111 South Wacker 111 South Wacker

Since GreenBuild 2007 will be in Chicago, I wanted to showcase one the many green buildings in Chicago.  In 2005, 111 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois, received an AIA Design Excellence Award and LEED-CS Gold certification for it’s sustainability achievements.  Designed by Goettsch Partners, the 53-story tower is an incredibly handsome skyscraper.  The transparent base of the tower is particularly interesting with those seemingly dinky pillars holding up the entirety of the building. 

The Financial Case:
111 South Wacker gives me the opportunity to flaunt the business case for going green.  These numbers are incredible, so hold on to your pencils.  The John Buck Company spent about $270 million building 111 SW in Chicago’s Loop market.  Interestingly, the Loop market had a vacancy rate of 18% for class A space, but 111 South Wacker leased up almost immediately to big name tenants.  After stabilization, in January 2006, the building was sold to a German investment fund for $386 million ($401 psf).  Generally speaking, that’s a profit of $116 million.  What happened to the other buildings?  Vacancy probably got even worse.  Goes to show you, the future may not be so good for investors holding the bag on non-sustainable buildings.


::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::