Iconic Chicago Real Estate Sold

September 19, 2011

Chicago’s historic Wrigley Building has new owners.

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company confirmed that the 460,000-square-foot tower, situated on a 1.5-acre lot along Michigan Avenue at 443 Wabash Ave., has in fact been sold.

The buyer is BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment and advisory firm that was launched in 2009 by former Goldman Sachs executive and banker Byron Trott.

Wrigley Building

Chicago's iconic Wrigley Building has a new owner.

“The Wrigley Building is an iconic Chicago asset in a premier Chicago location on Michigan Avenue and is a meaningful symbol of the city’s rich history and growth,” said Trott.

“We are committed to the success and re-development of this architectural treasure to ensure that it remains a vital part of Chicago’s future economic progress. Consistent with the business model of BDT Capital Partners, we are partnering with other family business and entrepreneurial leaders to preserve the long-term legacy of the Wrigley Building.”

Chicago residents and Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell are minority investors in the deal.

Another investor, Chicago-based Zeller Realty Group, will play an important role in revitalizing the property and will be the building’s marketing and leasing agent as well as its property manager.

The deal was put together by Chicago’s Jones Lang LaSalle and law firm DLA Piper.

Terms were not disclosed, though we can tell you that the building’s name will be retained, and the new owners will be pushing to have the tower designated a landmark.

“It has been our commitment to secure new ownership for the Wrigley Building that will ensure its best possible future use and protect the building’s historic legacy,” said Reuben Gamoran, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Wrigley.

“We are confident that we have found a new owner who shares that commitment and will ensure the Wrigley Building remains a dynamic part of Michigan Avenue while preserving its unique architecture and historic name.”

The Wrigley Company will finish out its lease through the end of 2012. With Wrigley there, the building is about 60 percent filled. Without the company, the Wrigley Building is looking at a 65 percent vacancy rate. Because of that rate, Chicago’s most famous building was expected to sell for about $87 a square foot.

No word at this point on a Groupon move in.

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