One of North Texas’ busiest architects is moving its local offices into a landmark Dallas building.

Award-winning design firm Gensler plans to relocate its regional office into the historic Meadows Building on North Central Expressway. The 63-year-old blue tile tower is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and was one of Dallas’ first suburban office buildings.

Gensler is taking 45,000 square feet of offices in the two-story wing of the project that fronts on Greenville Avenue.

The Meadows Building and the adjoining three-building Energy Square office complex are all undergoing a more than $50 million renovation by owners GlenStar Properties and USAA Real Estate Company.

Gensler is the architect for the project renovation.

“Now we get to experience the campus, not just as a design partner, but as a tenant as well,” Cindy Simpson, co-managing director of Gensler’s Dallas office, said in a prepared statement. “As architects, the ability to breathe new life into a building is very meaningful to us.

“With The Meadows being such a significant part of the history of Dallas, we’re excited to be a part of the next chapter of its story.”

Gensler’s Dallas office of more than 20 years has been in the Lincoln Centre complex at the southeast corner of LBJ Freeway and the Dallas North Tollway. The operation has doubled in size in the past two years. 

The firm will move its 233 employees to the Meadows Building after the renovation is complete.

Dallas-based historic preservation architect Architexas is working on the exterior renovation of the Meadows Building, built by legendary Dallas oilman Algur Meadows in 1955.

The tower and the connected office wing, where Gensler will locate, are constructed of pink marble, red brick and blue terra cotta tile. The building is next door to DART’s Lovers Lane commuter rail station.

Gensler’s renovation plans for the two-story wing include restoration of the original rooftop graphics.

CBRE’s Jeff Ellerman and Scott Hobbs negotiated Gensler’s lease with Cushman & Wakefield’s Randy Cooper.

GlenStar and its partner USAA Real Estate have owned the Meadows Building since 2015.

The real estate investors have started renovation of the 14-acre Energy Square high-rise complex next door, which will include the work on the Meadows Building.

The three Energy Square towers and the Meadows Building will be connected all on one level with a new park, pedestrian areas and a boulevard running through the middle of the development.

Gensler’s new master plan for Energy Square will add more tenant amenities, pedestrian areas and outdoor lounge areas.

A new “jewel box glass enclosed building” will house a 10,000-square-foot fitness center with a rooftop terrace.

Gensler has recently done a long string of major Dallas-area projects, including Plano’s new Legacy West Urban Village, the Dallas Cowboys’ Star in Frisco, the new Federal Aviation Administration regional headquarters in North Fort Worth and The Dallas Morning News’ new offices in downtown Dallas.


Chicago-based developer/investor, GlenStar, and real estate investment adviser, Rubenstein Partners, have announced plans for a $15 million capital improvement campaign at Continental Towers, a 910,796-square-foot office complex located at 1701 Golf Road in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. It’s the second of a two-phase redevelopment project initiated in 2015.

“Our modernization and capital improvement plan for Continental Towers is intended to comprehensively update and reposition an already exceptional asset,” said Peter Gottlieb with Rubenstein Partners. “We feel we have a unique opportunity to further enhance a well-located building in the attractive northwest Chicago suburban office market and ensure that it continues to stand out from other properties in the region for years to come.”

At the heart of phase two is a reimagined outdoor terrace that will transform the concrete plaza into nearly an acre of multi-level landscaped space featuring a lounge, grilling and gathering areas, fire pits and a synthetic lawn area for health and wellness activities. In addition, the property’s café and amenity center is also getting a top to bottom makeover and will be connected to the new terrace, creating a unique indoor/outdoor entertainment space. New lobbies, elevator cabs and landscaping at the buildings will also be a part of phase two.

“We are building on previous campaigns to ensure that our tenants have the most up-to-date, activated amenities in the suburbs,” said GlenStar’s managing principal, Michael Klein.

The new campaign follows completion of phase one, a $30 million project that saw construction of new 734-stall parking garage; exterior improvements including new drive-ups, drop-offs, canopies and lighting; a full renovation of the 22,000-square-foot, on-site fitness center run by Midtown Health Club; corridor and restroom renovations and various mechanical upgrades.

