Paramount Group, JBC and SRE Group close on 75 Howard in San Francisco

Ultra-luxury condominium project located in heart of San Francisco's South Financial District

New York, Chicago and Hong Kong  – Paramount Group Residential Development Fund, LP (“Fund”), a controlled affiliate of Paramount Group, Inc. (NYSE: PGRE) (“Paramount”), today announced the sale of a majority interest in an ultra-luxury waterfront condominium project (“75 Howard”) in San Francisco to a new joint venture with JBC 75 Howard LLC, an affiliate of The John Buck Company (“JBC”) and SRE Group Ltd. (“SRE”).

75 Howard is prominently situated at the southwest corner of Howard Street and Steuart Street just off the Embarcadero in the heart of San Francisco’s burgeoning South Financial District. This unsurpassed location, with its proximity to all forms of public transportation, is within walking distance to many of San Francisco’s finest shopping venues, five-star hotels, world-renowned restaurants, and numerous recreational and cultural amenities.

Designed by leading architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 75 Howard will be a 20-story, 120-unit ultra-luxury condominium building that will redefine San Francisco living by offering unparalleled views of the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge, best-in-class finishes and a top-of-the-line amenity package.

About The John Buck Company
Founded in 1981, JBC has an established track record and reputation as a premier, vertically-integrated real estate investment, development and operating company focused on major U.S. urban markets. Since inception, JBC has made principal investments in assets comprising more than $6.7 billion of gross value and acquired, developed, or redeveloped over 42 million square feet of office, multifamily, residential and mixed-use properties. To learn more about JBC, visit

About Paramount Group Inc.
Headquartered in New York City, Paramount Group, Inc. is a fully-integrated real estate investment trust that owns, operates, manages, acquires and redevelops high-quality, Class A office properties located in select central business district submarkets of New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Paramount is focused on maximizing the value of its portfolio by leveraging the sought after locations of its assets and its proven property management capabilities to attract and retain high-quality tenants. To learn more about Paramount, visit

About SRE Group Ltd.
SRE an integrated  [publicly-traded] real  estate  developer based in Shanghai. The Company’s shares have been listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited since December 1999. SRE has been gradually expanding into foreign markets such as London, and 75 Howard represents its first investment in the United States. To learn more about SRE, visit

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JBC Announces Closing of $233.3M Construction Loan for CNA Center

Located at 151 North Franklin, Chicago, Illinois

The John Buck Companies, Bank of the Ozarks, and HFF today announced the closing of a $233.3 million construction loan for the development of CNA Center, a Class A, 35-story, trophy office tower at 151 North Franklin in Chicago’s West Loop.

HFF worked on behalf of the developer, The John Buck Companies to place the construction loan with Bank of the Ozarks.

Designed by the internationally-acclaimed firms of John Ronan Architects and Adamson Associates, CNA Center will be the new world headquarters of CNA, a leading insurance organization and the principal subsidiary and operating company of CNA Financial.  Additionally, the center will be the new national headquarters for Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, an international law firm.  The finished office tower will feature 807,137 rentable square feet and a 500-stall attached parking garage in addition to 34 lower-level parking stalls.  The LEED Gold certified building will offer tenants column-free 25,000 square foot floor plates with uninterrupted views and an extensive list of building amenities.  Building amenities will include a 4,200-square-foot rooftop terrace with bar, 10,000 square feet of landscaped exterior courtyards, professionally managed fitness center, a 250-seat conference center, restaurant, bike room, and café / coffee bar.  The tower is currently under construction and will be completed in the summer of 2018.  CNA Center’s location is in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Bank of the Ozarks on behalf of The John Buck Companies.  Both organizations are absolute best in class and have come together to plan and execute a landmark office development here in Downtown Chicago,” said Danny Kaufman.

“We experienced a very strong response from the capital markets to CNA Center.  There have been very few new office towers built in this cycle and very strong tenant demand for new Class A+ space,” said Kavanau.

The HFF debt placement team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director Michael Kavanau and managing director Danny Kaufman.

