Old Post Office to get new face in commercial real estate venture

Chicago's Old Post Office has stood vacant for several years. Now, its 2.7 million square feet of space is going to get a facelift. The plans for this commercial real estate venture include retail space, office space and other purposes.

The project is spearheaded by a joint venture comprised of International Property Developers North America (IPDNA) and Sterling Bay Cos. The building is from the 1930s and is considered part of Neo-Classical architecture. The building was up for auction in 2009 and IPDNA purchased it for the bargain price of $24 million. That is just the beginning of the money that will be spent on refurbishing this classic old building.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost around $500 million. When the first phase is complete, office and retail space will be available for the rapidly expanding business market in Chicago. Sources say that many companies not within the city limits are having trouble attracting young people because they want to work in the city and not the suburbs. Therefore, office space is at a premium. Other projects in the city have drawn lessors such as Sara Lee and Google.

With the growth in the commercial real estate market in Chicago, many businesses may wish to enter the market at this time. Negotiating a lease for new office space or a development contract can be complex and frustrating, however. Companies may benefit from having advice and assistance in these negotiations to ensure they receive the best agreement possible. Further, it is important that any contract signed is reviewed to ensure it complies with state and federal laws and contains all of the provisions to which the parties agreed.

Source: cpexecutive.com, "JV Formed for Half-Billion-Dollar Redevelopment of Chicago's Old Post Office", Barbra Murray, June 20, 2014

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