ACORE Dishes Out $33M in Debt for Chicago Life Sciences Acquisition

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Sterling Bay has reeled in a $33.2 million loan from ACORE in order to buy and renovate a medical research building in Chicago, Commercial Observer can exclusively report.

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The loan from the debt fund finances Sterling Bay’s acquisition of 2430 North Halsted Street, a 120,000-square-foot research facility in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The Chicago-based asset manager picked up the facility from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, whose main campus is directly adjacent.

Sterling Bay will lease the building back to the children’s hospital until that institution’s new research center, in the Streeterville section of the city, is done next summer, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. After that, Sterling Bay plans to embark on a top-to-bottom renovation before renting the building out to another taker

“There is a shortage of high quality lab space that is available for lease in the Chicago area, so when Sterling Bay came to us with this opportunity we jumped on it,” ACORE managing director Lance Wright said in a statement. “2430 North Halsted is in an excellent location in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and we are confident Sterling Bay will be successful in executing its business plan of redeveloping the property and leasing it up.”

Just south of the building, on a triangular block bounded by North Lincoln Avenue and West Altgeld Street, lies a small park that came to Sterling Bay along with the research facility, according to Crain’s. The developer would be able to build a 60,000-square-foot building there if it wanted, Crain’s said.

The five-year loan, which includes senior and mezzanine tranches, closed on Tuesday.

Demand is intense for life-sciences research digs in the Second City: the vacancy rate for that type of space in the city is just 1.2 percent, as per data from CBRE.

A representative for Sterling Bay did not immediately respond to an inquiry made late on Friday.