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The John Buck Company and J.P. Morgan Asset Management Close on 311 West Illinois Street Acquisition

The project will include 245 luxury apartments and 3,000 square feet of retail space

 Chicago, IL – (June 16, 2016) – The John Buck Company (JBC) and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management have closed on the land acquisition of 311 West Illinois Street (“3Eleven”). The project, to be developed by The John Buck Company and designed by FitzGerald Associates Architects, will rise 25 stories to a height of 281 feet, and includes 245 luxury apartments and 3,000 square feet of retail space. 3Eleven will offer several amenities, including bike storage (nearly 200 stalls), smart package storage, and a rooftop tenant lounge with a fitness center and outdoor space featuring hammocks, fire pits, grills, additional dining areas and a swimming pool.

Construction financing will be provided by Wintrust Financial Corporation.

“3Eleven will be an exciting boutique luxury multi-family apartment project, given the property’s River North location, amenity package and city views,” said Kevin Hites, Chief Investment Officer at JBC.

Located on the southwest corner of Illinois and Franklin Street, 3Eleven will feature studio to 3-bedroom penthouse units. Project groundbreaking occurred in June 2016 with anticipated delivery fall 2017.

About The John Buck Company
The John Buck Company was founded in 1981 and has established a track record and reputation as a premier, vertically integrated, full-service real estate operating company. Over the course of JBC’s history, the firm has successfully completed over $10.5 billion of real estate transactions and acquired, developed, or redeveloped over 41 million square feet of office, high-rise residential, hotel, retail, and mixed-use properties.

Headquartered in Chicago, JBC has developed, operated, or managed a variety of properties in New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Abu Dhabi, Berlin, and Kuala Lumpur.  Currently active in Chicago, San Francisco, Boulder, and Washington D.C., JBC works diligently to create projects that are environmentally sustainable, profitable, and inviting places to live, work, and play.

 About J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets

J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets has more than $90 billion in assets under management and more than 400 professionals in 19 offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, as of March 31, 2016. With a 45-plus year history of successful investing, J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets’ broad capabilities provide many of the world’s most sophisticated investors with a global platform of real estate, infrastructure and transportation strategies driven by local investment talent with disciplined investment processes consistently implemented across asset types and regions.  For more information:

About Wintrust Financial Corporation

Wintrust Financial Corporation, a financial holding company, was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois.  With over $23 billion in assets, Wintrust provides relationship based banking and other financial products and services to clients in the Chicago metropolitan area and in southern Wisconsin through its 15 wholly-owned banking subsidiaries and 153 banking center locations.

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The John Buck Company and CNA Close on Acquisition of 333 S. Wabash Ave.

Iconic “Big Red” Building Swapped as JBC Begins Construction on New CNA Global Headquarters

Chicago, IL – March 25, 2016 – The John Buck Company (JBC) and CNA today announced the finalization of JBC’s acquisition of CNA’s Chicago-based, global headquarters at 333 S. Wabash Ave., completing a deal that centers around the development of the new CNA Center at 151 N. Franklin.

The 44-story, 1.1 million-square-foot building at 333 S. Wabash, affectionately known as “Big Red,” has been a distinguished member of Chicago’s skyline since it opened in 1972.

“333 S. Wabash is an institutional-class building that is well positioned to attract future tenant demand,” said Kevin Hites, Chief Investment Officer, The John Buck Company. “The tower’s prominent visibility on the Chicago skyline, 360-degree city and lake views, and easily accessible location make it a special opportunity.”

Considered a highly creative and complex agreement by real estate standards, CNA will lease its current offices at 333 S. Wabash while it awaits JBC’s completion of its new Class A office tower at 151 N. Franklin, which is expected to be delivered in Summer 2018. Bill Rolander, Principal at JBC, served as primary representation for The John Buck Company. Greg Gerber, Executive Vice President at Savills Studley, advisor to CNA, aided in the finalization of the deal.
“CNA is entering its 120th year of business and 116th year in Chicago, where we are very excited to maintain our global headquarters,” said Tom Pontarelli, Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer, CNA. “This sale is one of the many important milestones as we prepare for our move to CNA Center.”

