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CHICAGO-Transwestern Investment Company, through its institutional investment fund, ASLAN Realty Partners II, L.P., has acquired 200 N. LaSalle St. from New York-based Teachers Insurance Annuity Association. Although purchase price was not revealed, Transwestern paid less than $85 million for the 29-story, 676,700-sf Central Loop office building, chief executive officer Stephen Quazzo tells GlobeSt.com.

Although the building at Lake and LaSalle streets is about 90% occupied, Quazzo told a Real Estate Investment Association mid-year property value panel discussion Transwestern expects significant rollover with existing tenants departing. Re-leasing the property is expected to be a two-and-a-half-year endeavor, he says.

Quazzo tells GlobeSt.com the asset was originally part of a three-property package TIAA was marketing. Northwestern Memorial Hospital acquired 676 N. St. Clair while General Electric picked up 230 W. Monroe St., he explains. “This was sort of the last straggler,” Quazzo says of the 17-year-old property, one block from a Chicago Transit Authority stop served by three elevated lines. “It was time for them to exit.”

Quazzo notes Transwestern, headquartered at 150 N. Wacker Dr., has not been active in the Chicago market since the mid-1990s. “We certainly have tried,” Quazzo says, noting the company was a bidder for Quaker Tower and 123 N. Wacker Dr.

While those properties sold to buyers who did not share Transwestern’s value-added view of their worth, Quazzo tells GlobeSt.com his company was much closer on Prime Group Realty Trust’s nine-property suburban office portfolio, which went to Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, L.P., for $133 million. “We were really disappointed not to be the buyer on that,” Quazzo tells GlobeSt.com. “We were right on the number.”

Blackstone reportedly acquired the suburban portfolio from the REIT, which used the sale as one of two steps towards liquidity, at a capitalization rate in the neighborhood of 13%.

A shrinking bid-ask spread could help Transwestern’s acquisition efforts, Quazzo tells the REIA group. “We’re hopeful the current softness and uncertainty will provide us with an opportunity to acquire additional assets,” he says.

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