Work began on phase two in June and is scheduled to be complete by the second quarter of 2020, by which time, GlenStar will have invested more than $200 million over the past five years repositioning and modernizing office projects, with a focus on unique amenities and programs that enhance and redefine the tenant office experience. GlenStar’s portfolio currently stands at over 8 million square feet.

Rubenstein has invested in more than 21 million square feet of office real estate assets throughout the United States since 2005. The firm, including its predecessor company, has nearly a 50-year history as a vertically integrated owner and operator, with the office asset class serving as their exclusive investment focus over the last 20 years.

Continental Towers is a three-tower office complex located in northwest suburban Chicago. The buildings sit on a 34-acre corporate campus that provides tenants with unobstructed views in all directions, easy access to the Woodfield Mall and high visibility along I-90. GlenStar originally acquired the property in 2013 and recapitalized the project in 2018 with Rubenstein.

Source: RE Journals

Developer GlenStar Properties is best known for revamping older office properties that need an extra kick to compete for Class-A tenants, and it recently decided to bring that strategy to the Dallas metro area, its first operation outside the Chicago region.

Along with partner Singerman Real Estate, GlenStar just doubled its Dallas portfolio by acquiring an eight-building office campus, called The Terrace at Solana, in Westlake, Texas, a Dallas suburb.

Although GlenStar officials were impressed with the Dallas-Fort Worth economy, and the health of the local office market, assembling a portfolio down there happened almost by accident.

“About three years ago, Matt Omundson from our office was relocating down there, and he asked whether we would ever consider opening a Dallas office,” Managing Principal Michael Klein told Bisnow.

The answer was a definite yes, and Omundson, one of the firm’s principals, starting looking for properties that fit the GlenStar approach.

In 2017, along with USAA Real Estate, the company purchased the 14-acre, 1M SF Energy Square campus in North Dallas, and began pouring $70M into a complete renovation, including the construction of a new boulevard linking its towers together. The company will complete that project later this year.

Klein added that GlenStar would never have considered acquisitions in a market so far from Chicago unless it had an established presence, as renovating older office properties such as Energy Square, built between the 1950s and the 1980s, typically requires a lot of care and attention.

“We’ve got a good feel for the market in Chicago, but now we also feel that Dallas is a second home,” he said.

The move to Dallas doesn’t mean the firm will stop expanding in Chicago. GlenStar still has a long list of projects underway in the Windy City, especially in the suburbs, where it has ownership stakes in a number of properties once considered moribund.

By the end of 2019, GlenStar will have invested more than $200M over five years repositioning and modernizing office spaces, including a $20M reboot of President’s Plaza in Chicago near O’Hare International Airport, which it will finish this summer, and the renovation of Continental Towers, a 911K SF complex in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, where occupancy rose from just over 50% to 93%.

It also recently purchased 10 acres near President’s Plaza, and launched a 150K SF build-to-suit on a portion of the site for an unnamed buyer. Klein said GlenStar could use the remainder for up to 600K SF of office if it finds the right tenants.

The company is known for adding modern amenities to bland properties, including new health clubs, yoga centers, glass-walled atriums and new restaurants.

Klein said it now wants to do more, both in Chicago and Dallas, and provide tenants and their employees with active communities that will attract people outside work hours. That means GlenStar properties will increasingly host book clubs, wine tastings, financial advice seminars and other events.  

“That’s what we’re spending a lot of our time on now,” Klein said.


Two Chicago investors have teamed up to buy a huge Westlake office campus.

GlenStar and partner Singerman Real Estate have acquired eight buildings in the Solana business park on State Highway 114.

The purchase includes more than 1 million square feet of offices along with the Solana Fitness Club and land for additional development.

The Solana development, originally built for IBM in the 1980s, has been up for grabs since last summer.

The landmark property was sold by Blackstone Group and its affiliate, Equity Office Properties, which purchased the development in 2014.

