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Fifield Companies' sale of Alta at K Station in Chicago more evidence of strength of multi-housing market

Alta-at-K-Station

In yet more evidence of the strength of the multi-family market in the Midwest, a Chicago developer in December closed a major apartment deal worth more than $300 million.

In yet more evidence of the strength of the multi-family market in the Midwest, a Chicago developer in December closed a major apartment deal worth more than $300 million.

The sale was the biggest multi-family transaction in the city since the summer of 2011.

Chicago-based Fifield Companies and its joint-venture partner Pacific Life Insurance Co. of Newport Beach, Calif., recently sold the 848-unit Class-A luxury apartment development Alta at K Station in Chicago for $302 million to Canadian REIT Morguard Corp.

“This is a landmark deal for Fifield Companies and for Chicago,” said Steven Fifield, president of Fifield Companies, in a written statement. “This transaction demonstrates that trophy-quality assets in thriving urban markets are very enticing for smart investors.”

John Jaeger of CBRE’s multi-housing group represented Fifield Companies and Pacific Life in the sale. The $302 million sale price marks the highest amount to be paid for a Chicago downtown apartment tower since May of 2011.

Chicago is far from alone in seeing big multi-family deals and developments. In Minneapolis, for example, developer Village Green is in the middle of construction of the Soo Line Building City Apartments, a project that will bring 254 luxury apartment units to the city's downtown.

Also in downtown Minneapolis, Opus Development Corporation will soon begin development and construction of VELO, a boutique luxury apartment complex in downtown Minneapolis. This project will bring 101 luxury units and 12,000 square feet of retail space to the city.

And in Waukee, Iowa, Hubbell Realty Company recently opened an eight-building luxury apartment community that cost $18.76 million to develop and will bring 206 apartments to the greater Des Moines area.

“The fundamentals could not be better for investors right now,” Fifield said in a written statement. “We are seeing historic rent growth, incredible leasing demand and record-breaking low interest rates for investors. All market projections show that these trends have no sign of slowing down for the foreseeable future.”

Located at 555 W. Kinzie St., the two-tower Alta at K Station complex includes 848 luxury residences and is the largest Gold LEED-certified apartment building in the country. Currently 94 percent leased, Alta at K Station includes two towers, the 37-story, 420-unit West Tower and the 41-story, 428-unit East Tower. Both towers have been open since June of 2010.

Now that it's sold Alta, Fifield Companies will shift its attention to the upcoming launch of the 496-unit K2, the final development at the five-building K Station development. Fifield partnered with Wood Partners to break ground on K2 in October of 2011 and topped-off the building this fall.

This building will begin leasing in January, with move-ins scheduled for April.