A Chicago landlord is selling a vintage downtown apartment building for $74 million, more than twice what it paid for the property in 2012.
Waterton Associates LLC is selling the Seneca, a 254-unit building in Streeterville, to Emmes Asset Management, a New York-based real estate investor, according to an Emmes representative. Emmes is paying $74 million for the 16-story building at 200 E. Chestnut St., said the company representative, who asked not to be identified and declined to discuss the transaction.
The sale, which is expected to close by year-end, will generate a big return for Waterton, which bought the Seneca for $35.6 million in March 2012, when it was a hotel-apartment building. The Chicago-based firm spent about $6 million renovating the property and converting it to a pure apartment building.
A Waterton spokesman declined to comment. An executive in the Chicago office of HFF, the brokerage hire to sell the property, also declined to comment.
The sale provides yet another illustration of how investors who bought downtown apartments a few years ago are reaping huge gains by selling today. Amid high occupancies and rents and low interest rates, investors are paying record prices for apartments in Chicago. They're betting that the good times will continue even as competition heats up amid a building boom that will add thousands of units to the downtown market over the next couple years.
The Seneca is the first Chicago acquisition for Emmes, which owns a couple of shopping centers in Peoria. The firm is one of several from New York that are taking a closer look at real estate in Chicago, where prices are still attractive relative to coastal cities like its hometown and San Francisco. New York-based Georgetown Co., for instance, recently paid $215 million for K2, a 496-unit apartment building in the Fulton River District.
“New York and San Francisco are too crazy,” said Ben Thypin, director of market analysis at Real Capital Analytics, a Chicago-based research firm. Investors “want a market that is liquid and a reliable store of value, and Chicago's playing that role right now.”
Read More: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20141126/CRED03/141129860/streeterville-apartments-to-fetch-74-million
Ben Carlos Thypin
I am currently the co-founder of Quantierra, the world's first data driven real estate brokerage and investment manager. In my former life as Director of Market Analysis at Real Capital Analytics, I worked with press outlets large and small to provide them with great data and insightful commentary. Here are some of the results of this collaboration. For the rest, please check out the News Archive.