Having gone out of style during the economic downturn,sale-leasebacks are on a massive comeback, says Robert Brennan withCB Richard Ellis. Brennan, Andrew Sandquist, Jonathan Wolfe, JohnSuerth and Jason Lev represented Claire's in the deal. Reasons forthe comeback include an enormous amount of equity facing a lack ofquality product on the market, and improved mortgage financingalternatives, Brennan tells GlobeSt.com. "There's a differencebetween the leasing market, which is way down right now, and theinvestment market. There's no question the industrial market isfacing vacancy challenges, but on the investment side, especiallyin the past 60-90 days, there's been a significant surge inactivity."

Lenders have come back to Chicago industrial investment, agreesSandquist. He says the price in this deal was very healthy, "if youlook at the comparable market rent, this property sold for themid-$30 per square foot, that's pretty healthy for such a largebuilding." Sandquist says there's been an uptick in local activityas well, with deals such as the New York-based W.P. Carey & Co.buying the 100,000-square-foot Mori Seiki headquarters building inthe Huntington Woods park for $32 million in December. Themachine-tool tenant also has a 20-year lease.

Claire's will lease the property back for 20 years. The jewelryand accessories retailer has 2,969 stores in the United States andEurope.

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