“With the recent corporate relocations and significant construction activity in the market, this was a unique opportunity to acquire an office campus in a high-growth area and deploy our proven redevelopment strategy,” GlenStar principal Matt Omundson said in a statement. “We are looking forward to repositioning and rebranding the asset.”

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP marketed the property for sale.

When the buildings hit the market in 2018, they were less than 40% leased.

Major business tenants include Sabre Corp., Verizon, Goosehead Insurance and Marsh & McLennan.

The just-sold office complex called the Terrace at Solana has six five-story buildings with 375,000 square feet, a 309,000-square-foot, six-story building and a three-story, 129,000-square-foot building.

The new owners say they plan to “inject significant capital to create a truly contemporary campus setting with enhanced tenant amenities and activated outdoor corridors.”

Redevelopment plans include a new conference center, a tenant-only fitness center, a tenant lounge, and patios and entertainment space.

“Today’s discerning tenants want more from their office locations,” Omundson said.

The previous owners, Blackstone Group and Equity Office Properties, already invested about $50 million to upgrade the entire Solana development. The sale also includes about 20 acres for additional construction.

When Solana was started in 1986, the business park was on the edge of North Texas’ urban growth.

Award-winning Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta originally designed the campus, and almost 3,000 IBM employees were housed at Solana when it opened.

The project is now between DFW International Airport and Alliance Airport in one of the fastest-growing areas of North Texas.

Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade have large new office campuses nearby. And Sabre Corp., Deloitte and Fidelity Investments have thousands of workers in the same area.

The Solana purchase is GlenStar’s second major property investment in North Texas. The firm is renovating the more than 1 million-square-foot Energy Square office complex on North Central Expressway in North Dallas.

During the past decade, GlenStar has bought more than 8 million square feet of U.S. office, retail, residential and medical buildings.

Singerman Real Estate is making its first Dallas-Fort Worth acquisition with the Westlake deal. Since 2010, the company has been part of $2.5 billion of investments in office, retail, hotel, industrial and multifamily projects.


WiredScore, the international standard for cutting-edge internet connectivity in office buildings, announced that GlenStar is the first landlord to achieve certification across a portfolio of Class A commercial office properties in the Chicago suburbs.

Schaumburg Corporate Center in Schaumburg, Illinois and Presidents Plaza in Chicago earned the Wired Certified Gold designation while Continental Towers, a three-building office complex in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, earned a Wired Certified Platinum and two Wired Certified Gold designations. Designations for the 2.7 million square feet are based on the buildings’ best-in-class connectivity, technological infrastructure and readiness to adopt to emerging technologies. They join more than 1,700 Wired certified buildings worldwide offering top-notch tech capabilities.

“In order to attract and retain tenants in the suburban markets, we understand that, as owners, it requires more than just having the physical amenities that are becoming commonplace for today’s tenants,” said GlenStar principal, Michael Klein. “Prioritizing connectivity and incorporating it into our overall tenant experience is essential for us to deliver value and differentiate our properties in the market.”

In pursuing Wired certification, the properties underwent a comprehensive certification process that evaluated the aspects of digital infrastructure that enable a seamless connectivity experience in which office tenants are able to stay online and maintain productivity levels.

Upon review of the project’s technical elements—including internet service providers available to tenants, infrastructure redundancy, connection access points and readiness to meet future tenant needs—a Wired certification level is assigned based on the official standards developed by WiredScore and its connectivity advisory board.

GlenStar Properties pioneered Wired certification in Chicago’s CBD, rolling out the rating system at 141 W. Jackson, which attained Wired Certified Platinum, and 55 E. Monroe, which achieved Wired Certified Gold. With the suburban offices, GlenStar has now certified nearly six million square feet of office space across Chicago’s downtown and suburban markets.

“Technology, specifically digital connectivity, is a key component in retaining tenants and ensuring their productivity needs are met,” said Christine Torres, who leads the Chicago market for WiredScore. “As the first landlord to pursue Wired certification across a portfolio of Class A commercial office properties in the Chicago suburbs, the team at GlenStar has positioned itself as leaders in providing a tech-forward tenant experience.”


A suburban Chicago office park landlord is offering free Lyft rides to and from local commuter rail stations for its tenants’ employees, helping address companies’ need to attract workers who live in the city.

Chicago-based GlenStar Properties is teaming up with the agency that oversees public transportation in the region to offer the perk at the Bannockburn Lakes complex north of the city, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We knew we had to increase occupancy, and one way to do that was to make a connection to the train stations,” GlenStar’s Dave Brannigan told the Tribune.

A shuttle-bus service for the five-building complex was eliminated before GlenStar took over in 2015. At the time, the complex was 50 percent occupied, though GlenStar has since added tenants.

GlenStar didn’t want to re-start the shuttle because of costs, however, which is when the Regional Transportation Authority suggested the Lyft program. The pilot program with Lyft launched in March, and the RTA is picking up 25 percent of the cost, up to $30,000. Brannigan said the landlord would monitor the program to determine whether the service will be ongoing and could even consider launching it at other properties.

One employee told the Tribune the perk saves her $25 a day in cab or ride-sharing fares between the complex and a train station five miles away. [Chicago Tribune] — John O’Brien


Leasing activity in Chicago’s suburbs slowed down in the first quarter of 2019. However, pockets of the market, including O’Hare and Oak Brook, remain tight, leading to asking rents in these areas to reach an all-time high.

According to a Q1 suburban office performance synopsis by Colliers International Chicago, the average asking gross direct rent was $21.39 per square foot across the entirety of the suburban Chicago office market. This is up from $21.32 per square foot last quarter and well above the $20.99 per square foot that landlords were asking for in the first quarter of 2018.

Mid-sized tenants continue to offer the most relocation potential. There are currently more than 100 tenants who need space ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 square feet that are actively on the hunt for offices throughout the suburban market. The bulk of these, 40 percent, have shown interest in the Northwest market.

Older and poorly located suburban office properties continue to be purchased for adaptive reuse or demolition. As an example, Somerset Development and Triangle Capital Group recently acquired the former AT&T corporate campus in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. They will develop the 150-acre property into Chicagoland’s first “Metroburb”—a self-contained urban core in suburbia, porting over the Bell Works concept that Somerset developed in Holmdel, New Jersey. Colliers will serve as exclusive broker for the project.

Other suburban office renovations include the Motorola headquarters in Schaumburg, the Aon headquarters in Glenview and the Nokia property in Naperville. McDonald’s is seeking a buyer for its former home base in Oak Brook. GlenStar recently renovated the 1-million-square-foot Schaumburg Corporate Center. with a state-of-the-art conference center, club room, new parking deck and fully updated atrium while Franklin Partners is redeveloping the former OfficeMax headqurters in Naperville, rebranded as The Shuman, aiming to create a suburban destination for multiple office tenants with downtown-like amenities.

After adding positive absorption in the fourth quarter of 2018, the suburban office market fluctuated to start the year with 448,890 square feet of negative absorption. Overall vacancy in the suburbs rose 40 basis points to 20.5 percent, exactly where it was two years ago during the same time frame.

Class A vacancy also increased 40 basis points, rising to 20.7 percent. The Lisle/Naperville area had the highest Class A vacancy last quarter at 25.9 percent while the situation was a little tighter at 12.5 percent for O’Hare Class A office vacancy.

Leasing activity, including new leases and lease expansions, totaled 1.1 million square feet in the first quarter. This is down from 2.5 million square feet in the fourth quarter of 2018. Year-to-date, the entire Chicago suburan office market witnessed a negative absorption of 448,890 square feet—more than half of which was Class A space.

Ten new leases or lease expansions of 15,000 square feet or larger were signed throughout the suburbs during the first quarter of 2019. Investment and user sale velocity continued in the suburban office market as nine assets traded hands in the first quarter of 2019, with five others currently under contract.

The Colliers Chicago report forecasts that “trophy” Class A vacancies will decline throughout the year, based on recent activity in the market. As millennials start moving to the suburbs, however, the migration of companies into the CBD may begin to slow, if not turn around altogether. Owners and developers completing renovations of dated Class A/B properties into modern workplaces are banking on a renewed interest in the suburban office market.


