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CHICAGO—Stephen Hearn was in a celebratory mood yesterday, but remained conscious of the obligation he and his partners had just assumed. The president and CEO of the Chicago-based The Hearn Company, along with The Lynd Company and Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, had just completed their purchase from Deutsche Bank AG of the 900,000-square-foot office sector and 710-car parking facility of the John Hancock Center, perhaps Chicago’s most notable building.    

“A responsibility is the word I’ve been using to describe this,” Hearn said. “It’s a chance that only comes along once every 20 or 30 years to make a difference in an iconic property. When we bought 55 West Monroe [in 2011], the truth is nobody except those in the building cared all that much who bought it. I think the John Hancock Center is different. It’s part of the fabric of the city of Chicago.”

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