08/26/2011

South Korean Consortium and Downtown Properties Have Successfully Acquired a Prestigious Chicago Property


Seoul(August 26, 2011) –Downtown Properties, the US associate of Hong Kong based Gaw Capital Partners, along with a South Korean consortium have successfully acquired a trophy Class A office building in downtown Chicago from Hines. Hines, who will remain as property manager and leasing agent, was advised by Eastdil Secured.

Three First National Plaza is currently 92% leased and boasts impressive roster of tenants such as Morgan Stanley and Fitch Ratings. The acquisition of 57-story Three First National Plaza (total area: 130,000 m²), located at 70 W. Madison St in Chicago’s CBD Central Loop, is the second sizable core property transaction in the US led and managed by Downtown Properties in the past two years on behalf of Korean institutional investors.

Downtown Properties is not only co-investor but also advisor on the acquisition.In South Korea, Hyundai Asset Management is acting as asset manager. Wells Fargo Securities Asia acted as buy-side advisor and Eastdil Secured arranged the acquisition financing. Korea Teacher’s Credit Union (KTCU) and the Korean investors are also part of the Korean consortium who, along with Downtown Properties, successfully acquired 333 Market Street in San Francisco last year.

Managing Principal for Gaw Capital Partners and Downtown Properties Goodwin Gaw said “The current US real estate cycle provides an opportune time for risk-averse Asian institutional investors to enter the US market. We completed our San Francisco investment last spring, before the recent flood of capital into the core/core-plus asset category. We feel the strong and stable cash flow combined with the large diverse tenant base of Three First National Plaza will prove to be another attractive investment for us and our investors.”

“Our expertise, experience and understanding of both Asian and overseas property markets is clearly a key competitive advantage. Our integrated operating platforms and extensive network of affiliations are well equipped to seize any opportunities in this dynamic market.”