Nick Ryan’s Marquette scores $104M for West Loop apartments

Pacific Life bought out original equity investors, as Marquette keeps stake

1454 West Randolph Street in Chicago with Marquette's Darren Sloniger (Evo Union Park, LinkedIn)
1454 West Randolph Street in Chicago with Marquette's Darren Sloniger (Evo Union Park, LinkedIn)

Nick Ryan’s Naperville-based development firm cashed out of a West Loop property for $104 million, a reward for a risk taken as rents were falling and renters were leaving Chicago in the early months of the pandemic.

Marquette Cos., whose CEO is Ryan, recapitalized the Evo Union Park apartment building at 1454 West Randolph Street, with Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Life bought out Marquette’s original equity investors as part of the deal, Crain’s reported. Marquette kept a stake in the property, with the deal valuing it at $428,000 per unit.

Marquette defied convention when it obtained financing in July 2020, with the pandemic in full swing, to build the 242-luxury apartment building located on the western edge of the Fulton Market District. With the pandemic in full swing, most investors were hesitant to funnel money into real estate. In addition, apartment occupancy in downtown hit 87.1 percent, which is the lowest it has been since at least 1998.

With a now-booming rental market, the sale provided Marquette’s investors 22 percent more than the $85 million spent on building the project

Part of the financing for the construction of Evo came from a $40.9 million loan from St. Louis-based Stifel Bank & Trust. An additional $17 million was mezzanine financing from JPMorgan Chase.

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Pacific Life financed the recent deal with a $62.6 million mortgage from Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Evo opened in February of this year and is 85 percent leased. Rents range from $1,863 a month for a studio, to $3,998 for a two-bedroom unit.

Marquette also recently completed the 278-unit Parq Fulton project at 1400 West Randolph Street. The company is also developing a 210-unit building at 140 North Ashland Avenue.

A joint venture involving Marquette also made another $104 million deal early this year in the suburbs, when it struck a deal to sell the seven-story, 403-unit apartment building City View at the Highlands in Lombard in DuPage County to New York-based Torchlight Investors.

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— Victoria Pruitt