CFL News
February 01, 2014

500 Lake Shore Drive Wins 2013 Pride in Construction Award for Residential Construction

The $158 million development at 500 Lake Shore Drive has received CISCO’s annual Pride in Construction Award for residential construction.

CISCO’s annual Pride in Construction Awards, which highlights the positive industry impacts and accomplishments of construction projects, has awarded its residential construction award to the $158 million development 500 Lake Shore Drive, a project owned by a joint venture between the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT) and Related Midwest LLC. The BIT provided a $52 million equity investment in the project, and BIT’s joint venture partner and a 3rd party lender provided the remaining funds for the development.

The Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) is a nonprofit labor management association. CISCO was founded in 1988 in an effort to bring union construction labor and management representatives together to work cooperatively in order to better the construction industry as a whole.¹

“The modern façade and design of 500 Lake Shore Drive Tower stood out and punctuated a very high quality of project design and construction,” said CISCO Executive Director Dan Allen. “In addition, our board unanimously selected the Tower as the winning project because of its outstanding community impact involving sustainability, job creation and the collaboration among the many area stakeholders in the region.”

The 45-story apartment tower, located at 500 Lake Shore Drive (located one block from Chicago’s famed Navy Pier), represents a $158 million investment that created approximately 750 union construction jobs. It has 500 units and 430 parking spaces and is currently more than 80 percent leased.

“At a time when economic challenges persist, 500 Lake Shore Drive offered many hard-working men and women a chance to get back to work,” said Tom Villanova, President of the Chicago & Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council.

“We are very proud that union job creation is advanced by the collateral policies of the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust. Development of 500 Lake Shore Drive created hundreds of new, middle-class jobs in Chicago,” said Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

In the Chicago area alone, the BIT has committed over $490 million to 18 projects, for the development of more than 3,200 housing units and over 2 million square feet of commercial real estate. The projects have created approximately 3,500 construction jobs. Total development cost for the Chicago area BIT investments is over $900 million.

“500 Lake Shore Drive is yet another example of union pension dollars in action,” said Michael Carrigan, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO.

Ground breaking is expected in early 2014 on Wolf Point, a $153 million new development along the Chicago River. Wolf Point is a planned 46-story residential building containing 507 luxury rental units, with easy access to a river walk and extensive parks.

Wolf Point and 500 Lake Shore Drive are part of the BIT’s current $1.1 billion development pipeline, made up of 11 projects around the country. This pipeline is expected to create more than 6,500 jobs across the country throughout the course of construction.

“This is a continuation of our strategy to invest in the development of multifamily rental product, and we expect that we will benefit from strong demographic trends and anticipated rental growth in Chicago,” said Kevin McCarthy, President of PNC Realty Investors Inc., investment advisor to the BIT.

Over its more than 25 year history, the BIT has invested over $5.3 billion for the development and acquisition of more than 180 office, retail, multifamily, hotel, warehouse, and mixed use properties across the country. These investments have generated approximately 68 million hours in construction work and created thousands of permanent jobs in the service, maintenance, and operations of facilities owned by the BIT.

“The BIT’s performance demonstrates the fund’s ability to provide competitive risk-adjusted returns for our investors while also maintaining one of the most comprehensive labor policies in the real estate industry,” says Mike Stotz, President and Managing Director of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation.

The BIT is a bank collective trust for which PNC Bank, National Association, is trustee. The BIT is comprised of qualified union pension retirement plans. The mission of the BIT is to provide investors with competitive risk-adjusted returns through investments in institutional quality commercial real estate that seeks to generate competitive levels of income and long-term capital appreciation.