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HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL-Claire’s Stores has sold its 527,661-square-foot headquarters and distribution center here for $18 million to Angelo Gordon Net Lease Fund in a leaseback deal. The building, which includes about 110,000 square feet of office space, is on 28 acres just off of Interstate 90 and directly adjacent to the Huntington Woods corporate park.

Having gone out of style during the economic downturn, sale-leasebacks are on a massive comeback, says Robert Brennan with CB Richard Ellis. Brennan, Andrew Sandquist, Jonathan Wolfe, John Suerth and Jason Lev represented Claire’s in the deal. Reasons for the comeback include an enormous amount of equity facing a lack of quality product on the market, and improved mortgage financing alternatives, Brennan tells GlobeSt.com. “There’s a difference between the leasing market, which is way down right now, and the investment market. There’s no question the industrial market is facing vacancy challenges, but on the investment side, especially in the past 60-90 days, there’s been a significant surge in activity.”

Lenders have come back to Chicago industrial investment, agrees Sandquist. He says the price in this deal was very healthy, “if you look at the comparable market rent, this property sold for the mid-$30 per square foot, that’s pretty healthy for such a large building.” Sandquist says there’s been an uptick in local activity as well, with deals such as the New York-based W.P. Carey & Co. buying the 100,000-square-foot Mori Seiki headquarters building in the Huntington Woods park for $32 million in December. The machine-tool tenant also has a 20-year lease.

Claire’s will lease the property back for 20 years. The jewelry and accessories retailer has 2,969 stores in the United States and Europe.

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