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Lender-owned suburban complex lands Lincoln Financial

As seen in Chicago Real Estate Daily By: Dave Matthews November 03, 2011

(Crain’s) — A big, bank-owned office complex in Rolling Meadows got a shot in the arm after signing Lincoln Financial Group to a 47,364-square-foot lease amid a depressed suburban office market.

The Radnor, Pa.-based insurance company will occupy two floors at Continental Towers, a 917,632-square-foot property at 1701 W. Golf Road in the northwest suburb. The four-building complex went back to its lender last year after Chicago-based Prime Group Realty Trust defaulted on its $115-million mortgage.

The towers fell on hard times after a key tenant, subprime mortgage lender Ameriquest Mortgage Co., collapsed in 2007 and vacated its 232,078-square-foot space. Other tenants followed suit. Continental Towers was just 54% leased in July, according to a loan report compiled by Bloomberg L.P.

Jason Simon, a senior associate with Colliers International who represented the landlord, Needham-Mass.-based loan servicer CWCapital LLC, declined to comment. Calls to Lincoln Financial and CWCapital were not returned.

The lease is "a real positive for Continental Towers," says NAI Hiffman Senior Vice-president Jack Reardon, a leasing agent for the property in the 1990s.

Continental Towers "has good potential in the long haul," says Mr. Reardon, who was not involved in the Lincoln lease. "If they can get the population back up and fill up the amenities in the retail complex, it’s once again one of the top northwest suburban office buildings."

But the property competes in the cutthroat northwest suburbs, "by far the weakest" suburban submarket, Mr. Reardon says. Its competitors include the Atrium Corporate Center at 3800 Golf Road, with about 188,000 square feet of vacant space; the Woodfield Corporate Center at 200 N. Martingale Road, with about 228,000 square feet of vacant space, and Windy Point II at 1600 McConnor Parkway, with more than 300,000 square feet available.

"Right now," Mr. Reardon says, "it’s definitely a tenant’s market."

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