Irvine Co. buys Chicago skyscraper

Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. announced Monday that it had acquired a skyscraper in Chicago's central business district.

The company headed by Donald Bren bought the Hyatt Center, a 48-story, 1.5-million square-foot office building in Chicago's central business district, from property developer and asset manager Pritzker Realty Group.

The Hyatt Center, at 71 South Wacker Drive, was developed by Pritzker and Higgins Development Partners and opened in 2005. Notable for its distinctive curved walls, the building houses the world headquarters of Hyatt Hotels, the law firm Mayer Brown, and regional offices for tenants including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and IBM Corp.

Irvine Co. spokeswoman Erin Freeman declined to comment on the terms of the deal. A source close to the matter valued the transaction at $625 million.

The acquisition is a continuation of Irvine Co.'s efforts to diversify its holdings into new markets, according to a company statement. The firm has properties in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, in Silicon Valley and in Orange County.

"The Irvine Co. has been and will continue to be geographically focused on its core California real estate markets," said Doug Holte, president of Irvine Co. Office Properties. "The acquisition of Hyatt Center, however, represents a unique opportunity to invest in one of the finest projects of its kind in the United States."

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