Walton Street sells off another chunk of Michigan Avenue retail strip

Invesco bought a riverfront retail space near the office tower at 401 North Michigan Avenue in an $11M deal

Martin Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco and 401 North Michigan Avenue
Martin Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco and 401 North Michigan Avenue

Walton Street Capital sold off a piece of its Magnificent Mile retail holdings to the same out-of-town firm that picked up the adjacent Apple store earlier this year.

Atlanta-based investment giant Invesco bought a riverfront retail space in the complex that includes the 35-story office tower at 401 North Michigan Avenue, sometimes called the Equitable building, in a $11.2 million sale, according to Cook County property records.

The Invesco entity that bought it is named Ticket Booth and Dock Owner LLC, while the Walton Street entity that sold it is called W-Z NMA Shoreline Trs VIII LLC. The Shoreline Sightseeing tour boat company has a launch at the site.

Zeller Realty Group owned the office tower, retail space and adjacent Apple Store until October 2017, when Chicago-based Walton Street bought all three properties in a $360 million deal just before the store was scheduled to open. Then, in January, Walton Street turned around and sold the laptop-shaped Apple hub to Invesco in a $79 million deal.

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Apple pays about $125 per square foot in rent, roughly matching other landmark storefronts on the city’s most prominent retail strip, according to a marketing document cited in Crain’s earlier this year. But just one block down the river, at Trump International Hotel & Tower, tax documents show that brokers failed last year to sign tenants at rents below $30 per square foot.

The sale is the latest in a year-long selling spree for Walton Street Capital, which was founded in 1994 by JMB Realty Principal Neil Bluhm. In the months leading up to the Apple store sale, the private equity firm sold a Rolling Meadows office complex to Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners and a West Loop low-rise to Maryland-based ASB Real Estate.

Invesco claims more than $933 billion in global assets under its management, including multiple properties in Chicago.

A spokesperson for Walton Street declined to comment on the sale, and representatives of Invesco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.