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Revamped Schools HQ Close to a Sale

A venture of Commerz Real is in advanced discussions to acquire 125 S. Clark St., the revamped Loop office property now known as the National, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. A source told Crain’s the selling price was close to the $200 million sought by the 20-story property’s currents owners, Blue Star Properties and Wolcott Group.

Blue Star and Wolcott acquired the former headquarters of Chicago Public Schools for $28 million in 2014. They then spent more than $91 million to renovate the property, which dates from 1906.

After CPS moved out, the National’s current owners hired JLL to re-tenant the property. It’s now 88% leased, with tenants that include WeWork, audio equipment maker Shure and, on the ground floor, Revival Food Hall.

In a statement, Germany-based Commerz Real said it does not comment on speculation, “but Chicago is a very interesting market which we are examining right now.”

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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 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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