The Real Deal Chicago

Glenstar ditches apartment plan near O’Hare, will build offices instead

The developer will build a 600K sf office building near the airport after dropping a lawsuit over a blocked rental project
January 09, 2019 03:00PM

Rand A. Diamond, managing principal of Glenstar Properties (Credit: iStock)

Glenstar Properties is ditching an apartment project near O’Hare Airport in favor of a 600,000-square-foot office building.

The change comes after the Chicago-based developer dropped its lawsuit against the city over an alderman’s objection to its proposal to build 299 apartments at 8535 West Higgins Road, according to Crain’s.

In January 2017, Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s (41st) zoning advisory committee approved Glenstar’s plan to build the apartment complex around the corner from the CTA Cumberland Blue Line station. But Napolitano later asked City Council zoning committee chair Alderman Danny Solis (25th) to shelve a vote on the proposal, citing “thousands” of constituent complaints against the plan.

Glenstar sued the city and Napolitano in March 2018, but last month dropped the legal action and decided to pursue offices instead, rather than wage a protracted legal battle, managing principal Michael Klein told Crain’s.

A similar lawsuit, filed by the New York-based Property Markets Group after Solis blocked its “Parkworks” proposal in Pilsen, remains pending.

Glenstar is betting heavily on the suburban office market, spending tens of millions of dollars renovating multiple complexes northwest of the city.

Suburban offices posted mixed leasing results last year, but the O’Hare submarket has consistently outperformed its surroundings, delivering relatively low vacancy rates and rising rents. [Crain’s] — Alex Nitkin