CHICAGO-NV of America Inc. has paid $60 million, or $152 per sf, for 33 N. LaSalle St. in the Central Loop. With the city of Chicago occupying more than 100,000 sf in the 38-story building across Washington Street from City Hall, the asset has a vacancy rate of just 5%.

That compares to about 50% six years ago, when New York-based the Praedium Group LLC teamed with Golub & Co. bought the 395,191-sf building and embarked on a major renovation program. Improvements were made to the lobby as well as retail space on the ground floor of the building, constructed in 1929.

The joint venture is looking for another challenge, suggests Robert Murray, Praedium Group’s regional chief. “We have great confidence in the Chicago area and continue to aggressively seek similar value-add opportunities in this market,” he says.

Golub & Co. and the Praedium Group bought the 309,000-sf 1603 Orrington building in Evanston in 1999, added the 31,000-sf space at 1629 Orrington leased to Borders Books & Music, then sold both properties.

The sales price of $152 per sf eclipses most office sales Downtown this year. Among the deals at a higher price point were Sears Tower, Leo Burnett Building and the AMA Building at 515 N. State St., all of them at least 45 years newer.

The Pyne Companies Ltd. represented NV of America Inc., while Blake Johnson of Eastdil handled negotiations for Praedium Group LLC and Golub & Co.

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