CHICAGO—Downtown parking garages don't come up for sale veryoften, but the Sterling Collection, a combinationgarage and retail property in River North, just hit the market, andalthough JLL officials, who will act as advisorsto its owners, won't disclose how much they think it will fetch,they obviously have high hopes.

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Much like its counterparts in New York, Los Angeles, SanFrancisco and Boston, “Chicago's downtown has a lack of supply whenit comes to parking garages,” Matthew J. Berres,vice president of JLL, tells GlobeSt.com. And in River North,“there was already a limited amount of parking for its buildings,even before corporations and law firms began leaving the Loop andjumping over the river.”

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The neighborhood has a vacancy rate of about 4%, and as aresult, “this parking garage has been in very high demand," hesays. "It has seen an average of 8% revenue growth over the pastdecade, and in the last 36 months, it has seen 12% year-over-yeargrowth.” And the recent arrival of Motorola in thenearby Merchandise Mart will only further tightenthe busy district.

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Built in 2001, the property forms the base of a 389-unit condotower at 345 N. LaSalle St. and consists of a 10-level, 598-spaceparking garage with 213,510-square-feet and 32,682-square-feet ofretail space. CVS Pharmacy,7-Eleven, Subway,Sterling Cleaners, and Untitled,a restaurant and nightclub, lease 100% of the retail space. Thegarage generates about 75% of the NOI, Berres adds.

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Sterling has another quality that sets it apart, he says. “Themajority of garages see a drop off on the weekend, but here, due toits close proximity to popular restaurants and nightclub, it doesextremely well.”

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“This is a very competitive and highly sought after class ofproperty,” Berres adds, both because of the steady cash flow, anddue to the low velocity for similar structues. “It's very seldomthat you see multiple garages trading in a single year.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.