Partnering with Best Companies Group, Crain’s surveyed 8,800 employees at Chicago-based companies to find the top places to work. Glenstar made the list, coming in at #56.

Angelo Gordon is entering Chicago’s hottest suburban office submarket. The New York-based investor agreed to buy Presidents Plaza for $148M, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. A joint venture of Glenstar Properties and PGIM Real Estate acquired the 835K SF property in 2006 for $129M, according to Cook County records. GlenStar will retain a minority stake in the buildings and continue to handle leasing duties on behalf of ownership. The GlenStar-PGIM JV is cashing out at a time where office space is tight, and investor interest is at a premium, near O’Hare. For Angelo Gordon, Presidents Plaza offers an opportunity to dramatically increase rent spreads. According to a marketing flyer from JLL, the property is 92% leased, but in-place rents are 13.1% below market value. Overall Class-A office vacancy in the O’Hare submarket ended the year at 12.9%, while Class-A office rents rose to $25.47/SF, according to MB Real Estate’s Q4 2017 suburban market overview. Presidents Plaza benefits from many of the same factors driving downtown office investment. It has good ownership in place, spent $6M to upgrade landscaping and common areas, and is a transit-oriented development, with the Cumberland Avenue Blue Line ‘L’ station a few blocks east. Anchor tenants include True Value, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and AIM Specialty Health.


The shopping mall food courts of old that housed the same old national fast food chains (“hey, let’s grab a gray pad of meat on a bun followed by corporate cookie”) begat a blitz of lively, delightful and convenient food destinations called food halls.

In typical Chicago fashion, we improved the concept by riffing on America’s great market halls (Boston’s 1742 Faneuil Hall and the century-old Grand Central Market in LA, for example), added just a smidge of mall food court – for convenience and speed – and filled the spaces with the inimitable eats of both established, emerging and one-off Chicago eateries.

Chicagoans and visitors now find themselves saying, “Hey let’s grab labneh on local bread with a side of greens” or “I must have some Southern fried catfish and collard greens.” Wander Forum 55, Revival Food Hall, Wells Street Market, Chicago French Market or Foodlife in Water Tower Place. 

Some of the eating atriums don’t necessarily house offspring of Chicago restaurants (see the ethnically specific Eataly, Mitsuwa or Seafood City for Filipino food lovers) but they are just as fun, even more surprising and serve as a mini-international travel jaunt. The trend hasn’t peaked, either, with largest food hall opening in 2019 in the Fulton Market district. 


GlenStar Properties, LLC and its joint venture partner Angelo Gordon & Co., L.P., have launched a $20 million dollar renovation campaign at the two-building, 830,479-square-foot President’s Plaza located at 8600 and 8700 W. Bryn Mawr in the Chicago O’Hare submarket. Ownership expects the project to be completed in the second quarter 2019.

“We have an exceptional opportunity to capitalize on the property’s unique ‘urban/suburban’ location with a contemporary refresh of the buildings,” said GlenStar principal Michael Klein.

President’s Plaza is one of the most well-connected properties in the metro area when it comes to transportation and accessibility. It is served directly by the CTA Blue Line and is less than one mile from O’Hare International Airport. With the convergence of multiple expressways at its location, President’s Plaza is easily reachable from the city and all of suburban Chicago.

GlenStar’s extensive rehab includes a full gut lobby refresh at both buildings, renovation of the fitness center operated by Midtown Athletic Club and a refreshed deli operated by Compass Group. A new tenant lounge will feature a full-service coffee café and beer/wine bar for tenant use. It will connect to the patio for indoor/outdoor entertaining/functions/activities. Other areas that will be improved include passenger elevator interiors, restrooms, corridors, a new lobby stairwell and the conference center, which will under go a physical and technological overhaul.

“At a time when tenants are flocking to buildings with significant amenities packages, we have a property with terrific bones that we can transform with a modern and inviting interior aesthetic while at the same time build a complete work/life community,” said Klein.

