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NILES, IL-CenterPoint Properties Trust may be making lemonade out of a lemon. With HALO Industries, Inc. vacating its 267,344-sf state-of-the-art office building at 5800 W. Touhy Ave. here, the largest industrial property owner in the Chicago market has been fielding offers to lease as well as buy the building built to suit for he promotional products distributor now under the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The one offer to buy the building was deemed “unacceptable,” CenterPoint Chief Operating Officer Michael M.Mullen told analysts Tuesday. However, the company is working with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs on a benefits package aimed at luring a “major international corporation” to the building, he added.

“Knock on wood, this could be a full-building user,” McMullen says.

Among the tools available to the DCCA are 10 years of tax credits through the Illinois EDGE program, which aims to level the playing field in competition with neighboring states; as well as the state’s Enterprise Zone program. If those incentives fail to do the trick, CenterPoint has received at lease one other offer to lease the building, which HALO moved into in April.

“We were proactively showing that building,” Mullen says.

CenterPoint also has continued collecting $300,000 a month in rent, and expects a check from HALO in November, Mullen says, even though the company is expected to be out of the building in the early part of the month. The REIT also could get as much as $30 million more, Mullen adds, by pressing its claim in bankruptcy court.

Mullen believes that despite the companies financial difficulties brought on largely by a failed Internet venture, HALO’s balance sheet shows adequate liquidity. “There’s a very good chance unsecured creditors will be paid,” he says.

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