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CHICAGO—On Tuesday, GlobeSt.com reported that Chicago-based Urban Innovations, a company with deep roots in the River North neighborhood, had repurchased, at a significantly lower price, several office buildings in the West Loop’s Greektown neighborhood that the firm had sold to another investor in 2005. Today, Mike Scilingo, president of Urban Innovations, explains how this came about, and how the commercial real estate markets in River North and Greektown can impact one another.

“We were swimming upstream,” says Scilingo of the time when the company first bought and began leasing 322 S. Green St. and 833 W. Jackson Blvd. about one mile west of the Loop. It was the late 1990′s, and the tech bubble was bursting, undercutting the very businesses the loft-style offices were designed to attract. The market eventually stabilized, he adds. Still, the buildings never quite achieved from an investment standpoint what Urban Innovations had thought possible when the boom was on.

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