Landmark West Loop office building headed to auction block
Starting bid of $2M bid for property that once drew 25 times that amount
A West Loop landmark will soon be sold to the highest bidder — who might not have to put down very much, compared to what the property’s value once was.
The 12-story office building at 300 West Adams Street, across the street from the Willis Tower, is set to be sold in an online auction taking place from June 5 to June 7 on the platform Ten-X. The starting bid is $2 million. A JLL team led by Jaime Fink has the listing.
The 254,000-square-foot property’s arc is becoming a familiar story as the Windy City’s central business district contends with record-high vacancy rates and declining valuations. The property’s value has fallen by 47 percent in the last decade, to $20 million as of February, down from $38 million in 2012, according to Moody’s. A $25 million loan against the property is expected to result in “a significant loss,” according to Morningstar.
Built in 1928 and awarded city landmark status in 2012, the terracotta-clad, Gothic-style building’s notable previous owners include the late real estate mogul Sam Zell as well as Sterling Bay. The Chicago developer sold the building in 2012 to Alliance HP for about $51 million, twice the amount it paid Zell for it five years earlier, according to reports at the time.
But things had gone downhill by late 2021, when Alliance HP turned the property over to the lender due to a pandemic-induced rise in vacancy in the building. A year ago, JLL started marketing the leasehold interest in the property for sale. But a deal never materialized, and now the bondholders in the securitized debt against the property have given the green light to hold an auction, which is often a final move to exit a troubled asset.
The Ten-X auction listing puts the building’s occupancy at 54 percent. At nearly half empty, the property is faring worse than most of the Loop, which had a vacancy rate of 21 percent at the end of March, according to CBRE data.
The building is the latest notable property in the Loop to hit the auction block. Another office building, 401 South State Street, was snagged by a lender who made a winning $20 million bid at the property’s court-ordered sale in March. Outside the city, the vacant 318,000-square-foot office building at 2 Overlook Point in Lincolnshire sold at auction for $2.9 million.