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CHAMPAIGN, IL-Romanek Properties Ltd., based in Chicago, has sold a 12-building portfolio on Neil Street for $42 million. Gary Nussbaum, Thomas Gorman and Matthew Mitchell, all with Chicago-based Transwestern, represented Romanek. The portfolio has a total of 241,198 sf of office and retail space. The buyer was not disclosed except that it is a California-based family trust. A cap rate was not disclosed.

The portfolio is a master planned project developed adjacent to the University of Illinois by Fox Development Corp., based here, and constructed between 1989 and 2001, says Nussbaum, managing director for Transwestern. The Shoppes of Knollwood is an upscale retail center with the rest of the portfolio consisting of office space. The park has “a lot of high-credit national tenants,” Nussbaum says. According to Fox Development’s website the Shoppes of Knollwood are located on South Neil Street between Devonshire Drive and Windsor Road. The retail for Shoppes of Knollwood consists of more than 38,000 sf, according to Fox Development’s website.

The portfolio has always been well occupied and Nussbaum said he could not recall the development being less than 96% occupied. “It is in a market where there is a limited amount of class A office space and in a market where the class A office space tends to be 95% or better occupied,” he says. Office tenants include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Allstate, Amdocs and Intel. The asking lease rate for class A office space in the area ranges from $15 per sf and $17 per sf, net although “Rates are going up all over” as there is not class A office space available, Nussbaum says. Retail tenants include First Midwest Bank and Le Peet Restaurant. The asking retail lease rate for the area is between $17 per sf and $19 per sf net, he says.

Romanek acquired the properties in late 2004 from Fox Development. Transwestern represented Fox Development in the acquisition. Nussbaum would not disclose the sales price in the 2004 transaction but it was reportedly $31 million. Romanek had not been planning on selling the portfolio when Transwestern contacted the firm with “a good match,” Nussbaum says. No renovations are needed to any of the buildings. “The buyer is looking for future and consistent cash flow,” he says. “This will be a long-term hold.”

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