NAI Hiffman back in Loop office management

By Todd J. Behme, May 18, 2010 (Crain’s) — After paying $13.4 million for 29 N. Wacker Drive, Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada has hired NAI Hiffman to manage the small office building, an assignment that brings the Chicago area’s largest property manager back to the Loop after an absence for couple of years.

In a deal that closed earlier this month, Toronto-based financial services company paid slightly less than sources initially indicated. The seller, Boston-based investment firm Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., paid $18.2 million for the 10-story building in 2001.

NAI Hiffman, which helped Sun Life in the purchase, hopes to use the assignment to win more management work of Class B and C buildings downtown, says Dave Petersen, NAI Hiffman’s CEO of asset management.

The Oakbrook Terrace-based firm manages more than 1 million square feet of suburban office and industrial properties for Sun Life. But the Wacker Drive building is NAI Hiffman’s first downtown office building since late 2007, when it lost the Wrigley Building on North Michigan Avenue.

Bradford Allen Realty Services will lease 29 N. Wacker after NAI Hiffman recommended the firm to Sun Life and invited it to seek the assignment together. The two firms haven’t established a formal alliance but are working on several opportunities similar to 29 N. Wacker, according to Mr. Petersen and Jeffrey Bernstein, principal at Chicago-based Bradford Allen.

The vacancy rate in the 130,000-square-foot building could jump to 30% when the Internal Revenue Service leaves later this year, compared to 17% currently. (Read the full story at

NAI Hiffman’s Dave Petersen discusses retail property management in Retail Facility Business.

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