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CHICAGO-GlenStar Properties LLC and other partners have purchased the four-tower, 810,000-sf Presidents Plaza in the O’Hare submarket from Equity Office Properties Trust for about $129 million, and plans a renovation of the property that will cost up to $10 million, according a company official. This is the second purchase of property by the Chicago-based company; GlenStar bought the 450,000-sf Culligan International Inc. corporate headquarters a week ago in Cook County for about $23 million, says principal Michael Klein.

“Our plan is to take what we think is a great property and a great location and do some upgrades,” Klein says about Presidents Plaza. GlenStar purchased the roughly 20-year-old property at 8600-8700 Bryn Mawr Ave. in a joint venture with investors advised by Prudential Real Estate Investors. “We’re going to do everything from exterior work on the entrance, renovate the lobby, bathrooms, and other common areas. We haven’t finished plans yet, the cost could be around $10 million or less,” Klein tells GlobeSt.com.

The four-building complex is about 70% occupied, with tenants including True Value and Bally Total Fitness, both which have their headquarters at the site. “Our goal with this type of site is to upgrade buildings and lease them up, we’re looking to enhance the asset,” Klein says. The airport market is heating up, as the multi-billion dollar O’Hare Modernization Program continues to move ahead.

It’s a different story for the Culligan property, Klein tells GlobeSt.com. Culligan plans to vacate its offices and manufacturing space in six months, and GlenStar will demolish the building. The 40-acre property is in unincorporated Cook County (though it’s listed as Northbrook), and Klein says the company has large plans for the site. Though he wouldn’t confirm the plans, GlenStar reportedly wants to spend about $500 million to develop the site as mixed-use. “We’re working with the communities of Glenview and Northbrook right now to come up with something. It’s zoned for 1.8 million sf of office, but we’re not going to do all that. It’s likely going to be mixed-use; it could be retail, hotel and/or residential, with an office component,” he says.

He says GlenStar tried to convince the water treatment company to move into the new space, but that it was too late. “They’re already too far down the road on going into another property,” Klein says. The company is reportedly moving to the Riverway complex in Rosemont. More will be released on the Culligan site when talks with the communities have moved forward, he says. “It’s the best infill site in the suburbs,” Klein says.

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