The new 800,000-square-foot CNA Center will rise 35 stories, with each office floor featuring column-free lease spans with 9’6” floor-to-ceiling glass windows and columnless glass corners. Construction on the project at 151 N. Franklin began on February 29th through a partnership between Lend Lease and JBC.

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New River North Tower 3Eleven OKd by Key City Panel

The 245-unit residential tower will be located at Franklin and Illinois Street

The Chicago Plan Commission signed off on JBC’s proposed 24-story residential tower at Franklin and Illinois Street. 3Eleven will feature 245 units, street-level retail, and 109 indoor parking spaces.


The John Buck Company selects San Francisco for regional office

The first corporate expansion outside Chicago for the company in several years.

SAN FRANCISCO – January 7, 2016 – The John Buck Company, a vertically integrated real estate development and investment based in Chicago and with projects nationwide, has opened a West Coast regional office in San Francisco.

Located at Three Embarcadero, the office is headed by senior vice president Ben Kochalski. This is the first corporate expansion outside Chicago for the company in several years.

“We have been looking to make this move for some time and we believe this is exactly the right time to expand our corporate presence to San Francisco,” said Richard Lindsay, chief executive officer, The John Buck Company. “We have a strong belief in the fundamentals and dynamism of the West Coast, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area, and we look forward to building our presence here over the next few years,” he added.

The John Buck Company, in partnership with fellow Chicago developer Golub Co. and MetLife Real Estate Investments, broke ground late last year on Park Tower at Transbay, a 43-story pre-certified LEED Gold office tower which, when completed in 2018, will provide one of the most modern large blocks of space in the city with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay from almost three quarters of the building’s 750,000 rentable square feet.

Designed by renowned architect Goettsch Partners and Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Park Tower’s innovative design emphasizes bringing the “outside inside” to create a unique corporate environment within a high density, urban setting. The building will have more than 50,000 square feet of outdoor and open space including a ground floor park; 17,000 square feet of outdoor space on Floors 12 and 28; and 14 skydecks, each with about 1,000 square feet of private outdoor space. The building will also feature a dramatic open-air atrium lobby rising through the first three stories.

The building’s design allows for panoramic views from 70 percent of the floor space. Each floor features floor-to-ceiling window lines and minimal columns to maximize view corridors and enhance natural light within the workspaces. Floorplates range from 27,500 square feet at the base to 12,000 square feet in the upper floors to provide a broad array of options for tenants of varying size requirements. A subterranean garage with an advanced stacking structure allows parking for 128 vehicles.

Source: The Registry Bay Area Real Estate

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Chicago firms buy major stake in S’PARK development in Boulder

The John Buck Company and Kinship Capital formed a new joint venture

BOULDER — Two Chicago firms have purchased a major stake in the redevelopment of the former Sutherlands lumber yard site at 3390 Valmont Road, effectively buying out the Sutherland family’s stake in the $100 million mixed-use “S’PARK” project that is slated for demolition work to begin in the coming months.

Real estate investment firm Kinship Capital and investment firm/developer The John Buck Co., formed a new joint venture with current S’PARK developer Element Properties of Boulder that in late December paid a combined $18.5 million for the properties at 3390 Valmont Road and 3195 Bluff St. The joint venture, under the entity Spark Boulder Owner LLC, paid Sutherland Bldg Materials Shopping Centers Inc. $13.5 million for the 3390 Valmont site, according to Boulder County property records. Spark Boulder Owner LLC paid Element, meanwhile, $5 million for the 3195 Bluff property that Element had bought for $2.6 million in mid-2014.

Kinship is now the majority owner of S’PARK, short for Sutherland Park. John Buck and Element hold minority stakes in the new joint venture and will serve as co-developers of the project. Element also remains owner of 3155 Bluff St., a parcel bought in 2014 for $2.4 million that is slated to become S’PARK West along with the parcel at 3085 Bluff St.

