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UBS Puts River North Apartments on the Block After 15-Year Hold

UBS Realty Investors has hired CBRE to sell the Bernardin, a 171-unit apartment tower in River North, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. The latest in a recent series of landlords looking to cash out of Chicago’s downtown apartment market, UBS has owned the Bernardin since late 2005, when it paid $89.4 million for the 25-story property.

“Downtown Chicago’s apartment market has staged one of the strongest urban market recoveries in the country,” CBRE says in its marketing brochure.

The Bernardin has also staged a comeback. Its occupancy rate dropped to 85% in 2020, down from 94% in 2019, but now stands at 99%. Its retail space is fully leased.

However, it’s not clear whether UBS would garner more from a sale than the purchase price, Crain’s reported. NOI declined 20% in 2020 from the year prior, but even if NOI recovered to 2019 levels, it would still fall below 2005.


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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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