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Old October 27th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #381
BVictor1
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**EDITED and posted in the 600 North Fairbanks thread**

Last edited by BVictor1; October 28th, 2005 at 01:29 AM.
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Old October 27th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #382
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Is that a mural on the adjacent lowrise structure ?
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Old October 27th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #383
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Here are a couple of shots that I took at the October plan commission meeting.

A daytime rendering of 300 North LaSalle


And 535 St. Clair
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Old October 27th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #384
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Great finds BVictor.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 12:17 AM   #385
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Cut it out, Victor, you're killin me

I am getting overloaded with gorgeous views into Chicago's architectural future
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Old October 28th, 2005, 12:54 AM   #386
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The developer of MetraMarket has a brochure on the internet, and it appears to be fairly updated (it cites residential and commercial data from Spring 2005).

It has floor plans and a few renderings, as well as other info. Click here:

http://www.usequities.com/Metramarket/MetraMarket.pdf
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Old October 29th, 2005, 10:34 PM   #387
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From Chicago Crain's Mag webpage:
Road to riches: Buck's Wacker Drive
A developer comes home to pay dirt

Developer John Buck is betting Wacker Drive can absorb another office tower. Photo: Erik Unger
Next month, a camouflaged and crouching John Buck will hide in the woods of his Downstate game preserve and try to bag his first wild turkey with a bow and arrow.
"You have to sit perfectly still and have the bow and arrow at the ready," says Mr. Buck, who hunted ducks as a boy in West Texas. "It's very difficult because if there's any slight movement, (the turkeys) see it and they're gone."
The 60-year-old developer moves more conspicuously in the downtown real estate market, where he's reshaping the landscape of Wacker Drive. More than anyone else, he's responsible for the West Loop boulevard's emergence as the premier corporate address in Chicago. Since 2001, he's added a pair of office towers to his Wacker Drive portfolio, projects that paid off handsomely for the developer and his investors.
Wacker Drive is Mr. Buck's home turf. He began his career as a self-described "water boy" on the original Sears Tower leasing team in 1971 and debuted as a developer across the street 10 years later. His efforts there attract scant interest from the architecture critics and preservationists who blasted his 1990s projects on North Michigan Avenue.
But as he prepares to launch another Wacker Drive high-rise, some downtown landlords grumble that Mr. Buck's building spree has deepened a four-year leasing slump.
"The growing supply is out of balance with the average ongoing demand," says George Kohl, Midwest-area director for Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. "It's just not healthy."

Mr. Buck agrees the downtown office market is glutted. Still, he's betting it can absorb another Wacker Drive tower. In April, his firm's second investment fund acquired two buildings at Randolph Street and Wacker that would be razed to make way for a 40-story office tower.
It would be Mr. Buck's fourth Wacker Drive building. He built his first high-rise there in 1981, a 40-story, 757,000-square-foot office building at 200 S. Wacker that he says is still his favorite.
He returned in 1999, launching a 48-story, 1.3 million-square-foot tower at 1 N. Wacker, followed four years later by a 51-story, 1-million-square-foot tower at 111 S. Wacker. That building, which cost about $300 million to build, is being sold to a German investor for about $410 million, or $410 a square foot, a record price for downtown Chicago.
Wacker Drive is the West Loop's main drag, and "whether you're driving or taking the train, the West Loop is the easiest place to get in and out of," Mr. Buck says, sitting in a 24th-floor conference room at John Buck Co. headquarters at 1 N. Wacker. "That quite simply is why Sears bought that block (for the Sears Tower) in the late 1960s. And nothing really has happened that would fundamentally change that."

NOT EVERYONE'S A FAN
Many office building owners are rooting against his new Wacker Drive project, which has yet to land the anchor tenant needed to get it off the ground. Between 2000 and 2009, developers including Mr. Buck will have added 12.5 million square feet of downtown office space, according to Chicago-based real estate firm MB Real Estate Inc. The additional supply has helped push the downtown office vacancy rate to 18% — including sublease space — and squeezed rents.
Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Office Properties Trust, Chicago's and the nation's biggest office landlord, summarized the situation bluntly in 2003, when he quipped that "three idiots are building 4.5 million square feet of office space in Chicago," Mr. Buck being one of them.
Mr. Buck calls the building rational, noting that many high-rises built even 20 years ago are obsolete in an era when big tenants want larger floor plans, fewer columns and other amenities.
"As the market moves, you must move with the market," he says.

