John Buck scores $161M construction loan on West Loop apartment project

The 2-building, 586-unit complex at 845 West Madison is a joint venture between John Buck and Lendlease

Chicago /
May.May 13, 2019 03:00 PM
A rendering of 845 West Madison Street

A rendering of 845 West Madison Street (Credit: The John Buck Company)

The John Buck Company secured a nine-figure construction loan to back the massive West Loop apartment complex it’s co-developing with Lendlease and a Boston investor.

Wells Fargo was listed as administrative agent for the $160.6 million loan taken out last month on the 2.5-acre construction site, meaning it may have been one of several banks that cobbled the loan together, according to Cook County property records. John Buck Company Principal Jeanne Lazar signed the mortgage on behalf of the borrower.

Chicago-based John Buck Company and Australia-based Lendlease started construction last year on the 586-unit complex at 845 West Madison Street, on the former site of the H2O Plus lotion and shampoo facility. The plan calls for a pair of new 17-story buildings, with about 10,000 square feet of combined ground-floor retail space.

Boston-based Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation later signed on to the project by providing nearly $62 million in joint venture equity.

The development is by far the largest of a handful of residential projects sprinkled among a torrent of office and hotel construction underway around the hot Fulton Market neighborhood. Its capacity surpasses Fifield Companies’ recently-completed 492-unit tower at 727 West Madison, now the city’s tallest tower west of the Kennedy Expressway.

John Buck and Lendlease scored city approval for their plan before November 2017, when the city drew a new affordable housing “pilot zone” around Fulton Market and other fast-developing neighborhoods that requires at least 20 percent of all units to be set aside as affordable housing. Builders say the rules have stifled apartment development inside the zones.

But the policy so far has not stopped Related Midwest, which is proposing to build more than 700 combined apartments nearby at 1061 West Van Buren Street and 725 West Randolph Street.

Tandem Construction also won approval last year to build a 401-unit apartment development at 1050 and 1125 West Van Buren, MCZ Development is proposing a 236-unit complex at 166 North Aberdeen Street, and LG Development secured permits this year for a 166-unit rental building at 1220 West Jackson Boulevard.

John Buck and Lendlease are projected to finish their development by summer 2020.

Representatives of the John Buck and Wells Fargo did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.


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