Major President’s Plaza tenants include True Value, American Imaging Management and Lafarge North America. Occupancy today stands at 94.4 percent. The O’Hare office market is one of the tightest in the metro area with vacancy at Class A trophy assets at 5.6 percent. Rent in those same buildings has grown 23 percent since 2015.


Portions of the suburban office market may be in the doldrums, but a set of well-located, elite properties are in high demand, and the owners are willing to spend what it takes to retain top tenants. 

GlenStar Properties and its joint venture partner Angelo Gordon & Co. have launched a $20M renovation campaign at President’s Plaza, a two-building, 830K SF complex at 8600 and 8700 West Bryn Mawr in Chicago’s O’Hare submarket. The owners expect to complete the project in the second quarter. 

The previous ownership team, which included GlenStar, already spent $15M on recent renovations, but company officials have set their sights higher. 

“At the end of the day, we want to have the best buildings in the O’Hare submarket, maybe even the best in the suburbs,” GlenStar principal Michael Klein said. GlenStar and Angelo Gordon bought the buildings for $147M earlier this year. 


Michael Klein is trying to make the suburbs cool. By the end of next year, his Chicago-based development firm, GlenStar Properties, will have spent more than $100 million over five years modernizing major office properties in Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Bannockburn and near O’Hare International Airport with big new amenities to appeal to young workers.

On the way out from GlenStar’s buildings are decorative planters, dark granite flooring and walls, pastel colors and cafeterias that scream late-20th-century suburbia, replaced by reclaimed wood, neutral tones, outdoor patios, sleek bars and furnishings that suggest Wicker Park lounge rather than Woodfield Mall.

It’s a gamble few suburban office landlords are taking after years of companies bolting to the city in search of young talent, and with large blocks of outdated empty space holding back rent growth in many parts of the suburbs. Despite the lowest unemployment rate in decades and many companies beefing up headcount, office vacancy in the Chicago suburbs at the end of the third quarter was 23.7 percent, its highest mark since 2014, according to data from real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle.

GlenStar Properties’ 55 E. Monroe has been recognized by the industry’s leading organizations for best practices in the areas of telecommunications connectivity, energy performance and sustainability, earning WiredScore, ENERGY STAR and LEED, Gold certifications in 2018.

WiredScore, the first and only certification process in commercial real estate that identifies strong internet connectivity, has certified 55 E. Monroe Gold, one of only a handful of downtown properties to achieve WiredScore certification. One of the most well-connected properties in the entire CBD, 55 E. Monroe offers multiple fiber providers for tenants, adistributed antenna system that helps ensure uninterrupted wireless and cell phone coverage, as well as dark fiber service, which allow tenants to connect directly to their internal corporate networks and systems.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance has given 55 E. Monroe a score of 82—up from 76 over the past year. This improvement is due to several changes that ownership implemented, including a lighting conversion of T12 fluorescents to LEDs, ongoing participation in the MCBx Energy Efficiency Program and implementation of monitoring-based commissioning and an upgrade of HVAC systems with wireless DDC technology.

As one of the early adaptors of the LEED Dynamic Plaque program, 55 E. Monroe earned LEED Gold certification. The USGBC’s LEED program is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, available for virtually all building, community and home project types. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings and certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

“We are extremely pleased to achieve this trifecta of industry performance recognition,” said Chuck Fendrich, 55 E. Monroe’s vice president and general manager. “Certification is an excellent way for us to distinguish our tenant services in the industry.”

55 E. Monroe is a 1.5-million-square-foot, 39-story, mixed-use property in Chicago. It is managed by GlenStar Properties, a Chicago-based commercial real estate company that provides property development, investment, leasing and management services to corporate and institutional real estate owners.


More than $158 million was spent on the five largest Chicago-area office property transactions in August.

Of that total, more than 75 percent of it came in one deal: the $121.5 million sale of an office complex in the northwest suburbs. Two of the five biggest office deals in August were for properties in the suburbs, according to a review of Cook County property records.

