Streeterville's office market has been pretty soft lately, but the massive Northwestern Memorial Hospital system doesn't seem to mind, as the staid medical institution has been scooping up properties as fast as they can get their hands on them. In fact, the hospital has done so much buying, building, and renovating in the last decade that Northwestern has fueled a good chunk of the city's building economy. Last week, Crain's reported that the hospital group just completed the purchase of the 28 story, Harry Weese-designed office building at 541 North Fairbanks. Northwestern has been leasing around 40% of the building since 2007 for administrative and HR purposes, but have said that the $79.5 million purchase of the building was more cost effective than continuing to lease. The building's existing tenants, including the Chicago Park District, will be staying put for the time being. Northwestern doesn't have any plans to expand their presence in the building, and part of the buyout deal allows the park district to continue staying there rent-free until 2018, when they are expected to move out. You really have to wonder, though, how long will it be until Northwestern owns the whole neighborhood and Streeterville will just be known as "The Hospital"?
This post was authored by Curbed Chicago contributor Aaron Dunlap
· Northwestern Memorial pays $80 million for Streeterville office tower [Crain's]
· 541 North Fairbanks [Official Website]
· Previous Streeterville coverage [Curbed Chicago]