Wells Real Estate Investments has bought Chicago’s 1.1 million sq. ft. Leo Burnett building for nearly $300 million. The unlisted REIT also purchased the Windy City’s Aon Center at 200 E. Randolph St. earlier this year for $462.5 million.
"The Burnett Building is a classic Chicago office tower with two outstanding and highly regarded tenants on long-term leases," says Wells REIT chief investment officer David Steinwedell. "Our acquisition of the Leo Burnett Building, along with Aon Center gives us a large presence in Chicago, with two of its highest-quality buildings."
Anchored by Leo Burnett USA, the 50-story building at 35 W. Wacker Dr. is 1.8% vacant. Wells spent $1.4 billion on office assets last year, and this year plans to spend $2.5 billion on office acquisitions.
In October, Wells founder Leo Wells was sanctioned by the NASD for giving non-cash gifts to brokers who sell the Wells REIT to retail investors. As a result, Wells is barred from acting in a principal capacity for one year.