1701 Golf Road | $121.5 million

Rubenstein Partners recorded the priciest office buy in August with the $121.5 million purchase of the Continental Towers complex in Rolling Meadows. The price is a substantial increase over the complex’s previous sale, when GlenStar Properties and Walton Street Capital picked up the building for $58.5 million in 2013 after previous owner Prime Realty Group defaulted on its loan.

1029 West Madison Street | $13.1 million

The Feil Organization’s latest acquisition in the red hot West Loop was the $13.1 million purchase of an office building from owner-tenant Schafer Condon Carter, an advertising agency. In 2016, New York-based Feil spent $35 million for five properties in Fulton Market, and it paid $23 million in 2017 for 730 North Franklin Street in River North.

1200 North State Street | $10.1 million

Newcastle Limited bought this three-story mixed-use building on the Near North Side for $10.1 million from from a trust, records show. The firm also recently spent more than $17 million for a Gold Coast residential tower and a retail building in Lincoln Park.

7600 West College Drive | $7.85 million

A suburban medical office building switch hands between two companies that specialize in medical real estate. Arizona-based Everest Healthcare Properties bought the Palos Heights building for $7.85 million from Florida-based Rendina Healthcare Real Estate.

1400 West Monroe Street | $6 million

New York-based JK Equities bought a four-story skilled-care facility in the West Loop for $6 million. The building was sold by Symphony PAN, a national post-acute care provider. The deal was structured as a lease-buyback, according to a press release from Interra Realty, the brokerage that represented on both sides in the deal.


On Thursday, September 20, 2018, REjournals hosted the 3rd annual Suburban Office Market Conference, co-hosted by GlenStar Properties. More than 150 industry professionals flocked to the Schaumburg Corporate Center to hear about the latest trends on the office market outside the urban core.

Stevhanie Howard, senior broker at Foresite Realty Partners, emceed the event and provided introductory remarks. The first panel, moderated by Kevin Clifton, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, took a deep dive into the state of the suburban office market, including current investment trends, financing strategies and which areas are most attractive for new development.

Panelists included Michael Klein, principal at GlenStar Properties; Bryan Rosenberg, director at HFF; Michael J. Rolfs, partner at Hamilton Partners; Christine Torres, head of Chicago at WiredScore and Jason Wurtz, executive vice president, office services at NAI Hiffman.

So where is the suburban office market headed? According to Klein, “There is growth in the suburbs, but it rarely gets talked about.” He pointed to Medline Industries as an example. The global medical supply manufacturer and distributor moved into a new, 530,000-square-foot headquarters in Northfield last year.

The “M” word—millennial—was invoked several times as the panelists prognosticated on the suburbs’ future. Wurtz believes that the young generation will move to the suburbs just as their parents did, and companies will have to follow them. Rolfs agreed.

“We’re going to see a bit of a reverse migration as the millennials grow up and get married,” Rolfs said. “Companies follow labor, and we have a great labor pool in the suburbs. Smaller businesses are saying that they don’t need to be downtown anymore.”


Trustees cleared the way for a huge athletic and recreational facility at the site of a vacant office complex at Half Day Road and I-94.

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL — Lincolnshire village trustees Monday advanced a plan to tear down a largely vacant office park and replace it with a huge indoor sports facility and other ventures as part of a new mixed-use development. The board rezoned 40 acres on the northwest corner of Half Day Road and I-94 from an office to business district and issue a special use permit for development set to be anchored by the massive “sports and wellness complex.”

The Lincolnshire Village Board Monday gave its preliminary approval for plans to turn the site into a 450,000-square-foot recreation and fitness complex called The St. James, as well as a hotel, a restaurant and “a public or private recreation facility to be identified in the future,” according to a memo from village staff. The developer said the other tenants would not commit until the site was re-zoned.

The St. James Director of Development Michael Kerin said the Lincolnshire site is particularly attractive for the recreation company’s second facility. Its first location is in the D.C. suburbs. A 50,000-square-foot athletic, health and retail complex has a grand opening planned for next month in Springfield, Virginia.
The proposed two-story Lincolnshire multi-sport facility would include to have the only FIFA regulation-sized turf soccer field in the region, two NHL regulation-sized ice rinks, an Olympic-sized pool, a water park, four basketball courts, a fitness center, a gym, gymnastic center, spa, health club, an “active entertainment center” – a mix of climbing structures, trampolines and zip lines with party and gaming areas – among other things.


