows for potential access to water taxi, riverboat and tour boat terminals.
601W Companies plans to invest more than $400 million in upgrades to the building over a three-phase project that began this past August and is anticipated to be substantially complete within 24 months, by December 2018. The gut renovation includes new windows throughout the property, as well as new elevators, roof, plumbing, electric, HVAC and complete façade repair. 601W plans to restore the building's magnificent historic lobby and to deliver finished and furnished model speculative suites by May, 2017. Pre-leasing will start in 2017, and tenants can expect to be able to move in by 2018.
The annual Awards for Excellence recognizes the industry’s best of the best in transaction and development categories. One of the real estate industry’s largest yearly events, the NAIOP Chicago Awards for Excellence attracts a crowd of more than 1,000 real estate professionals for cocktails, dinner and the awards program.
HFF Chicago is consistently recognized as a top commercial real estate firm serving the Midwest. Named a 2015 CoStar Power Broker, HFF Chicago is ranked by Midwest Real Estate News as a Top Commercial Real Estate Broker and Financial Intermediary. Additionally, the office earned the No. 1 ranking in Office Property Sales in Chicago and the No. 1 Broker of Multi-Family Properties in Chicago for first half of 2016 by Real Estate Alert. Mortgage Bankers Association named HFF Chicago the No. 1 Capital Markets Intermediary in Chicago during 2015.
NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate. NAIOP comprises 18,000 members in North America. NAIOP advances responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy.