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CHICAGO-The Inverbrass Funds LLC has purchased a 105,000-sf building and an adjacent parking lot for approximately $10 million with the intent of renovating the building into work/live units. Inverbrass Funds, based in Chicago, purchased the building at 619 S. LaSalle St. in Chicago’s Printers Row neighborhood from “a local partnership,” says John Slivka, senior associate for CB Richard Ellis.

Slivka and Marcello Campanini, also with CB Richard Ellis, represented the seller in the transaction. The asking price for the property was $7.2 million. Slivka tells GlobeSt.com that it was “more of a business decision” as to why the local partnership was selling the property. “There was a tenant that left a significant vacancy that allowed the ownership to work on repositioning it via capital improvements,” he says.

Tabin Corp. purchased the building in 2001. Slivka would not confirm that Tabin was the seller of the property. However, Ayman Khalil, principal with Inverbrass Funds, did confirm Tabin was the seller.

Inverbrass Funds purchased the building with the intent of converting it to work/live lofts because of its location, Khalil tells GlobeSt.com. “It was one of the few remaining actual printing press type of buildings in the South Loop,” he says. There are currently only a few tenants with the “two major tenants” being a printer and a publisher, Khalil says. “Frankly speaking, I do not think they will be staying,” Khalil says. The two tenants are paying “historic rates that were [between] $8 per sf to $9 per sf,” he says. “Even if I was not planning on doing any upgrades, any renting fees would basically price them out of that area,” he says.

Geo. Lauterer Corp., which sells fraternal regalia, church usher supplies and corporate awards, is the only tenant that has a long-term lease, Khalil says. The business occupies approximately 10,000 sf and has about five years remaining on their lease, he says. “They told us that they want to stay and we are happy to accommodate them,” he says.

Inverbrass Funds plans on initially converting “at least half” of the space into work/live rental units, Khalil says. A significant portion of the building will be renovated into units that are between 1,000 sf and 1,500 sf with private baths, kitchenettes and individual heating and air conditioning, he says. “We plan to focus on hardwood floors, timber beams, exposed duct work and track lighting,” he says. The lease rate for the units will be about $1,500 per month for the 1,000-sf units and about $2,000 per month for the 1,500-sf units, he says.

Khalil tells GlobeSt.com he hopes to have the renovations start in about six months. “We are developing plans and permits now,” he says. The renovations should be completed in the beginning of 2008, he says.

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