CIM nabs $123M loan for 444 North Michigan acquisition

Blackstone funded the high-leverage loan on the 36-story office tower

From left: CIM co-founders Avi Shemesh, Saul Kuba, and Richard Ressler
From left: CIM co-founders Avi Shemesh, Saul Kuba, and Richard Ressler

CIM Group secured a $123 million loan to fund the acquisition of the 444 North Michigan Avenue office tower.

Blackstone Group provided the debt on the $138 million acquisition of the 36-story tower, a deal that closed last month. The high-leverage loan — 89 percent — could indicate CIM might use some of the debt to fund a future renovation. CIM did not immediately return a call for comment.

The Los Angeles-based developer picked up the property from Munich-based GLL Real Estate Partners, which had paid about $115 million for it in 2006, before spending about $13 million on renovations.

The transaction and loan were both signed on Dec. 21, according to Cook County property records.

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The 515,000-square-foot building sits across the street from the landmark Tribune Tower, which CIM and the Chicago-based Golub & Company began converting last year into a 163-unit condo building.

CIM and Golub also last year proposed a 1,422-foot-tall mixed-use skyscraper with apartments, condos and hotels on land they bought from Tribune Media. Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) rejected that proposal for the supertall building but said during a real estate event last month that he would support a second draft of the plan, with some revisions to its traffic plans.

CIM’s purchase of 444 North Michigan Avenue gives the developer an even deeper foothold at the south end of the Magnificent Mile, where developers are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into new construction and renovations. Joe Mansueto bought the adjacent and freshly-renovated Wrigley Building last year for $225 million, and the National Association of Realtors is adding an interior renovation to its plans for a $45 million buildout of its headquarters at 430 North Michigan Avenue.

CIM is in the process of renovating the 39-story office tower at 425 South Financial Place, also known as 440 South LaSalle Street, which it bought two years ago for $189 million.