CHICAGO—90 North Real Estate Partners justcompleted the acquisition of the ContinentalAutomotive building at 21440 W. Lake Cook Rd. in DeerPark, a northwest suburb, for about $40 million. As reported inGlobeSt.com, the London-based company recently opened a Chicago office and plans to invest about $750million in office properties across the US. It alsojust bought a class A building in Denver fullyoccupied by the FBI. The Deer Park building is itssecond acquisition.

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Continental AG acquired the 351,425-square-footbuilding in 2006 but no longer needs the entire space. It willcontinue to occupy about 200,000-square-feet under a long-termlease. 90 North plans to rename the property the Reserve at DeerPark and bring in at least one and possibly several tenants tooccupy the top three floors of the seven-story building.

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“It's a quality building and we also have a quality tenant,”Daniel T. Cooper, the head of 90 North's NorthAmerican operations, tells GlobeSt.com. Continental's 13-year leasegives the property, first developed by Motorola in2002, a good deal of stability, and 90 North officials “think itfits in with what corporate America wants.”

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Although many companies have begun hunting for space downtown,and plan to recruit younger workers that want an urban lifestyle,Cooper says “there are people who live in the city who eventuallywant to get out.” And the Deer Park property is not an antisepticoffice park. It includes wetlands, walking trails and other “green”features that many employees will appreciate. “It's just abeautiful setting and suburban offices like this will continue tobe very attractive.”

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To generate higher yields, 90 North focuses primarily on up andcoming secondary markets such as Denver, Raleigh, Orlando andChicago. Furthermore, the firm plans to create value in itsproperties before looking for buyers. It will spend about $10million to reposition the Reserve at Deer Park, for example, andbuild a new separate entrance for the upper-floor tenant, revampthat office space and enhance common areas, among otherimprovements.

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As part of this transaction, 90 North has selected NAIHiffman's Jason Streepy, Jason Wurtz andMichael Flynn as the exclusive marketing agentsfor the building. NAI will also provide property managementservices

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90 North has already set its sights on other major officeproperties. “We're looking at a place in North Carolina right now,”Cooper says. And company officials have also begun sifting throughpossible deals in the St. Louis and Indianapolis metro areas.“We're not afraid of the Midwest; we believe it will help us getthe returns we want.”

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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.