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CHICAGO—San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LP has enhanced its presence in the Chicago market with the purchase of Prudential Plaza from Prudential Plaza Associates, a joint venture of Prudential Insurance Co. of America and NLI Properties Central. Currently, the Prudential Plaza’s original one-million-sf building, constructed in 1955 as one of Chicago’s first post-war skyscrapers, is 83% leased. Pru II, measuring 951,000 sf and completed in 1990, is 90% occupied.

The purchase represents the company’s second acquisition of a Downtown Chicago trophy property in as many years. Shorenstein, San Francisco’s largest owner, entered the Chicago market when it bought the Hancock Tower, the city’s second-tallest building, in late 1998. “We don’t target markets per se,” says John Grossi, managing director and chief investment officer of Shorenstein. “We make acquisitions asset by asset, deal by deal.”

Nevertheless, Grossi notes that the “Chicago market represents good value compared to New York or San Francisco. Also, if even half of the people projected to move to the Downtown area actually do, that will make for some very exciting times in the market.”

The acquisition is the latest in a nationwide push by Shorenstein, which has acquired and developed more than 11.3 million sf across the country at a gross cost in excess of $2 billion since 1992.

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