MONTREAL, May 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Ivanhoé Cambridge, one of the 10 largest real estate companies in the world, announced today its planned investment of US $300 million to build a 45-storey office tower in the West Loop in downtown Chicago. The tower, River Point, is being developed by co-investor and international real estate firm Hines, on land co-owned by local business leader Larry Levy. The investment is expected to close by the end of May 2012 (upon finalization of documentation and subject to usual conditions) with construction to commence before year-end, and tenant occupancy to begin in early 2016.
A world-class office tower, River Point was designed by noted architectural firm Pickard Chilton and will be built at 444 West Lake Street on the western bank of the Chicago River near two rail hubs in the West Loop, overlooking the river towards Lake Michigan. Containing approximately 83,600 m2 (900,000 square feet) of leasable space, the project also calls for construction of a majestic 1.5-acre public park atop the existing rail infrastructure that will connect the tower and its 180 linear metres (450-linear feet) of newly landscaped walkway to the Chicago Riverwalk. The tower is pre-certified LEED® Gold.
"This project not only represents welcome economic news, it also responds to increasing corporate demand for the highest quality real estate," explained Daniel Fournier, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ivanhoé Cambridge. "River Point also offers us the chance to strengthen our strategic partnership with Hines, a flagship player in high-end real estate in the U.S. and around the globe."
"River Point will drive strong enthusiasm in the next-generation real estate product market and will be a striking addition to Chicago's much-loved and world-renowned architectural character," commented C. Kevin Shannahan, Senior Managing Director/CEO - Midwest and Southeast regions at Hines. "Ivanhoé Cambridge's formidable commitment to this development and the city of Chicago is a beacon for economic recovery."
According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, River Point will be the largest real estate project to be launched in the past five years in Chicago, where no other office tower construction projects are currently underway. "River Point is a vote of confidence for our city, welcome news for the local economy, and a signal that Chicago is leading the nation in job creation and economic development," said Mayor Emanuel. "The investors and developers are starting this project because they see that Chicago is a city on the move, shaping its own future, and attracting the best and brightest."
The partnership of Hines with Ivanhoé Cambridge has an established track record for successful development in recent years with two other high-profile construction projects: Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary, Alberta, and the T1 tower in the La Défense business district of Paris. In addition, Ivanhoé Cambridge, with Hines as its partner developer, recently won a Paris competition among architects, developers and investors for construction of a twin-tower complex in the city's 13th arrondissement. The project, called "Duo," was selected over projects from three competing teams and has been declared the winner of the Paris Mayor's Office Premier Immeuble de Grande Hauteur competition.
"The River Point project is truly exceptional, not only for its prime location and architectural quality, but also because it is taking shape at an auspicious moment, with all signs pointing to a substantial increase in demand for new office properties in downtown Chicago in the years to come," noted Bill Tresham, President, Global Investments, Ivanhoé Cambridge. "This is great news for Ivanhoé Cambridge, for Hines and for many large-scale corporations seeking prestigious and functional office space."
With 9.6 million inhabitants, Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States. It is home to headquarters of more than 400 corporations -- 29 on the Fortune 500 list. Several corporations have already expressed interest in leasing space in a next-generation, well-located office building.
About Ivanhoé Cambridge
Ivanhoé Cambridge is one of the world's 10 largest real estate companies. As at December 31, 2011, its assets totalled more than C$30 billion and could be found in over 20 countries around the world. Ivanhoé Cambridge is the real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (lacaisse.com), one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers. For further information, please visit ivanhoecambridge.com.
SOURCE IVANHOE CAMBRIDGE