“I think (two national firms) are going to help Element Properties out a lot in terms of capability,” Element principal Chris Jacobs said in a phone interview.

Element gained planning board approval for S’PARK in September. The project is slated to include roughly 126,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, in addition to between 144 and 159 market-rate apartments and 32 permanently affordable apartments. Separately, S’PARK West is slated for a mix of 69 market-rate and permanently affordable townhomes. Developers have been in discussions with Boulder’s Upslope Brewing on opening a brewpub at S’PARK, though a representative for John Buck Co., said a deal is yet to be finalized on that front.

“S’PARK promises to be an incredible place for Boulder,” Element Properties’ Scott Holton said in a prepared statement. “With this great new development team in place, we look forward to partnering with the Boulder community to see this project to completion and into the future.”

Kevin Hites, chief investment officer of John Buck Co., said in a phone interview Wednesday that the plan is to begin demolition of the former lumberyard structures, as well as infrastructure work, in the first quarter of this year. The few small-business tenants left at the site, he said, have been on month-to-month leases and will move out once demo begins.

Developers are aiming for vertical construction to begin in the middle of this year, with the first residences and commercial space delivered in late 2017. Don Misner and Joe Heath of Jones Lang LaSalle will handle the office leasing, developers said.

S’PARK marks the first development in Colorado for Kinship, which has been active in the Chicago, San Francisco and Florida markets. But Kinship principal Nick Thomson said via phone interview that he’s hoping to grow the firm’s presence along the Front Range.

“We’ve identified Colorado as a place where we want to be long-term owners of high-quality real estate like S’PARK,” said Thomson, who earned an architecture degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in the 1990s. “We think the fundamentals of the Boulder market are really outstanding in the short, medium and long-term.

Source: BizWest

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The John Buck Company to develop new “CNA” Headquarters

New headquarters will be located at 151 North Franklin

CNA Financial plans to move its headquarters to a new office tower that John Buck Co. plans to build in the Loop, as part of an unusual deal in which the Chicago real estate developer will buy the insurer’s iconic red building.

The Chicago-based insurer signed a letter of intent today to move to about 275,000 square feet in a 35-story tower Buck plans to build at 151 N. Franklin St., CNA and Buck said. The tower will be named the CNA Center.

CNA also signed a letter of intent to sell its 44-story, 1.1 million-square-foot building at 333 S. Wabash Ave. to Buck, which is expected to redevelop the 43-year-old structure.

The building will sell for “significantly north of $100 million,” said Greg Gerber, an executive vice president at New York-based brokerage Savills Studley, who is representing CNA.

CNA has owned the tower, known for its red exterior, since the building opened in 1972.

The insurer once occupied the entire building but has cut back to about 750,000 square feet in recent years while leasing out 13 floors to other tenants, Gerber said. The largest is the Chicago Housing Authority, with about 150,000 square feet.

As part of its deal with Buck, CNA will lease back its office space until it moves to Buck’s new tower in summer 2018, Gerber said. Some of CNA’s current space is for amenities, which won’t be part of its rentable space in the new building.

The deal with Buck is for about 275,000 square feet, with rights to eventually add or subtract about 20 percent of that total space, Gerber said.

CNA also had advanced discussions on a similar deal with New York-based developer Tishman Speyer Properties, which has an office development site across the street from Buck’s project on Franklin Street, Gerber said.

Buck’s building will have about 820,000 square feet.

By moving into newer, more efficient space, CNA can accommodate all of its headquarters workers in significantly less space, saving the company more than $10 million a year in real estate costs, Gerber said. The company also sought modernized space closer to commuter trains to help in recruiting and retaining employees, he said.

“Then the discussion became, if we’re going to relocate, what’s going to happen with the red building?” Gerber said. “We got deep into negotiations and analysis with a couple of to-be-built buildings, and we settled on 151 N. Franklin.”

CNA has 2,000 headquarters employees and is looking to fill about 200 vacant positions, spokeswoman Sarah Pang said. The employee count is not expected to change in the new building, she said.