'PAIN' ON MICHIGAN
Mr. Buck is hardly the lightning rod he was 10 years ago, when preservationists lambasted his plan to build North Bridge, a massive mixed-use project just off North Michigan Avenue. It was an "excruciating painful" period, he says.
Mr. Buck's office buildings have benefited from a boom in prices as big institutional investors have poured money into real estate. His first investment fund invested $10.9 million in 222 S. Riverside Plaza in October 2001, cashing out for $24 million in June 2004.
His second fund, with $160 million in equity, returned about 19% in the year ended June 30, beating a 16% return for an office benchmark index, says Jon Bauman, executive director of the Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois, which has about $51 million in the fund.
"We've been favorably impressed with their ability to set out a strategy and execute it," Mr. Bauman says.
But Mr. Buck is starting to look beyond Wacker Drive. He hopes to raise $350 million for his third and largest investment fund. In addition to office and residential developments, the fund will try to snatch up financially distressed condominium projects in Chicago, where condo building has boomed along with office projects.
"I feel there's overbuilding," Mr. Buck says. "If we're right about that, then I think there will be more takeovers by the lending community, who we enjoy a good reputation with, and that's really what our focus will be."
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Old October 29th, 2005, 11:03 PM   #388
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River East garage, retail space sold
Boston developer pays $117 million

By Thomas A. Corfman
Tribune staff reporter
Published October 29, 2005


A Boston developer and pension fund adviser is paying $117 million to buy the retail space and garage in the mixed-use River East Center development in Streeterville.

Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. has a contract to buy the 1,150-car garage and 260,000 square feet of retailing in the two-tower development, which also includes an Embassy Suites hotel and a condominium high-rise. Tenants include upscale bowling alley Lucky Strike Lanes, high-end health club Holmes Place and a 21-screen AMC movie theater.

Driving the deal is the neighborhood's building boom.

"With all that residential coming, I've got to believe that the combination of a cinema, a workout club and Lucky Strike is a good thing," said Peter Palandjian, Intercontinental's chairman and chief executive, who confirmed the deal.

The transaction, which is expected to close in December, is another sign of investors' continued hunger for retail real estate. Although investments in other property types, such as warehouse and office buildings, have surged this year, the buying spree for large malls and smaller strip centers began three years ago, experts in the field say.

"The consumer spending that has fueled the economy has translated into great market fundamentals for retail: high occupancy levels and good rental rate growth," said George Good, executive vice president with real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Inc., who isn't involved in the deal.

River East Center is on the block bounded by Grand Avenue, Illinois Street, McClurg Court and Columbus Drive.

The seller is a venture managed by Chicago developer Daniel McLean, chief executive of MCL Cos. McLean developed the massive complex in 2002 and bought back the retail/garage component 18 months ago from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co.

The Tokyo insurer gained control over the development the same year after a construction loan default, amid a clash between McLean and some of his investors. Intercontinental is paying about $32 million more than the McLean venture, sources said. Yet Intercontinental sees a strong upside in leasing the remaining vacant space, including two large first-floor spaces totaling 26,600 square feet, according to a floor plan.

Also available: an 18,500-square-foot space in the second-floor lobby, near Lucky Strike and the ticket counter for the theater, which is one of the top financial performers locally among movie chains. The theaters themselves are on the third floor.

The retail portion of the building totals 260,000 square feet, including common areas. Other tenants include Harris Bank and Walgreens, which combined have nearly 16,000 square feet. The drugstore signed a 40-year lease in 2004.

The total value of sales of malls and other retail properties in the Chicago area more than doubled, to $376.2 million, during the first nine months of 2005 compared with the same period a year ago, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. The average yield, or capitalization rate, is 7 percent for the 20 deals tracked by Real Capital this year.

On River East Center, the initial yield is expected to be a little more than 7 percent, but it could exceed 9 percent when the space is fully leased.

But the deal is not without risk. Lucky Strike was started in just 2003 and its success is not yet proven, and the Holmes Place gym is a joint venture of the London chain by the same name and troubled Chicago health club company Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp.

The two tenants combined have an estimated 68,500 square feet, with the fitness center accounting for 32,500 square feet.

And the retail real estate investment market nationwide may be slowing, reflecting "investor concern about either the impact of rising energy costs on disposable income, or rising interest rates, which could end the cash-out refinancing boom," according to a report this week by New York-based Real Capital.

But Intercontinental is accustomed to such risks. The company, which was founded in 1959 as a construction company by Palandjian's father, raised its first real estate investment fund in 1996 and now manages a $1 billion portfolio.

"In Boston, they are known more as developers, and they have obviously taken that to another level," said Paul Lundstedt, an executive director with real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

- - -

Retail space sells well

Amid the hot market for real estate investments this year, sales of retail assets in the Chicago area have grown faster than any other property type, increasing by 109 percent.


TOTAL SALES DURING FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 2005 In millions of dollars Percent change from 2004 Downtown office $2,506 18% Apartment rentals $1,771.8 74% Suburban office $1,431.3 29% Warehouse $1,417.5 76% Strip centers $926.1 85% Malls and other retailing $376.2 109% Industrial office $137.6 60% Source: Real Capital Analytics Chicago Tribune ---------- [email protected]
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Old October 30th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #389
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CITY REPORT
Another condo tower planned for Streeterville

By Jeanette Almada

Special to the Tribune
Published October 30, 2005

Another 328 residential units in two buildings will be added to the burgeoning Streeterville neighborhood.

Chicago developer Sutherland Pearsall Development Corp., through 535 St. Clair Inc., will build a 316-unit, 38-story building on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and St. Clair Street and turn an existing four-story building on the southeast corner of St. Clair and Ohio Streets into 12 residential units.

The 535 project will go up across the street from another Sutherland Pearsall project, a 112-unit condo at 550 N. St. Clair, whose construction is expected to begin in early 2006.

"This project [at 535 N. St. Clair] is actually a sister project to the 550 N. St. Clair project," Mark Sutherland, president of Sutherland Pearsall, said in an interview last week. "We sold half of the 550 building's units the first week we opened our sales gallery and are now 70 percent sold."

The 535 development site consists of parcels at 531-49 N. St. Clair, 201-18 E. Grand, and 201-03 E. Ohio, a Department of Planning and Development official told the Chicago Plan Commission earlier this month. The commission approved the project as a planned development. City Council approval is still needed.

"There is an existing parking garage on the site, and a four-story building," Sutherland said. Chicagoan Andy Youkhana owns the entire development site, Sutherland said, adding that his company is under contract to buy the portion of the site that is occupied by the parking garage.

"We will demolish that garage to make way for the high-rise, on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and St. Clair Street," Sutherland said.

Sutherland Pearsall, in partnership Youkhana, will rehab the existing four-story building at 201 E. Ohio, on the southeast corner of Ohio and St. Clair Streets, into 12 units atop 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Youkhana will retain ownership of that building, Sutherland said.

Sutherland Pearsall's 535 tower will face St. Clair and Grand with units ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 1,800-square-foot, 3-bedroom penthouse units. Sutherland said he expects they will be priced from the mid-$200,000s to more than $1 million.

Sales of the 535 units will start once 85 to 90 percent of the 550 building's units are sold, Sutherland said.

The 535 building will have 277 parking spaces on the ninth to 14th floor and 275 public parking spaces on the second to eighth floor.

Designed by Chicago-based Brininstool + Lynch Ltd. Architects, at least one plan commissioner deemed the building exemplary. "It is a model for future projects in the city, with sustainable development features," Linda Searl, the commission's acting chairman and an architect, said as she voted to approve the project.

Those sustainable features include exhaust air-filtering vertical gardens at each corner of all parking levels; a lighting system that will allow lights to brighten and dim as traffic enters and exits; and what the architects call winter garden space. "Every resident unit facing east will have its own glass-enclosed space. The glass can be opened in the summer and will create a buffer zone in the winter," Sutherland said.

There will be 7,700 square feet of retail space in the 535 building, Sutherland said, noting "interest from local restaurateurs and national retailers."

Sutherland hopes to begin construction of the 535 N. St. Clair building by late next year
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Old October 30th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #390
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^ That 4 story building being preserved--is it an historic building?
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Old October 31st, 2005, 04:55 PM   #391
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

INSIDE INFORMATION
NEW CONSTRUCTION


Source: BidClerk.com
Published October 31, 2005

Chicago--Streeterville condominium building, 535 N. St. Clair St., 38-story condominium building, January, $25 million.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 02:36 PM   #392
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A proposed Hotel Intercontinental

InterContinental plans skyscraper
Hotel/condo tower would reshape part of Magnificent Mile
By Thomas A. Corfman
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 1, 2005


The nondescript north tower of the InterContinental Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue would be replaced with a 71-story hotel/condominium skyscraper, under a dramatic proposal that would reshape the south end of the Magnificent Mile.
The ambitious plan would not affect the key architectural features of the 42-story Art Deco south tower, which is topped by a Moorish-styled dome, said Laurence Geller, chief executive of Strategic Hotel Capital Inc., which acquired the hotel about seven months ago. The 26-story north tower, notable for its blank concrete exterior along the avenue, was built as a separate hotel in 1961.

The proposal must receive city zoning approval. Construction, which would depend on sales of the high-priced condo units, is not expected to start until mid-2007 at the earliest.

The proposed skyscraper, to be designed by Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange, "adds an elegance" to the historic tower, without a "dwarfing factor," Geller said. "Truthfully, it would replace a building that is not particularly pleasing," he added.

Even so, the new tower is sure to prompt scrutiny by preservationists, concerned about the continued "canyonization" of North Michigan Avenue, and by some Streeterville neighbors, who already feel cramped from the building boom east of the hotel, including plans for two 2,000-foot skyscrapers in the last four months.

But the financial aspects of the plan also are expected to spark questions on Wall Street, even for a company known as an aggressive asset manager. While most hotel owners would only consider development plans for a poorly performing property, Chicago-based Strategic is proposing a redevelopment of a well-performing asset to make it better.

"Strategic is never shy about changing a property type to maximize value," said hotel analyst John Arabia with Newport Beach, Calif.-based Green Street Advisors Inc., who hadn't been briefed on the plan. "It would be a pretty big move."

Strategic paid about $170 million for an 85 percent interest in the 807-room property at 505 N. Michigan Ave. The hotel pulled in almost $6.4 million in the second quarter, accounting for nearly 17 percent of the real estate investment trust's earnings of $37.6 million before interest and other expenses, according to a financial statement. Room rates averaged about $193 a night during the quarter, and the hotel was more than 83 percent occupied.

The new tower would include 150 hotel suites, 310 condos, parking and 11,000 square feet of prime, first-floor retail space. It would replace a building with 477 rooms, reducing the overall number of rooms to 480.

The 330-room historic south tower would receive a $15 million renovation, a key part of a repositioning of the property.

"We're moving it from being a big, bulk group hotel, which is doing very well, into a luxury hotel that will compete against the top end of the market," Geller said.

Strategic, which is represented by prominent zoning attorney Jack Guthman of Shefsky & Froelich Ltd., is filing an application for a planned development Tuesday.

The plans also include construction of a landscaped plaza over a portion of Grand Avenue east of Michigan. And the hotel's entrance would be moved to Illinois Street to reduce congestion on Michigan, Geller said.

The proposed 850-foot tower would be almost twice the height of the historic south tower, which was built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club and is known for its blend of design features inspired by sources that range from ancient Egypt to the Italian Renaissance.

Moreover, some of the city's best-known skyscrapers of that era, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the McGraw-Hill Building, which was rebuilt in 2000, are within steps of the InterContinental, further highlighting the differences in height.

But key to the new development is the continued strength of the high-end condominium market, which is seemingly overcrowded with projects.

"I believe a building like this on Michigan Avenue is a unique opportunity that stands to segregate itself out from the bulk of the stuff that's being put out there," Geller said

Strategic, which is advised by Chicago-based U.S. Equities Realty Co., has already held talks with several local developers, including LR Development Co. and Magellan Development Group Ltd., he said.

----------

[email protected]


At 850 feet, the new skyscraper would soar above the Hotel InterContinental's dome-topped south tower.


