The Wrigley Building is expected to go up for sale, in a deal that could fetch more than $200 million for one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings.
The ownership group, led by majority investor BDT Capital Partners, has interviewed investment sales brokers as it considers putting the two-tower structure on the market, according to sources.
It’s unclear how much the owners expect the riverfront landmark to sell for, but it’s believed to be in excess of $200 million. That price is more than six times the $33 million a group led by Byron Trott’s investment firm BDT, Zeller Realty Group and Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky paid for the building in 2011.
A BDT spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment. Zeller Realty Group President Ari Glass declined to comment.
Even after factoring in a reported $70 million spent renovating the approximately 472,000-square-foot building, a sale price topping $200 million would generate a huge profit.
The BDT venture bought the Wrigley Building from the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., which moved its remaining 250 employees in the building to the company’s longtime Goose Island campus. The new owners faced the lengthy and costly task of finding new tenants for a building that was two-thirds vacant after the namesake tenant moved out.
But the venture cashed in by opening up the walkway that runs between the building’s north and south towers, signing new retail tenants and demolishing and redeveloping outdated floors of office space.
Most of the office space is now leased, and two ground-floor retail spaces remain vacant. The Wrigley Building is along the northern edge of the Chicago River, at 400 and 410 N. Michigan Ave.
The largest office tenant is architecture firm Perkins + Will, which leases more than 60,000 square feet. Retail tenants at the base of the building include a Walgreens drugstore, a Peet’s Coffee flagship and a Ghirardelli ice cream and chocolate shop.
Much of the redevelopment cost was covered when, in 2014, the BDT venture sold a nearby parking lot on Wabash Avenue, which came with the purchase of the Wrigley Building, for $42 million.
The parking lot was sold to California-based shopping mall owner Macerich, owner of the nearby Shops at North Bridge, which is planning a large development on the site that could be linked to the Michigan Avenue mall.
Designed by famed architecture firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the Beaux-Arts building, named a Chicago landmark in 2012, is known for its distinctive clock tower and a facade made from more than 250,000 terra cotta tiles. The chewing gum giant completed the 24-story south tower in 1921 before connecting it to the 18-story north tower in 1924. The towers are connected by enclosed walkways.
Wrigley’s clock tower is patterned after the bell tower of the Seville cathedral in Spain.
Tribune Content Agency