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Mansueto Properties Buys Iconic Wrigley Building for $255 Million

Chewing Gum Magnate Wanted to Remake White City with his Namesake Headquarters
June 29, 2018
The iconic Wrigley Building -- one of the most famous in the world -- is now in the hands of Chicago billionaire Joe Mansueto, whose new real estate investment company Mansueto Properties purchased the historic two-building landmark for $255 million last week.

Perched at the corner of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River at 400 and 410 N. Michigan, the building, clad in white terra cotta, is among the most recognizable in the city and on Chicago's premier commercial district, the storied Magnificent Mile.

As the first skyscraper on Michigan Avenue, the Wrigley Building and its signature bell tower, styled after the Giralda Tower of the cathedral in Seville, Spain, poses as a gateway between the Gold Coast, the Loop and River North. Mansueto, the founder and executive chairman of Morningstar, the investment research firm, paid a 672 percent premium to the $33 million it last sold for in 2011.

"Located at the new epicenter along the Chicago River, the Wrigley Building stands tall as a clear symbol of our city’s rich history," Mansueto said in a statement. "We are committed to preserving the legacy of this building and insuring that it remains a vital part of Chicago’s growth well into the future."

Legend has it that chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., known as "Beau," was so wide-eyed by the celebrated White City of the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 when he was a child, that he wanted his namesake headquarters to reflect that aura. The glazed terra cotta has six different shades of white that become brighter as the building rises. The façade, whose white stone and gold details are cleaned regularly, is lighted at night, giving off a glow of the spacious plaza only steps from the river. Graham, Anderson, Probst & White designed the building, which sits across Michigan from another historic terra cotta landmark, The Tribune Tower.

Since 2011, the Wrigley Building has undergone a $91 million renovation by the sellers, an investment group led by BDT Capital Partners that also included Zeller Realty Group and Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. They bought the property from Mars Inc., which acquired it in its purchase of the William Wrigley, Jr. Co. in 2008.

The renovation of the two towers, which are connected by enclosed bridges at the third and 14th levels, was sweeping, with a redesign of the public spaces, adding must-have amenities for today’s office space that include a coffee shop, gym and tenant lounge, as well as comprehensive infrastructure improvements.

The building, which has roughly 311,000 square feet of rentable space, is nearly 95 percent leased - a significant improvement from the 19 percent occupancy it had before the renovations began. The Perkins + Will architecture firm is the largest tenant, at nearly 69,000 square feet in a lease that extends until 2026, according to CoStar research.

The deal is said to have been done between Mansueto and Byron.

For more information on the transaction, please see CoStar Comp #4343923.

Jennifer Waters, Chicago Reporter  CoStar Group   
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