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John Hancock Center sale to Sterling Bay falls through

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The $300 million deal for Mag Mile tower’s office floors and parking garage has been called off


As Sterling Bay continues to seek zoning approval for its massive Lincoln Yards megaproject, the developer has reversed course on its plan to purchase the former John Hancock Center skyscraper for $300 million.

In the works since July, the deal between Sterling Bay and property owner the Hearn Company encompassed the building’s roughly 900,000 square feet of offices and its parking garage. The 100-story tower’s residential units, retail spaces, and observation deck are separately owned and were not part of the now-cancelled transaction.

“Hearn and Sterling Bay have mutually agreed to terminate the contract for the purchase of 875 N. Michigan Avenue,” said a Sterling Bay spokesperson in a statement to Curbed Chicago. The developer offered no further comment at this time. News of the deal’s demise was first reported Friday evening by Crain’s.

Hearn president and CEO Steve Hearn tells the Chicago Tribune that the former Hancock property will no longer be marketed for sale. The company will, however, restart talks with companies looking to put their name on the iconic Mag Mile skyscraper.

The Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill-designed building was officially renamed “875 N. Michigan Avenue” earlier this year—a title that has found little love among Chicago residents and media outlets.

Despite the deal with Hearn drying up, 2018 saw Sterling Bay embark on an office buying spree which netted the company some of the city’s largest and most recognizable properties. The developer snapped up the former Montgomery Ward warehouse and current Groupon HQ at 600 W. Chicago for $510 million in February and acquired the two-tower Prudential Plaza complex for $680 million shortly thereafter.

In addition to the aforementioned Lincoln Yards mixed-use campus, Sterling Bay is also busy developing a number of projects in and around downtown Chicago. The firm continues to gobble up industrial property in the Fulton Market District, where it is constructing new office buildings at 210 N. Carpenter Street and 333 N. Green Street.

In River North, Sterling Bay and joint venture partner JDL Development are expected to soon break ground on the 76-story One Chicago Square project across from Holy Name Cathedral.

John Hancock Center

875 North Michigan Avenue, , IL 60611 Visit Website