Related Midwest refinances One Bennett Park with $205M loan

The firm has already racked up more than $62 million in condo sales in the 70-story tower, records show
By Alex Nitkin |
Research by Haru Coryne
July 11, 2019 12:00PM

Curt Bailey and One Bennett Park (Credit: Related Midwest)

Curt Bailey and One Bennett Park (Credit: Related Midwest)

Related Midwest is digging in for long-term ownership of its recently completed One Bennett Park tower.

The development giant took out a $205 million loan from Wells Fargo last month, secured by the Streeterville building’s ultra-luxury apartments as it continues to rack up multimillion-dollar condo sales, according to Cook County property records.

Wells Fargo had led a group of lenders to issue a $240 million construction loan in December 2016, when the builder was preparing to break ground on the 70-story tower.

At the time, it was less clear that ornate, condo-esque one-bedrooms would find tenants willing to pay $3,700 per month in rent. But about six months after the tower’s 279 apartments opened, most are already occupied. The building’s leasing website shows just 26 available units, including a four-bedroom penthouse advertised at $22,500 per month.

A spokesperson for Related Midwest confirmed the refinancing but otherwise declined to comment on Wednesday.

Related Midwest Sales, the firm’s in-house brokerage, has already closed on more than $62 million in condo transactions since sales began in February with new units closing almost weekly, property records show. As of late May, about 40 percent of the building’s 69 condos were either sold or under contract for sale, according to a spokesperson.

Most recently, an anonymous trust paid about $6.4 million on June 18 for a condo unit in the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building, records show. It was the latest in a long line of pricey sales, most of which were arranged through anonymous vehicles to hide the buyer.

During a tour of the building last year, Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said he anticipated holding onto the building for the foreseeable future while his firm continues to refine plans for a pair of residential towers nearby at 400 North Lake Shore Drive.

Bailey also said he thinks lenders have underestimated the demand for new condo construction in the city, which slowed to a crawl after the last recession.