Chinese and Korean Investors Buy Three First National Plaza in Chicago for $348 million

Chinese and Korean Investors Buy Three First National Plaza in Chicago for $348 million

Hines has sold the 1.4 million sq. ft. Three First National Plaza office complex in Chicago, the privately owned commercial real estate firm announced Wednesday.

While Hines declined to disclose financial details, the selling price was approximately $347.8 million, according to Real Capital Analytics, a research company based in New York City. The building is 92% leased.

The buyer was a partnership of Downtown Properties, which is the U.S. associate of Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners, and a South Korean consortium. Hines developed the property in 1981 and will continue to manage and lease the project for the new owner. The entity that sold the project was Hines U.S. Core Office Fund.

“Three First National Plaza has been an excellent performer for our Hines U.S. Core Office Fund investors,” says Charles Hazen, president of the fund. “We are pleased with this sale as we balance our portfolio holdings to meet future objectives.”

Wells Fargo Securities Asia represented the buyer in the transaction, while Eastdil Secured represented Hines.

Three First National Plaza was Hines’ first project in Chicago. Architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill designed the property at 70 W. Madison St., including its distinctive saw-tooth tower and nine-story glass atrium.

“Ongoing upgrades and enhancements to the property have enabled Three First National Plaza to continue to perform in the upper tier of Chicago buildings,” says Tom Danilek, Hines’ senior vice president.

Hines restructured the project’s ownership in 2005, with ownership changing hands between Hines affiliates. The aggregate sale price at that time was $245.3 million or about $170 per sq. ft., according to CoStar Group.

Hines, which is based in Houston, has offices in 106 cities in 17 countries, and controls assets valued at approximately $23.7 billion. The group’s Chicago portfolio includes more than 10 million sq. ft. of office space, including One South Dearborn, One North Wacker, 300 North LaSalle and the Citadel Center.

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