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Chicago's "Big Red" nabs $370 million buyer

Chicago's Big Red nabs 370 million buyer,ph1

The John Buck Company (JBC) has reportedly found a buyer for 333 S. Wabash Avenue—the former CNA global headquarters that the developer purchased in 2016 for $108 million. This new transaction will prove to be quite the windfall for JBC, as a group of East Coast investors will acquire the Chicago Loop asset for $370 million.

According to a report in Crain’s, New York-based real estate investor Michael Shvo and other partners have agreed to purchase the office building. JLL marketed the building on behalf of of JBC. The 44-story, 1.2 million-square-foot building, known as “Big Red,” has been a distinguished and conspicuous member of Chicago’s skyline since it opened in 1972.

Along with investment partner Morgan Stanley, JBC is in the midst of a capital improvement plan for the property. Renovations include construction of a new lobby, an upgraded fitness center, a daycare and tenant lounge. The overhaul will also include the addition of an auditorium, food hall and a new private coach service for building tenants.

CNA ultimately took naming rights and 300,000 square feet at 151 N. Franklin, a development of a joint venture between Lendlease and the John Buck Company. That 800,000-square-foot, 35-story building opened in 2018.