American Landmark Properties, the owners of Chicago's Willis Tower, completed its purchase of the the Illinois Science + Technology Park last week. The Skokie-based company paid $77 million to acquire the 23-acre campus along Niles Avenue and Searle Parkway from Forest City Enterprises, based in Cleveland, which purchased the park from Pfizer in 2005. There are about 25 firms currently leasing at the park, providing an estimated 1,500 jobs to the area, according to the village.
"The Illinois Science + Technology Park represented a rare opportunity to acquire one of Chicago’s premier life science and technology campuses,” said John Roeser, Executive Vice President of American Landmark Properties. “The three existing fully renovated lab and office buildings are currently 86 percent leased to leading domestic and multi-national life science, energy, and nanotech companies.” The campus also is home to the the Oakton Community College Nanotechnogy Education, Employment and Economic Development Initiative and the Skokie Innovation Labs business incubator. Other major tenants include NorthShore University HealthSystem, Astellas Pharma, LanzaTech, Vetter Development Services USA and the German health care company Fresenius Kabi.
“The Village of Skokie is pleased that American Landmark Properties, a world-class developer from our very own community, now owns the Illinois Science + Technology Park,” said Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, who also thanked Forest City for its stewardship of the property. “The Illinois Science + Technology Park is a significant contributor to Skokie’s employment base and economic growth,” said Van Dusen. “I expect that the park will continue to grow and contribute to Skokie’s economy while also providing economic stimulus for the state and Midwest region.”
Plans for the property could include up to 1.3 million square feet of new lab and office space and a 500,000-square-foot, retail and residential development on Oakton Street in downtown Skokie, according to American Landmark. Filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission showed Forest City accumulated nearly $44 million in losses on the ISTP before looking to sell the property, Crain's Chicago Business reported in 2015.