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CHICAGO-Bentley Forbes, based in Los Angeles, is planning on selling a majority stake of the 2.2-million-sf Prudential Plaza. The two-building Plaza is at 130 E. Randolph St. and 180 N. Stetson Ave.

The company acquired the buildings in May 2006 for $470 million, or approximately $214 per sf, and is planning on selling a stake of between 50% and 75%, company president and CEO David Cobb tells GlobeSt.com. Bentley Forbes has not officially placed the property on the market yet and will likely wait until January to begin marketing the buildings, Cobb says.

The sale will help “recycle equity some capital,” Cobb says. “We have had a tremendous appreciation in the value of the property since we bought it,” he says. “By selling a joint venture stake, we could realize some equity…which we would then take and reinvest in other properties.” The company plans to continue to manage and lease the building.

The two-building Plaza is currently about 92% leased, Cobb says. Major tenants in the buildings include People’s Gas and McGraw Hill. Baker & McKenzie is currently the largest tenant in the towers, leasing 240,000 sf at One Prudential Plaza. However, the law firm has hired Jones Lang LaSalle and architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to consider the firm’s options, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com.

The lease rate for the buildings vary depending on the building, the floor and the size, but the typical asking rates for the lower level is $15 per sf triple net and $22 per sf triple net for the upper level. A new restaurant is planned for the 40th and 41st floors of One Prudential Plaza, which was once the home of the Top of the Rock restaurant and an observation deck. Cobb said there will be an official announcement on the restaurant in the near future.

Potential buyers are likely to include insurance companies, pension funds or foreign investors, he says. “We have a very stabile property [and] we have a great roster of tenants,” Cobb says, adding that most of the leases have annual rent increases. Cobb would not disclose an estimate of what they expect to receive for selling the stake. Parkway Properties Inc., based in Jackson, MS, is expected to fetch as much as $600 million, or $300 per sf, for an outright sale of the one-million-sf One Illinois Center,111 E. Wacker Dr., and one-million-sf Two Illinois Center, 233 N. Michigan Ave., as reported by GlobeSt.com. In a recent sale, a 3.1-million-sf, four-building portfolio was acquired by Dallas-based Behringer Harvard for around $270 per sf.

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