Purple Hotel auction sale authorized by judge
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has authorized the sale of the Purple Hotel property in Lincolnwood, paving the way for the winners of an auction for the north suburban property to close on the sale. Judge Jack Schmetterer signed off Thursday on the nearly $8.3 million sale of the 8.5-acre site to a development venture of North Capital Group and Weiss Properties Inc., both of Skokie. The sale is expected to close today, according to New York-based Sheldon Good & Co., which conducted the May 11 auction. The developers plan a $20 million redevelopment on the site at Touhy and Lincoln avenues, including a boutique hotel with banquet and meeting space and at least 40,000 square feet of retail space. Related story: Purple Hotel property sells at auction for $8.3 million
Lawson Products sells two warehouses
Chicago-based Lawson Products Inc. sold two suburban warehouses for about $8.2 million, or nearly $43 per square foot, as it prepares to consolidate in a new, 306,000-square-foot distribution center in southwest suburb McCook being developed by Oak Brook-based CenterPoint Properties Trust. Chicago-based Bridge Development Partners LLC and partner Wanxiang America Real Estate LLC, an Elgin-based firm backed by Chinese capital, bought the industrial buildings last week from Lawson, an industrial distributor of fasteners and maintenance and repair supplies. Property records show that a Bridge venture paid more than $4.4 million for a 103,000-square-foot building at 600 Corporate Woods Parkway in north suburban Vernon Hills and almost $3.7 million for an 85,800-square-foot structure at 2350 W. Pinehurst Blvd. in west suburban Addison, both built in the 1990s. “We feel we're buying them well below replacement cost,” says Anthony Pricco, a Bridge principal. Lawson has a one-year leaseback on each building it sold but could move sooner, says Colliers International Senior Vice President Michael Senner, who represented Lawson. “It's tough in this environment to buy empty buildings, and that's essentially what they did,” Mr. Senner says. “Bridge is taking some risk, and they'll be rewarded for it. There's not a lot of supply in those markets.” Colliers will have the leasing assignment at both buildings.
Scottie Pippen's ex-adviser charged with bank fraud
Robert Lunn, the former head of Chicago-based investment firm Lunn Partners LLC, was charged Wednesday with five counts of bank fraud related to a series of transactions with Oak Brook-based Leaders Bank dating back to 2001. A federal grand jury indictment alleges that Mr. Lunn obtained $3.2 million from the bank by falsely stating he owned stock in two investment banks in order to take out and increase a line of credit; by forging a client's signature to take out a loan application for $500,000, and by using $1.4 million another client borrowed from the bank in 2002 to pay other clients. Mr. Lunn could not be reached Thursday. Best known as the one-time financial adviser for former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen, Mr. Lunn also invested in real estate. In 2005, for example, a venture he headed sold a 38-acre site at 119th Street and Interstate 57 in Chicago to a California developer for $35 million. He filed for bankruptcy in 2005, not long after Mr. Pippen won an $11.8 million case against him over investments that went awry
Benefits firm moves to Schaumburg
Benefit Express Services LLC, a benefit administration company, is moving from Arlington Heights to the Two Century Centre office complex in Schaumburg, where it leased 21,295 square feet. The lease brings the 219,718-square-foot property at 1700 E. Golf Road to 97 percent occupied, according to Transwestern, the brokerage that handles leasing at the property. Benefit Express was interested in the building's amenities, including an on-site deli, fitness center and conferencing facility, says Transwestern Senior Vice-president Joe Stevens. Two Century Centre is owned by Chicago-based Pearlmark Real Estate Partners. Benefit Express moving there from a building at 220 W. Campus Drive in Arlington Heights. Benefit Express and Pearlmark did not return calls.
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