Fifield venture scores $177M loan on West Loop apartment tower

Deal indicates value jumped since development’s completion in 2019

Fifield CEO Steven Fifield and 727 West Madison (Fifield, Google Maps, iStock)
Fifield CEO Steven Fifield and 727 West Madison (Fifield, Google Maps, iStock)

Developer Steve Fifield’s Fifield Companies snagged a $177 million loan on one of the city’s most recognizable buildings, Chicago’s tallest west of the Kennedy Expressway, suggesting its value jumped during the pandemic.

The elliptical 45-story luxury apartment property at the intersection of Madison and Halsted streets, known as 727 Madison, was completed in 2019 with Skokie’s F&F Realty Partners serving as owner co-developer. The property was formerly a parking lot for the adjacent F&F-managed Crowne Plaza hotel.

The refinancing of the 492-unit building indicates its value has risen markedly since it was developed for about $141 million, according to Chicago construction permit data. Other West Loop properties have also surged in value amid the pandemic as Fulton Market demonstrated its resilience as a desirable office destination and developers put more than 9,000 apartments into various stages of planning for the area, by far the most of any neighborhood in the city.

The 727 West Madison property was designed by FitzGerald Associates Architects, and the property was last mortgaged for $117 million on a construction loan from Bank of the Ozarks in 2017, records show.

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The more recent loan was supplied by German lender BayernLB. Neither the lender nor the ownership responded to requests for comments.

It’s the latest refinancing for a new Chicago apartment property as owners line up loans amid rising interest rates. While the maturity date wasn’t clear from public records, the mortgage indicated it’s a variable rate loan, meaning interest paid by the borrower could change over its term.

Borrowers against other new apartment properties have recently obtained short-term loans in hopes of riding out further interest rate hikes to get cash out of their properties without selling them as the rental market stays attractive. CA Ventures just locked in a $35 million loan maturing in 2024 on its 18-story, 80-unit redevelopment of 450 West Belmont Avenue in Chicago from LoanCore Capital. And a venture of UrbanStreet Group and Atlas Residential recently received a three-year, $67 million loan on its 256-unit suburban complex The 450, built last year in Lombard, from Barings.

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UPDATE. 6/10/2022, 10:35 p.m.: The second paragraph of this story has been updated to show that F&F is the owner.