Coworking firm Expansive surrenders River North office to Amos

Highland Park-based debt acquisition firm took title via deed in lieu of foreclosure

Expansive Coworking Surrenders River North Office to Amos
Expansive's Bill Bennett; 420 W Huron Street (Getty, Google Maps, Expansive)

Expansive, a West Loop-based coworking company, has surrendered one of its Chicago office properties to a lender as it struggles to hold onto commercial real estate it owns in other big cities.

Amos Financial acquired the four-story, 31,000-square-foot building at 420 West Huron Street in River North via deed in lieu of foreclosure, public records show.

It’s unclear how the debt acquisition firm, based in north suburban Highland Park, gained the right to take title. Amos could’ve taken ownership by buying a loan note tied to a $6.3 million mortgage that was provided by Wintrust several years ago.

Expansive, founded in 2009 by CEO Bill Bennett, has about 40 locations nationally, including five in Chicago. It has another River North space at 405 West Superior Street.

The firm paid $5.2 million for the Huron Street building in 2016, according to Cook County records. A mortgage was issued by Bridgeview Bank, and Expansive later refinanced with Wintrust.

A broker with Amos confirmed the company owns the building but did not otherwise comment on the transaction. Expansive did not respond to a request for comment.

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The coworking company is facing distress in other cities. Late last year, one of the company’s buildings in Washington, D.C., went to auction and was purchased for $21 million by an affiliate of the property’s lender, BrightSpire Capital Inc., the Washington Business Journal reported. Expansive had defaulted on a $65 million loan from BrightSpire.

One of the company’s properties in Denver was in receivership as of last year. Expansive paid $40 million for that building, borrowing $35 million, in 2019, the Denver Post reported. In August of last year, the lender said the loan had not been paid since its maturity date in April, and it is pursuing foreclosure. The property, at 1801 Broadway, is still listed on Expansive’s website as one of its four locations in Colorado.

Expansive isn’t alone among coworking players, as multiple face challenges amid the fallout of the office market. Flex space titan WeWork filed for bankruptcy in November, a stunning fall for a giant in the industry that was once valued close to $50 billion. As WeWork’s bankruptcy case moves forward, it’s seeking the termination of some leases. 

Meanwhile Amos has listed the Huron Street property for lease. The offering is for 7,500 square feet of office space. The building was constructed in 1929 and renovated in 2017, according to the listing.

In October, Expansive also listed for sale one of its properties in Kansas City, the eight-story Kessler Building at 1301 Oak Street in the city’s downtown, the Kansas City Business Journal reported.

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