The company will have a new leader by the time it relocates to the John Ronan-designed tower. CNA announced in November that it has chosen a successor for CEO Thomas Motamed, who is set to retire at the end of 2016. Dino Rubusto, a longtime Chubb executive, will take the reins from Motamed after next year.

“The iconic building we call ‘Big Red’ has served us well since 1972, and it will always be an important part of our history and legacy,” Motamed said in a statement. “Much has changed in the way we work over the past 40 years, and CNA Center at 151 N. Franklin is designed specifically to meet our needs today and well into the future.”

Rolander said Buck is considering seeking new office tenants for CNA’s space, or potentially converting many of the upper floors to residences with views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.

“We’ll study it over the next couple of years,” Rolander said. “We may run a parallel strategy of pursuing office tenants while evaluating to see if a residential component is feasible.”

The CNA deal will kick off construction of the third new office tower of this development cycle, the first since the recession. Buck recently demolished a former Walgreens store on the site and hopes to begin building the tower in January, according to John Buck Principal Bill Rolander.

Along the Chicago River, Hines Interests’ 52-story River Point and Riverside Investment & Development’s 53-story tower at 150 N. Riverside Plaza have filled large portions of their space about a year ahead of their expected completions.

Downtown Chicago’s overall office vacancy in the third quarter fell below 13 percent for the first time since 2008. Sales of downtown office buildings have exceeded $6 billion in 2015, an all-time high. The previous high was $5.3 billion in 2006.

With the CNA deal, Buck will have almost half the space at 151 N. Franklin pre-leased. Law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson has leased 100,000 square feet there.

Another law firm, Freeborn & Peters, signed a letter of intent with Buck before later deciding to remain at 311 S. Wacker Drive.

Source: Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily


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JBC Announces Launch of ‘MILA’ website

402-Unit Apartment building expected to open Spring 2016

JBC is excited to announce the full launch of Check out the website to find out more on what’s coming to Michigan Avenue in 2016.

Named for its premier location on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, the 41-story luxury residential development is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2016. MILA is developed as a joint venture between Partners Group, Becker Ventures, and The John Buck Company. MILA was designed by bKL Architecture and will feature 402 Class-A luxury residences. Rising 488 feet and highlighted by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the building’s clean, highly polished modern façade offers an unmatched luxury residential experience

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Topping Off Celebration at MILA Luxury Apartments

MILA will deliver 402 units in early 2016

Yesterday, Luxury Living Chicago attended the topping off celebration of MILA at 200 N Michigan Avenue. Named for its iconic location at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, MILA will deliver 402 units in early 2016.

The team rode a construction elevator all the way to the very top of the building where we enjoyed champagne and breathtaking views of the city. John Buck, Chairman of The John Buck Company and developer of MILA, spoke to the crowd and attendees made a bit of MILA history by signing their name on the concrete wall of what will be the rooftop resident lounge.

The Loop apartment building stands 41 stories tall, with a rooftop pool and lounge so residents can always enjoy the stunning views. MILA’s location on Michigan Avenue translates amazing views- either to the south of Millennium Park and the lake, north of the Hard Rock Hotel, Trump Tower, and the Chicago River, or east and west city views. A full amenity area on the sixth floor will offer more outdoor spaces, a fitness center, business center, and resident lounge.

The team also got a little sneak peek of the interiors of these luxury Loop apartments, which will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors throughout, gourmet kitchens, large closet spaces and great views from all angles of the building.

We hear the construction crane will be removed at the beginning of October and the building’s glass enclosure is expected to be completed around Thanksgiving time.

Located at 200 N Michigan, residents of MILA will be walking distance from multiple parks: Maggie Daley, Lakeshore East, Millennium and Grant- plus the lakeshore path. The city’s finest shopping can be found just north on the Magnificent Mile, along with a wide variety of restaurants and dining options.  Chicago’s main theatre district is just around the corner and the new Riverwalk is a few blocks away.

The Luxury Living Chicago team is very excited about these new 2016 Chicago apartments.

Source: Luxury Living

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