In one of Chicago’s largest-ever office leasing deals, United Airlines and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced last month that the air carrier would move its headquarters to Willis Tower. United will take an additional 200,000 square feet in the landmark building (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and extend the lease for its current 625,000-square-foot space in the building by another two years to 2028, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. United’s top executives will join the company’s operations center and other employees at the Willis Tower early next year, bringing United’s total workers in the building to 4,000 across 16 floors. According to a second-quarter market report from Jones Lang LaSalle, Chicago’s Central Business District had a total office vacancy rate of 15.9 percent, or roughly 22 million square feet, and an average asking rent of $31.44.
In the largest Miami office transaction since 2008, fund management firm Crocker Partners paid $262.5 million for the 34-story, 786,000-square-foot Miami Center, the Wall Street Journal reported. The seller was Sumitomo Corp. of America, a unit of the Japanese global trading firm Sumitomo Corp. The deal breaks down to roughly $334 per square foot, well above Miami’s $169-per-square-foot average for 2011, but below the $400 range that some large Miami trophy office buildings fetched near the peak of the market. The tower was completed by developer Theodore Gould in 1983, and counts Citigroup as one of its biggest tenants. The now-defunct Stanford Financial Group also previously occupied several floors of the building. Nearly one-fifth of downtown Miami’s office market remains vacant, compared with 9.2 percent in 2007, according to the research firm Reis Inc. Thomas Crocker, founder of Crocker Partners, told the Journal he plans to lease up, stabilize and ultimately sell the property, along with several other office buildings that his firm has acquired in Miami and other cities in the past 20 months.
Olympian Michael Phelps sold his 4,080-square-foot Baltimore townhouse for $1.25 million, a loss from the $1.7 million he paid for the property in 2007, the Baltimore Business Journal reported. Phelps, who is reportedly moving into a row house off Canton Square, had listed his townhouse with Krauss Real Property Brokerage. The home, not surprisingly, comes with an indoor swimming pool. The housing market in Maryland has seen tough times in recent years: The rate of new foreclosure filings in the state far exceeded that of any other state this spring, the Baltimore Sun reported. Almost 20 in every 1,000 home loans in Maryland — twice the national average — went into foreclosure during April, May and June, according to data released last month by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The number of new foreclosures in the second quarter increased 141 percent compared with the same period of last year. Still, after years of losses, the Baltimore-area housing market has begun to see price increases, the Sun reported. Average sale prices remained flat or rose in more than half of the Baltimore region during the first six months of the year, compared with the same period of last year.
Amtrak has proposed a $7 billion expansion of Washington’s Union Station, the Washington Post reported. The plan would double the number of trains the century-old station can accommodate and aim to improve the passenger experience at what is the second-busiest Amtrak station in the country. The proposal comes amid developer Akridge’s plans for Burnham Place, a $1.5 billion office, hotel and residential complex to be built on a deck over the tracks behind the station.
Billionaire Bill Koch is building a private Old West–style town on his 6,400-acre ranch in Gunnison County, Colo., the Denver Post reported. Over the past two years, the County Planning Commission has given Koch permission to build around 50 buildings on the site, which is not open to the public, the Post said. Koch, the founder of the energy company Oxbow Group, is also building a 22,000-square-foot mansion on the ranch. The house will be the largest in the county when completed.
Screenwriter Alvin Sargent has sold the Santa Monica home he shared with his wife, the late film producer Laura Ziskin, for $11.1 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. Ziskin, who produced “Pretty Woman” and the “Spider-Man” movies, died last year from breast cancer at the age of 61. The four-bedroom home hit the market in April for $11.85 million with Elisabeth Halsted of Prudential California Realty.
Actor David Schwimmer has sold his Los Angeles compound for $8.9 million, the Daily Mail reported. The “Friends” alum listed the nine-bedroom, 11,336-square-foot home late last year for $10.7 million and later dropped the price to $10.2 million. Schwimmer purchased the home for $5.5 million in 2001.