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The 333 West Wacker Drive office building has been acquired by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc. and the John Buck Company. The property, which was 93% leased at the time of the sale, was purchased from Overseas Partners Capital Corp. for an undisclosed price. The John Buck Co. will lease and manage the building.

The 333 W. Wacker Dr. building is located along the Chicago River and is bounded by Wacker Drive, Franklin and Lake streets in Chicago’s West Loop sub-market. A highly recognized property, the John Buck Co. acquired its interest on behalf of Value Enhancement Fund I. Lend Lease’s majority interest was purchased on behalf of Value Enhancement Funds IV, a real estate opportunity fund for institutional investors.

The 36-story, 826,630-sf office property was built in 1983. The green glass facade, 468-ft. tall building overlooks the main forks of the Chicago River. It sits at a 45-degree angle to the street which enables it to follow the contour of the river. Current anchor tenants include the John Nuveen Co. and the Chicago office of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom.

According to Jim Ryan, a principal and portfolio manager of Value Enhancement Fund IV, “333 West Wacker was a great opportunity to acquire a Class-A, trophy-quality asset in Chicago’s strongest sub-market for a price below replacement cost.” Designed by the New York architectural firm of Kohn Pedersen Fox, the property cost in excess of $100 million to build. It received a National AIA Honor Award in 1984 and a Best New Building Design Award in 1986 from the Friends of Downtown.

Charles Beaver, principal in charge of the JBC Fund, says that “an upgraded telecommunications infrastructure will be installed to provide tenants greater access to high-speed Internet connections, and improved electrical and cooling capacity are also planned.”The VEF Funds are managed by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, which completed $12.7 billion in transactions in calendar year 1999. It is one of the largest real estate investment mangers in the world.

The JBC Acquisition and Development Fund I is a closed-end real estate investment fund operated by the John Buck Co. It is the exclusive vehicle for all investment activity of the John Buck Co. for the purpose of investing in commercial, residential, retail and mixed-use properties in Chicago and other Midwest cities.

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