3L Real Estate buys Columbia College building for planned conversion

The developer will turn the South Loop property, along with another it acquired from the school, into market-rate apartments

Columbia College Residence Center (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Columbia College Residence Center (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

3L Real Estate bought a student housing building from Columbia College for more than $20 million, the second building it purchased from the school recently for a market-rate apartment project.

The Chicago developer said Columbia will lease the 343-room building through the end of next school year while it finishes a $50 million student center at Wabash Avenue and Eighth Street, according to Bisnow.

3L CEO Joseph Slezak said his firm partnered with Skydeck, the investment arm of the Polsky family, on the redevelopment plan, which will include converting the first floor to retail space.

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Slezak’s company in May secured a permit to convert the historic former home of Johnson Publishing into market-rate apartments. 3L bought the 12-story office building in 2010 from Columbia and is spending $15 million on the adaptive reuse.

The area near the south end of Grant Park is seeing a boom in apartment construction, with projects including Crescent Heights’ 792-unit NEMA Chicago apartment tower — formerly known as One Grant Park — Oxford Capital’s 479-unit Essex on the Park apartment tower, Murphy Development and CIM Group’s 47-story tower at 1326 South Michigan Avenue and planned buildings from CMK Companies. [Bisnow] — John O’Brien