The Real Deal Chicago

Here are the 10 biggest loans in Chicago in the past year

Borrowing on Downtown office projects dominated the list
By John O'Brien |
Research by Laura Hanrahan
April 05, 2018 02:15PM

500 West Madison Street, Wrigley Field, 150 North Riverside Plaza (Credit: 500westmadison, Flickr)

Chicago’s Downtown office towers dominate the skyline and they also accounted for most of the top 10 commercial mortgages that lenders provided over the past year, according to a new analysis by The Real Deal.

In the wake of Blackstone Group’s record $1.3 billion refinance on the Willis Tower this week, TRD tallied the biggest loans in Chicago from March 1, 2017 to February, 28, 2018.

Of the total $3.7 billion borrowed, KSB Realty led the way with its $1.01 billion refinancing on the office tower at 500 West Madison Street above the Ogilvie Transportation Center in the West Loop. Other big loans went to finance office buildings at 150 North Riverside Plaza, 181 West Madison Street and 1 South Dearborn Street.

The big borrowers also had their hands in other sectors of the real estate market, including high-profile projects like the Old Main Post Office overhaul, the ongoing renovations at Wrigley Field, and the construction of a 60-story residential tower on Wolf Point.

See the entire list below. And keep an eye out for more signature rankings from TRD.

1. $1.01 billion
Property: 500 West Madison Street
Lender: Bank of America
Borrower: KSB Realty

KSB Realty’s refinance of the 1.5 million-square-foot office tower it owns above the Ogilvie Transportation Center in September was twice as big as the next loan on the list. The 42-story building designed by Helmut Jahn is home to more than 90 companies with 6,000 employees.

2. $525 million
Property: Wrigley Field, 1060 West Addison Street
Lender: U.S. Bank National Association
Borrower: Wrigley Field Holdings

After buying the Cubs and Wrigley Field for $900 million in 2009, the Ricketts family has embarked on a multiyear plan to renovate the Friendly Confines that reportedly will cost another $850 million. A new plaza, offices, upgraded bathrooms, concessions and signage have all been part of the ongoing work, and new dugouts farther down the baselines will be among the more notable changes at the ballpark this season.

3. $470 million
Property: 150 North Riverside Plaza
Lender: Bank of America
Borrower: 150 North Riverside TitleHolder LLC

The owners took out a $296 million construction loan in March 2016 to build the gleaming skyscraper on the west bank of the Chicago River at the confluence of the North, South and Main branches. The $470 million refinancing in August came four months after the 54-story office tower debuted to rave architectural reviews.

4. $355 million
Property: Old Main Post Office complex, 433 West Van Buren Street, 404 West Harrison Street, 358 West Harrison Street and 527 South Clinton Street
Lender: JPMorgan Chase
Borrower: 601W Companies

601W Companies is in the middle of an overhaul of the hulking Old Main Post Office complex and expects its first tenants by the end of the year. The construction loan will help finance the transformation of THE 2.8 million-square-foot building that the city is touting as a possible home to Amazon’s second headquarters.

5. $235 million
Property: 1 South Dearborn Street
Lender: ING Capital LLC
Borrower: SOF-Dearborn LLC

Starwood Capital closed in January on its acquisition of the 828,000-square-foot office tower, one of the biggest sales in Chicago over the past year. The building is anchored by law firm Sidley & Austin, which occupies 575,000 square feet.

6. $233 million
Property: 181 West Madison Street
Lender: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Borrower: 181 West Madison Property LLC

A venture led by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group took out the mortgage as part of its March 2017 purchase of the office building from CBRE Global Investors. But HNA is reportedly already looking for a new owner for the building as part of a larger sell-off across the United States.

7. $225 million
Property: 108 North State Street
Lender: Husky Finco LLC
Borrower: North Street Air Rights (Chicago) Owner LLC

The owner of the air rights over Block 37 took out the loan in December. The four-story shopping center with a checkered history saw its first vertical development completed in 2016 with the completion of the Marquee at Block 37 apartment tower.

8. $216 million
Property: 313 West Wolf Point Plaza
Lender: Bank of America
Borrower: Bit Wolf Point East Investors LLC

Work has already begun on the planned 60-story Wolf Point East apartment tower at 313 West Wolf Point Plaza, which will join the existing 48-story Wolf Point West tower at the confluence of the three branches of the river just west of the Merchandise Mart. A future third tower is also planned for the site and would be the tallest of the three at 950 feet.

9. $213 million
Property: 2316 North Lincoln Avenue
Lender: JPMorgan Chase
Borrower: Lincoln Fullerton REIT Property LLC

McCaffery Interests is building the $350 million Lincoln Commons project on the site of the old Children’s Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park. The six-acre project will include two 20-story apartment towers, a six-story office building, an assisted living facility and 105,000 square feet of planned retail, anchored by a new Equinox fitness club.

10. $211 million
Property: 401 North Michigan Avenue
Lender: Wells Fargo Bank, National Association
Borrower: Walton Street Capital

Walton Street Capital bought the Equitable Building complex, including the new flagship Apple store, in May 2017 for $370 million, financed in part by the $211 million mortgage from Wells Fargo. Now, the investment firm is looking to sell the Apple store and 10,000 square feet of retail space inside the 700,000-square-foot skyscraper for $175 million.