James R. Hansen Jr., the newly appointed vice president for retail operations for developer Joseph Freed and Associates LLC, will manage the retail section of the Block 37 project that is now under construction in the Loop, the company announced Tuesday.
Hansen, who has long worked in the retail side of the real estate industry, has been waiting for the opening of this retail-hotel-residential-transit development at 108 N. State St. for about 10 years.
In the late 1990s, while working for another developer then seeking to build the Block 37 retail section, he hoped to get in on the ground floor. After long delays, the project is finally moving ahead.
Now that he will be a critical part of bringing to life a development more than two decades in the making, he is just as excited as he was years ago.
"There's so much energy in that location. You can't look at the buildings going up there and not get excited," he said.
Already, Hansen is preparing for the early 2009 opening of the four-level retail building, with parking for about 250 cars. He is assembling a management team and, when leasing progresses, will help coordinate preparation of tenant spaces and services, he said.
So far, the 280,000-square-foot mall has one 35,000-square-foot tenant, David Barton Gym, Hansen noted.
Hansen worked for Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties Co. for almost 17 years, among other retail-related jobs.
BANNOCKBURN DEAL: Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II has acquired Bannockburn Lake III, one of five buildings in an office park in the northern suburb of Bannockburn, it said Tuesday.
The 106,000-square-foot office is fully leased until 2013 to TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc., a joint venture of Abbott Laboratories of North Chicago and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. of Japan.
The building was purchased from The Broe Group, an investment firm based in Denver, said Peter Mitchell, Wells' vice president for Midwest acquisitions.
"The building meets our criteria," Mitchell said. "It's well-located near Interstate 94, fully leased with a quality tenant, in an area that is a good source of intellectual capital."
"If need be, releasing should be fairly easy," said Mitchell, who represented Wells in the transaction. John Gavin of Cushman Wakefield of Illinois Inc. represented the seller.
The Wells REIT, which last month bought a 25-story office tower in New York at 222 E. 41st St., now owns 16 million square feet of space in 64 buildings, which it bought for approximately $3 billion.
PROPERTIES AUCTION: Commercial investment properties in south suburban Channahon will be auctioned as part of an estate settlement by Sheldon Good & Company Auctions LLC, with bids due Oct. 30.
Channahon straddles Will and Grundy Counties, near Shorewood and Minooka on the north and Joliet to the east.
The properties include a 133-unit apartment complex with parking for 513 cars built between 2001 and 2003 and about 12 acres of land approved for another 140 units.
Separately, Chicago-based Sheldon Good will offer 6.75 acres of land zoned for 80 residential units, a 7.5-acre commercial site and a 20,000-square-foot retail center.
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