Crescent Heights still believes in Chicago

The residential developer, which opened NEMA Chicago skyscraper last year, just paid $20M for a West Loop site

Russell Galbut’s Crescent Heights acquired a development site at 640 West Washington Boulevard (Google Maps)
Russell Galbut’s Crescent Heights acquired a development site at 640 West Washington Boulevard (Google Maps)

Crescent Heights has more big plans for Chicago.

The Miami-based residential developer that last year built the 800-unit Nema Chicago skyscraper, just paid $20 million for a West Loop parcel, according to Crain’s.

Current zoning for the property at 640 W. Washington Boulevard allows for a 250,000-square-foot development, with anything larger requiring approval from local Alderman Brendan Reilly, Crain’s reported. Plans for the project — the site is currently a parking lot — have not been disclosed.

The seller is Matthew Pritzker Co., the eponymous company led by Gov. J.B. Pritkzer’s cousin. CBRE advised the seller on the deal, which had been hammered out last fall but had not closed. Matthew Pritzker Co. acquired the property for about $9.5 million in 2007.

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A Crescent Heights executive, Jason Buchberg, said in a statement that the acquisition “further bolsters our commitment to this great city and its distinct neighborhoods,” according to the report. Russell Galbut is the firm’s co-founder.

Crescent Heights has already made major moves in Chicago. It completed the 76-story NEMA Chicago last year, after securing a $340 million refinancing on the 800-unit tower from KKR Real Estate Finance Trust. The units are now 93 percent leased, Crain’s reported.

And last June, the developer got in on the city’s condo deconversion trend — which has since slowed — turning all the units in a South Loop tower into rentals. It purchased 205 of 248 condos in the 30-story Astoria Tower at 8 East Ninth Street in 2010. After acquiring the remaining units, Crescent Heights shifted the building to entirely rentals. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman