JV buys Chicago office tower

Fremont Realty Capital, Shorenstein Properties and New York real estate investor Mark Karasick have acquired 311 S. Wacker, a fixture in the Windy City skyline.

A joint venture composed of San Francisco- and New York-based Fremont Realty Capital, San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties and real estate investor Mark Karasick has purchased 311 S. Wacker Drive, a tower the group describes as one of “Chicago’s skyline trophies.” The purchase price was not disclosed, but a source familiar with the deal placed it at $300 million.

“We invested in 311 S. Wacker because it grants us an extraordinary opportunity to own a Class A office building in one of the most diversified economies in the nation,” Karasick said in a statement. “This exceptional property is of outstanding quality in a superb location, and matches up with the top new office towers in Chicago.”

The 65-story building contains almost 1.3 million square feet of Class A office space, which is approximately three-fourths leased. J.F. McKinney & Associates will serve as the leasing agent for the project and Richard Ellis will continue to manage the property.

311 S. Wacker, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, was the world’s tallest reinforced concrete building when it was completed in 1990.

Fremont and Shorenstein have teamed up previously to develop and own major buildings in San Francisco, while Karasick and Shorenstein have partnered to buy buildings in both New York and Washington DC.

This year Shorenstein plans to raise its eighth fund with a reported target of $1 billion. Its last fund, which closed in 2003, raised $775 million.

In Chicago, Shorenstein currently owns both a 45-story tower at 500. W. Monroe and iconic Windy City skyscraper the John Hancock Center, for which it is searching for a buyer, according to a recent report in Crain’s Chicago Business. Shorenstein sold Prudential Plaza’s pair of skyscrapers in Chicago’s East Loop for $470 million in June. Karasick owns 550 W. Jackson Street.

The JV bought 311 S. Wacker from Chicago-based Walton Street Capital, which paid approximately $275 million for the distinctive peak-topped skyscraper in 2002.