The loan and the grand opening are key milestones for Sterling Bay as it seeks to launch a 55-acre mixed-use campus along the North Branch of the river between Lincoln Park and Bucktown. The developer, who has partnered with Chicago-based real estate private equity firm Harrison Street and the investment arm of JPMorgan Asset Management on the new project, has obtained city council approval for the Lincoln Yards project of 14.5 million square feet at the start of 2019.
Sterling Bay has started initial work on the new building without any signed tenants, its biggest bet to date on a local life sciences industry with a lot of momentum. Demand by biotech and pharmaceutical companies for lab space in Chicago more than tripled between early 2019 and late 2020, according to brokerage firm CBRE, as venture capital flowing into these areas has increased. This has sparked new life science-focused projects from developers like Sterling Bay and Dallas-based Trammell Crow who bet local biotech startups born at local universities will thrive in Chicago if they have the space. high quality laboratory to do so. .
The glassy Ally building will feature 128 feet of riverside frontage, 42,000 square foot floorboards and tenant amenity space and a fitness center on the building’s first and second floors, according to a report. website detailing the project.
Sterling Bay has previously had success leasing a small life sciences building in Lincoln Park at 2430 N. Halsted St., where tenants include molecular engineering technology firm Evozyne, research firm on neurological disorders Vanqua Bio and the Northwestern gene therapy spin-out Exicure.
The existing inventory of life science lab space in Chicago “is preventing the industry from reaching its highest potential here,” Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor said in a statement. The new building and those that will follow at Lincoln Yards “will meet the needs of today’s most exciting and growing life science companies, create a new home for scientific research in Chicago, and help the city continue. to build its reputation as a major player in this field. sector of critical importance, “the statement said.
Gloor said earlier this year at an Executives Club of Chicago event that life science buildings could account for several million square feet of development at Lincoln Yards, which is “the majority of our use there. “.
A spokeswoman for Sterling Bay declined to share the estimated total cost of Project Ally.
Harrison Street has also been a leading investor in life science properties and announced late last year that it had raised $ 720 million for a fund that will target sector properties. The company has partnered with Sterling Bay on three other life science projects totaling approximately 1.9 million square feet in San Diego and Denver.
With its support for the Lincoln Yards building, Bank OZK over the past 14 months has secured construction loans totaling approximately $ 400 million for projects from Sterling Bay to Chicago, including a large portion of a $ 100 million mortgage. dollars for the new Sterling Bay office project at 345 N. Morgan St. in the Fulton Market District. Bank OZK is the primary lender of the Sterling Bay 47-story residential hotel and tower block under construction at 300 N. Michigan Ave. and provided a $ 31 million construction loan for a 15-story office building that New York-based Vista Property Group is developing at 601-609 W. Randolph St.