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Newcastle Limited to Conduct Sealed-Bid Offering for Three Loop Commercial Buildings for The Art Institute of Chicago

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June 22, 2004
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CHICAGO - Newcastle Limited has been retained by The Art Institute of Chicago to conduct a sealed-bid offering for three Loop commercial buildings, located in Jewelers Row on the east side of Wabash Avenue between Madison and Monroe Streets, announced Michael R. Haney, President of Chicago-based real estate firm. Newcastle Limited is a national real estate advisory and development firm serving not-for-profit corporations, institutions, investors, corporations and governmental agencies.

According to Haney, The Art Institute acquired the buildings in 1999 for potential use as school facilities, but has since determined that proceeds from the sale of the buildings will best be re-deployed to support its core mission. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 15, 2004. The buildings will be offered individually or as a package.The properties are located at 21-29 South Wabash Avenue within the City of Chicago's "Jewelers Row District," which was designated a Chicago Landmark in July of 2003. The five- and six-story wood-framed brick structures, built between 1872 and 1881, comprise a total land area of 28,400 SF and 176,700 SF of office and retail space including one level beneath grade."Although significant capital improvements would be required to achieve the upside potential of these buildings, they are diamonds in the rough, and they are in one of Chicago's best locations in close proximity to Millennium Park, Lake Michigan and the State Street shopping area. A purchaser may use the financial benefits of historic tax credits, the Historic District designation, the existing TIF district, and the lower real estate taxes available through Cook County's "Class L" incentive program to add value to these assets," he said.The site is zoned B6-7 allowing a base floor-area ratio of 16.0. "The key to unlocking the value of these facilities is either the development of the 27,200 SF of street-level retail space with creative reuse of the upper floors or the redevelopment of the entire parcel combined with the additional development rights and Monroe Street access provided by the adjacent Art Institute-owned corner building into a mixed-use, high-rise project. The 'East Loop' market, which historically has been a corridor of an eclectic mix of retail and office users, is positioned for rejuvenation as a result of recent successful residential developments and the demand for retail space and other amenities," he said. According to Haney, the properties are being marketed to Chicago-area developers, not-for-profit organizations, retail property investors, and owners of similar and nearby properties.The Jewelers Row Historic Landmark District is bounded by Washington Street on the north, Monroe Street on the south, State Street on the west, and Garland Court on the east. Those structures in the district, designed by some of Chicago's most significant architects and built between 1872 and 1941, represent many important building types including post-Chicago Fire and Chicago School loft manufacturing, mercantile and office buildings and early 20th Century skyscrapers.Recently Newcastle Limited represented 73 owners in the $35,000,000 disposition of the historic, 1,300,000 SF, 14-acre South Water Market; represented Loyola University Chicago in the disposition of its 17-acre Mallinckrodt Campus to the Wilmette Park District; represented Baxter International in a sealed-bid disposition of a 70-acre development property in Lake County; and represented the Eleanor Women's Foundation in the disposition of its 1550 North Dearborn Parkway building to The Latin School of Chicago. The company is currently representing Loyola University Chicago in the development of a 24,800 SF high-rise site within its Water Tower Campus and Metropolitan Family Services on the sale of 116 acres on the Fox River in McHenry County.

About Newcastle Limited

Chicago-based Newcastle Limited is a national commercial real estate firm serving governmental agencies, institutions, not-for-profit organizations, corporations and private investors. The firm's strategic advisory, development and investment services are designed to reduce project risk and maximize asset value. To learn more about Newcastle, call Mike Haney at (312) 252-1401 or visit the company website at www.newcastlelimited.com.