Glenstar Properties will build a massive sports and entertainment complex in Lincolnshire, after village officials voted to approve the massive project.

The Chicago-based developer will construct The St. James, a 450,000-square-foot facility on 43 acres, according to the Daily Herald. The complex will be operated by St. James, a Virginia-based company.

The sprawling entertainment center will include sa FIFA soccer regulation field house, two ice hockey rinks and a water park. The property is at the intersection of Interstate 94 and Half Day Road, about 30 miles north of downtown Chicago, The site was previously home to the medical supply manufacturer Medline.

The complex will also have an Olympic-size pool, a 50,000-square-foot fitness center and a 25,000-square-foot “active entertainment center” with ziplines and rock climbing. GlenStar had also proposed a Topgolf driving range, but village leaders vetoed that plan.

Glenstar owns the Chicago Board of Trade building at 141 West Jackson Boulevard and the office towers at 55 and 65 East Monroe Street, as well as a dozen other properties around Illinois and two in Texas.

Earlier this month, Rubenstein Partners paid $121.5 million to buy into Glenstar’s Continential Office Towers complex in Rolling Meadows, which Glenstar bought in 2013 for $58.5 million before spending $30 million on renovations.


The Lincolnshire Village Board approved plans for a massive sports facility next to Interstate 94, a project that will include basketball and squash courts, an Olympic swimming pool, an indoor turf field and two ice rinks.

St. James plans to open the 450,000-square-foot complex on a 40-acre property at I-94 and Half Day Road formerly occupied by Medline. It would be the second sports and recreation facility for St. James, a recreation company that plans to open its first one outside Washington next month.

The property’s developer, Chicago-based GlenStar Properties, had proposed also building a Topgolf driving range on the site but dropped that plan amid opposition from Lincolnshire residents. Though some residents raised concerns about GlenStar’s revised plan, citing increased traffic and other issues, the village board approved the development last night.

“Our goal is to bring the premium, dynamic and scaled experience that is the St. James to every major market in the country,” St. James co-founder and co-CEO Craig Dixon said in a statement. “With our expansion to Chicago, people who are passionate about sports, wellness and active fun in two of the largest markets in the country will have an opportunity to pursue their passions in a wholly unique way.”

About the only thing missing from the project is a curling rink. Expected to open in 2020, the complex also will include batting cages, a gymnastics center, a climbing wall, fitness center, spa, water park and zip lines.

The company purchased Continental Towers in a joint venture with GlenStar, the former owner of the property, which will remain as operating partner.

CT Acquisitions, a joint venture between Rubenstein Partners and GlenStar Properties, has acquired Continental Towers, a 910,796-square-foot office property in Rolling Meadows, Ill. The closing price was $121.5 million, more than twice the price GlenStar paid in 2013, Yardi Matrix data shows. The new owner announced more than $20 million in upcoming renovations, aiming to transform the asset into a top-of-the line office center in Northwest Chicago.

The upgrades will target the two-acre plaza deck, lobbies, café and amenity space. They follow several other improvements which GlenStar has been continuously adding to the property over the past five years, including building a parking garage for up to 734 vehicles, repositioning the entryway and renovating the fitness center, restrooms and corridor. According to Rubenstein, the total cost of improvements has mounted to $30 million. As a result, occupancy has increased from 55 to 90 percent, with companies such as Verizon and Panasonic signing the tenant roster. 

The suburban office center was completed in 1982 at 1701 Golf Road and encompasses three buildings, which are all LEED certified to the Silver level. In addition to the office segment, the property incorporates a 22,000-square-foot health club, as well as dining and retail space. The campus spans 34 acres and it can be accessed via Interstate 90. Woodfield Mall is located within 3 miles from the property, while O’Hare International Airport is 10 miles away.

In January, Rubenstein made another important office acquisition in the Midwest, by adding the $132.7 million Precedent Office Park to its portfolio.