CHICAGO-TrizecHahn Corp. has solidified its title to two West Loop office properties, buying air rights to more than 1.1 million sf under 10 S. Riverside Plaza and 120 S. Riverside Plaza for $21 million from a subsidiary of Amtrak. The class A properties, two 22-story, 685,000-sf buildings along the Chicago River, were built above railroad tracks terminating at Union Station.

The purchase was at $18.50 per sf, giving TrizecHahn 83% of the air rights under their properties. The company’s goal is to convert its title ownership interest in the two properties from a leasehold to fee simple.

“At an attractive price, this purchase allows us to enhance the value of our investment in these two office buildings by eliminating the complexity of a long-term lease on the land beneath them,” says Evan Boris, vice president of Chicago-based TrizecHahn Office Properties. “This makes 10 and 120 South Riverside more valuable to TrizecHahn and improves the assets liquidity to any future buyer.”

Not that potential buyers should think about starting due diligence. A TrizecHahn spokesman says the two buildings, among five Trizec Hahn owns in the Central Business District, are not slated for disposition as they are considered core assets in one of the company’s key markets.

Earlier this year, TrizecHahn paid $77 million for 550 W. Washington Blvd. It also holds a mortgage and an option to buy the 110-story, 3.5-million-sf Sears Tower, in addition to leasing and managing the largest building in North America.

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