Last edited by Chi_Coruscant; November 1st, 2005 at 03:10 PM.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:56 PM   #393
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Looks fantastic from here!!!
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Old November 1st, 2005, 05:25 PM   #394
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prob. deserves its own thread
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Old November 1st, 2005, 06:48 PM   #395
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This is ridiculous
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 05:13 AM   #396
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^ I agree. I mean, comon, how many hotel condos are we going to sustain here?
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 05:59 AM   #397
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More.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 11:51 PM   #398
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Please don't leave...no condos for Wrigley!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

Wrigley adds Wards space for workers

By Thomas A. Corfman

Tribune staff reporter
Published November 3, 2005

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. has signed a large lease in the former headquarters of a Chicago business icon, Montgomery Ward & Co., where the chewing gum concern would move some employees from its overcrowded Michigan Avenue tower.

The lease could cut short a review of the company's long-term real estate needs that began this summer, observers say. Options include a possible headquarters move to a new skyscraper.

The historic Wrigley Building at 410 N. Michigan Ave. could then be converted to luxury residential condominiums, a market that has become flooded with projects.

"Maybe this is a way to take some of the pressure off at the Wrigley Building and solve their other, short-term requirement," said Richard Schuham, executive vice president with tenant representative firm Studley Inc., which isn't involved in the deal.

Wrigley is leasing about 100,000 square feet of space at 600 W. Chicago Ave., the redeveloped catalog building of the defunct department store chain. The deal would ease an acute need for space since Wrigley's $1.48 billion acquisition of the LifeSavers and Altoids brands, which closed in June.

Wrigley has signed a 10-year lease at the Chicago Avenue property, although the deal includes the right to an early termination with a fee payment, sources said. But sources also say Wrigley is already in talks to increase its space.

Stephen Smith, managing director with real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages the building, declined to comment.

The deal would be a boost to the 1.6 million-square-foot building, which is about 60 percent leased. After a slow start, the building, which is owned by a venture that includes Chicago-based Centrum Properties Inc., has gained some leasing momentum by offering trendy loft offices at inexpensive rents, compared with downtown towers.

A Wrigley spokesman, Christopher Perille, would not confirm the length of the lease and would not comment on the study of long-range real estate needs.

The Tribune reported in June that the company was considering various real estate scenarios, including a possible move from its historic namesake building. That would pave the way for developers to convert the terra cotta structure into condos.

The status of the real estate study could not be determined. That review, which is being conducted by a team of advisers that includes real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Inc., is quietly continuing, sources said. Another real estate firm, Transwestern Commercial Services, represented Wrigley in the Chicago Avenue deal.

The new space would house Wrigley's U.S. sales and marketing staff, which has grown rapidly with the purchase of non-chocolate candy brands from Kraft Foods Inc.

"The business is strong, the team has been growing and there is no place to put them," he said. "This meets our current needs, and also allows for some continued growth of the business and growth of the team."

The Wrigley Building is actually two towers separated by a courtyard, with addresses of 400 and 410 N. Michigan Ave. At the beginning of the year, the company was crammed into about half of the 453,400-square foot development.

In one sign of growth, in June Wrigley was looking for just 60,000 square feet of space for its near-term needs. Wrigley chose 600 W. Chicago because of its large, 146,500 square-foot floors, and because of the building's location between the Wrigley Building and the company's new research center at 1132 W. Blackhawk St. on Goose Island, Perille said.

Some companies would prefer not to occupy three locations, a factor that could favor another long-term real estate solution, said Schuham, who isn't involved in the deal. But it depends on how the operations are divided.

"You don't need accountants near the marketing people," he said.

The number of employees to be located in the new offices has not yet been determined, but the space is expected to be ready early next year, Perille said. Wrigley would be the second-largest tenant at 600 W. Chicago, after Bankers Life & Casualty Co., with 202,700 square feet.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 11:54 PM   #399
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Mr. Wrigley: now, it is a good time to talk to John Buck.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 01:54 AM   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy999
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

Wrigley adds Wards space for workers

By Thomas A. Corfman

Tribune staff reporter
Published November 3, 2005

[B]In one sign of growth, in June Wrigley was looking for just 60,000 square feet of space for its near-term needs. Wrigley chose 600 W. Chicago because of its large, 146,500 square-foot floors, and because of the building's location between the Wrigley Building and the company's new research center at 1132 W. Blackhawk St. on Goose Island, Perille said.
Is the Wrigley research center a new structure, and is it worthy of putting up an image of it?
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