Korean investor makes US foray in Chicago

Mirae Asset Global Investments has purchased 225 West Wacker Drive for $218 million from a consortium that includes JPMorgan, Hines and CalPERS.

A Korean investment manager has made its US foray in the Chicago market with the purchase of a 31-story Class A office tower in Chicago’s West Loop submarket for $218 million.

Mirae Asset Global Investments has purchased 225 West Wacker Drive from a joint venture that includes JPMorgan Asset Management, Hines and the California Public Employees Retirement System, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), which represented the sellers in the transaction, secured $115 million in acquisition financing for the Seoul-based firm through Principal Real Estate Investors and Allianz Real Estate of America.

“International investors seeking higher yields are setting their sights on Chicago, as core office assets in coastal markets are becoming more scarce and expensive,” said Bruce Miller, JLL’s international director, who led the sales team.

Built in 1989, 225 West Wacker, also known as Riverside Tower, recently underwent an $8 million capital improvements program, including lobby upgrades, elevator modernization, restroom and corridor renovations and an amenity floor that rivals new construction. The 650,812-square-foot property currently is 91 percent leased by tenants that include Edwards Wildman Palmer, PPM America, Merrill Lynch, Booz & Co., True Partners Consulting and Apple.

With approximately 635 employees, Mirae Asset Global Investments has offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Taiwan, the UK, the US and Vietnam. The firm manages $58 billion in assets globally through a diversified platform that offers traditional equity and fixed income products, ETFs and alternative strategies, such as real estate, private equity and hedge funds.