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CHICAGO-Although the debts may be passed on to new owners, Prime Group Realty Trust is working on refinancing two of its Downtown office assets. The REIT has a $157.5-million loan against 77 W. Wacker Dr., which it owns in partnership with the Ohio Teachers Retirement System, and a $60-million loan against 180 N. LaSalle St.

Both loans come due next year. Westdeutsche Immobilien Bank’s loan on the 950,000-sf 77 W. Wacker Dr. matures next September, according to the company’s most recent earnings report. Greenwich Capital’s loan on the 750,000-sf 180 N. LaSalle St., which has a current interest rate of 5.13%, is up in January.

Prime Group Realty Trust’s entire office and industrial portfolio has been on the market for a year, but the only deals have been single assets in markets the REIT intended to leave anyway. However, the vultures are no longer circling the company, says Prime Group Realty Trust co-president Louis Conforti, who also reported on the company’s refinancing efforts during a recent earnings conference call.

Occupancy in the company’s Downtown office buildings improved to 73.9%, the low number largely the result of its former top tenant, Arthur Andersen, vacating 33 W. Monroe St. and IBM Plaza at 330 N. Wabash Ave. However, Conforti says Prime Group Realty Trust has been able to market itself better as its financial picture has cleared up and leasing activity in other buildings has progressed.

“No one’s going to beat up on our shareholders, common and preferred, and take advantage of our company,” Conforti says.

Nearly half of the company’s tenants fall into three categories—-law firms, banks and business services. However, Conforti says the tenant roster is diversified, adding the company is now focused on Chicago, considered to be the most diversified market in the US.

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