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Morguard Shells Out $133M for Fourth Downtown Chicago Apartment Buy 

An affiliate of Canada-based Morguard has acquired Echelon Chicago, a 39-story building at 353 N. Desplaines St. In the Fulton River District, from Miami-based Crescent Heights, reported Crain’s Chicago Business, citing Morguard securities filings and people familiar with the transaction. The $133-million deal for the 350-unit apartment tower is the fourth multifamily acquisition in downtown Chicago for Morguard. 

Crain’s reported that it’s also one of the few big downtown apartment sales in a year that has been disrupted by rising inflation and interest rates, making it harder for investors to stretch for deals. Uncertainty about property taxes in Chicago has also curbed some investors’ enthusiasm. 

But the city has one big thing going for it: Downtown rents have rebounded since the beginning of the pandemic. Morguard has been increasing rents between 12% and 18% at its Chicago properties, Morguard’s John Talano told analysts and investors in a recent conference call. 

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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