The Real Deal Chicago

John Buck refinances River North apartments with $75M loan

The developer is the latest to take advantage of rising property values while holding a property
By John O’Brien |
Research by Laura Hanrahan
October 12, 2018 12:00PM

The John Buck Company CEO John Buck and 311 West Illinois Street (Credit: The John Buck Company)

The John Buck Company secured a $75 million refinancing on the 3Eleven luxury apartment building in River North, the latest developer to restructure debt in order to take advantage of rising property values.

The loan from Helaba on the 245-unit building at 311 West Illinois Street replaces a $54 million mortgage on the property that John Buck took out in 2016 from Wintrust Bank.

Refinancing commercial real estate loans accounted for 61 percent of U.S. loan volume in the first quarter of this year, up from 45 percent in 2015, Crain’s reported earlier this year.

Not far from John Buck’s 3Eleven, Magellan Development recently took out a $115 million mortgage on its 298-unit Exhibit on Superior apartment building.

And earlier this year, Forest City Realty Trust took out a $93 million refinancing on the 1,114-unit Pavilion apartment complex near O’Hare Airport. Among the others were Bayshore Properties, which secured a $26 million refinancing on the 354-unit Riverwoods Apartments complex in suburban Lansing, and Origin Investments and Randolph Street Realty Capital, which landed a $36 million refinancing for a 262-unit Naperville apartment complex.

Office investors are seizing the opportunity: GEM Realty Capital in August landed a $305 million loan to refinance a tower at 70 West Madison Street in the Loop. And in April, Blackstone Group made waves with a record $1.3 billion refinance of the Willis Tower — a year after it took out a $1 billion mortgage on the iconic skyscraper.