SCHAUMBURG, IL-The tallest buildings in this Northwest suburb, Zurich American Insurance Co.’s 1400 and 1450 E. American Ln., have been sold to Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust for $138-million in a sale-leaseback. Zurich American and the Oak Brook-based REIT struck a 895,418-sf deal, allowing the insurance company in both 20-story towers for up to 37 years.

“This is one of the finest-looking properties I’ve ever bought in a sale-leaseback,” says Inland Real Estate Acquisitions chairman Joe Cosenza. “Driving up to these two black towers, with their excellent view of the Chicago skyline, is a breathtaking experience.”

Besides acquiring two high-profile buildings at $154 per sf that are immediately 100% leased, the REIT has another reason for buying an asset outside of the Western US and retail sector, Cosenza says. “For us, it affords us a tremendously good stream of stable rental income,” he says.

US Equities Realty’s most recent market report pegs vacancy in the Northwest suburban submarket at 24.8%, the worst outside of the East-West Corridor. The deal comes days after the two-building, 550,000-sf Meadows Corporate Center changed hands at just $84 per sf. Chicago-based Golub & Co. and Boston-based Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. paid a reported $46 million for the office buildings at 2550 and 2850 W. Golf Rd. along the Northwest Tollway in neighboring Rolling Meadows.

The buildings at 1400 and 1450 E. American Ln. were constructed in 1990 for the insurance company. Andrew Sandquist and Brian Scott of CB Richard Ellis handled negotiations for Zurich American along with the company’s chief financial officer, Tom Bradley, and treasurer, Mary Fran Callahan.

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