CHICAGO, IL—Commerz Real has acquired The National in Chicago for its open-ended real estate fund hausInvest for about $195.6 million (€171.5 million) from local project developer Blue Star Properties
Situated at 125 S. Clark Street in the heart of the central business district, “The Loop”, the 20-story office building accommodates about 581,000 square feet of rental space.
The National was built in 1907 as the Edison Building. It was initially the headquarters of the electricity company Commonwealth Edison, which was also founded in 1907 and is now the largest electricity provider in Illinois under the name ComEd.
The architect Daniel Burnham, who designed the building, also designed the world-renowned Flatiron Building in New York and established his reputation as the director of works for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The building derived its current name over the course of time after it was later occupied by Commercial National Bank, now the Bank of America. In 2017, the property was comprehensively redeveloped and modernised; 88 per cent of the building is now leased to 28 companies, with a weighted residual term of about 8 years. Among the main tenants are WeWork, the marketing agency Merkle, and the audio technology manufacturer Shure. The ground floor is also home to a “Revival Food Hall” with some 7,000 visitors daily.
“The National offers everything that investors nowadays expect of a hausInvest investment, a redeveloped landmark building in a prime location geared to modern users at an attractive price with a reliable cash flow and the potential for value appreciation through active asset management,” says Henning Koch, global head of transactions at Commerz Real.
Commerz Real plans to further upgrade the property and enhance its attraction for users. The building already has a tenant lounge, a large usable roof terrace and a fitness studio.
Commerz Real was advised on this latest transaction by DLA Piper (legal due diligence), BDO (tax due diligence), CBRE White Plains (technical due diligence) and HQ Capital (commercial due diligence). The US real estate portfolio of Commerz Real now amounts to roughly $2 billiona.