A South Korean investment firm is putting a 31-story Wacker Drive office tower up for sale, one of several downtown office buildings that have come on the market in recent weeks.
Seoul-based Mirae Asset Global Investments hired Jones Lang LaSalle to sell the 651,000-square-foot building at 225 W. Wacker Drive, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group.
One person familiar with the property estimated it would fetch about $235 million, or about $360 per square foot. That’s 8 percent more than the $218 million Mirae paid for it in May 2013.
Mirae is among a group of Asian investors that have taken an interest in the Chicago office market, which has delivered strong returns amid rising rents, occupancies and property values. Though sales of downtown office buildings slowed last year after a record 2015, a flurry of listings have hit that market the last several weeks, including 150 N. Michigan Ave. and 161 N. Clark St., which is owned by another South Korean investor.
Mirae and JLL representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Real Estate Alert, a trade publication, first reported Mirae’s decision to sell the building.
Built in 1989, the high-rise is 89 percent occupied, down from 91 percent when Mirae bought it, according to CoStar. Big tenants include money manager PPM America, which recently expanded from about 91,000 to 100,000 square feet, and real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, which signed an 83,000-square-foot lease there last fall.
But the building is likely to lose its third-largest tenant, Merrill Lynch, with about 67,000 square feet, as a result of the recent decision by its parent company, Bank of America, to consolidate some of its downtown operations in an office tower planned at 110 N. Wacker Drive.