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CHICAGO-Golub & Co. and Charlotte, NC-based Wachovia Securities have entered into a joint venture to purchase 541 North Fairbanks, also known as the Time-Life Building. The 542,000-sf, 30-story office consists of 528,567 sf of office space and 13,070 sf of retail space.

The seller was Capri Capital Advisors LLC on behalf of an institutional owner. Sales price was not disclosed.

Anglo Irish Bank Corp. plc provided $62 million in financing for the acquisition. Tony Campbell, president and CEO of Anglo Irish Bank’s North American operations, tells GlobeSt.com that “because of our long-term relationship with Golub, we were able to complete this transaction within a couple of weeks. Due to our flat organizational structure, we can move quickly to meet our client’s financing needs. We have completed a number of previous transactions with them.”

Anglo Irish worked with Golub last year to finance another office property, the 480,000-sf 225 W. Washington building. In addition, the bank also has an established relationship with Golub in Europe. Golub has done most of its work in Eastern Europe in such countries as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

This acquisition is the first joint venture between Golub and Wachovia Securities. Michael Goldman, SVP of finance and acquisitions at Golub, negotiated the transaction for the buyers. Bruce Miller and Peter Harwood of Jones Lang LaSalle were brokers in the transaction. Alasdair Cripps of Capri Capital Advisors negotiated for Capri.

Michael Newman, president of Golub, says that the venture plans to invest about $15 million in capital improvements to the property over the next three years. Completed in 1968, 541 North Fairbanks was originally named for its anchor tenant, Time-Life.

About 20% of the building’s office space is available for lease. Currently available office space ranges from 20,000 to 60,000 contiguous sf. John Ferguson, Golub’s SVP of leasing and marketing, along with Josh Crane, leasing director, will oversee the office leasing program.

Goldman tells GlobeSt.com that “the property is in great shape. The previous owners took good care of it. Our current plans are to do cosmetic changes to the common areas and corridors.” He adds that the building is in close proximity to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is in the process of expanding. “The medical industry is a growth industry. So, we will market the property to those potential users. The North Michigan Avenue submarket traditionally has had a number of media users and associations as well. In addition, the neighborhood has a number of residents who lease individual office space.”

Goldman explains that “we are going to reposition the building with a new marketing campaign. We want the building on brokers’ radar screens. We may even move away from the current moniker of the building, but that decision is still under discussion.”

Finally, plans are underway to upgrade the retail space. “Golub has an apartment development nearby called the Streeter, 345 E. Ohio. Our retail space will cater to not only the office tenants, but nearby residents as well,” Goldman says.

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