The Real Deal Chicago

Joe Mansueto to become owner of Wrigley Building: report

The billionaire founder of Morningstar would take at least a stake in the landmark Mag Mile property
May 18, 2018 04:00PM

From left: The Wrigley Building, Joe Mansueto. (Credit from left: Chintan Amin via Flickr, Morningstar)

Billionaire Joe Mansueto is taking an ownership stake in the Wrigley Building.

The founder of investment research and management firm Morningstar is buying into the property owned by a joint venture of investment firm BDT Capital Partners, Zeller Realty Group and Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, sources told Crain’s.

Details of the deal were unclear, including how much of the landmark buildings at 400-410 North Michigan Avenue Mansueto is buying.

The BDT venture paid $33 million for the Wrigley Building and a 1.5-acre site next door at 443 North Wabash Avenue in 2011. Three years later it sold the Wabash site alone to California-based real estate investor Macerich for $42 million.

Earlier this year the owners were interviewing brokers to sell the 472,000-square-foot building for some $200 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Tenants were asked earlier this week by building management to certify that their leases are bound to a venture controlled by Mansueto in addition to the BDT venture. New York Life Insurance is also listed as having a role in the deal, though it is unclear whether it would be as a lender for Mansueto or an equity investor in the property, according to Crain’s.

The tenant notices are typically part of the due diligence process in buying or financing a property.

Spokespeople for the parties either could not be reached for comment or declined comment to Crain’s.

The owners spent $70 million — with an assist from federal historic tax credits — renovating the connected towers and spent millions more leasing them up, raising occupancy from 35 percent overall to 93 percent for the south tower and 96 percent for the north. The biggest tenant is architects Perkins + Will at 60,000 square feet.

Mansueto, whose net worth is $3 billion according to a Forbes estimate, founded Morningstar in 1984 and stepped down as its CEO in 2017. He also owns Mansueto Ventures, a New York-based company that publishes Fast Company and Inc. magazines. [Crain’s]John O’Brien