Chicago's Congress Center changes hands

Another commercial property in downtown Chicago has been sold. This most recent commercial real estate transaction involves the Congress Center. The building, consisting of 16 floors, is located in the West Loop, at 525 W. Van Buren. The office tower was sold to west coast based Sovereign Capital Management Group. The price tag for the real estate sale was $95 million.

Construction on the building was completed in 2001 and it boasts a two-story lobby with high-end accents. Approximately 520,000 square feet of the property is rentable. Current tenants include U.S. General Services Administration, North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, and AkzoNobel. Having last changed hands before the real estate market burst, it was considered to be a "challenged" property by its new owner.

The change in ownership removes the tenants-in common structure that was previously in place. Under the TIC structure, 35 people owned a 1/35 interest. Now a joint venture between an entity managed by Sovereign, American Recovery Property Trust, and Northwood Investors, the new owners are working on capital expenditure plans.

In today's real estate market all real estate transactions are complicated and carry the possibility of something going wrong. That possibility is increased in situations where the deal involves property and finances of the magnitude in this case. There is no question that both sides to this transaction had a legal team doing everything possible to make sure things went as planned. Whatever the size, or type, of real estate transaction it is important to make sure that each party is protecting their assets and rights.

Source: Commercial Property Executive, "Sovereign Capital Acquires Congress Center in Chicago for $95M," Keith Loria, Oct. 25, 2012

  • Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Chicago commercial real estate page.

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