Press Releases
September 14, 2011

Union-backed development to create 750 Chicago jobs

The union-backed Building Investment Trust (BIT) today broke ground on a $157 million investment project on the Chicago lakefront that will create 750 union construction jobs.

AFL-CIO BIT, Related Midwest Break Ground on the $157 million 500 Lake Shore Drive Apartments

Investment to Create 750 Construction Jobs in Chicago

Chicago, IL - The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT), in partnership with Related Midwest, today held the official groundbreaking ceremony for their new 500 Lake Shore Drive apartments.  Located one block from Chicago's famed Navy Pier, 500 Lake Shore Drive represents a $157 million investment and will create approximately 750 union construction jobs. When completed, the 45-story apartment tower will boast impressive views of Lake Michigan, 500 luxury rental units, a parking garage and 2600 square feet of retail space.  It will also incorporate energy efficient appliances and lighting, and feature a vertical green wall on the east facade.

"We are very excited about this opportunity," said Kevin McCarthy, President of PNC Realty Investors Inc., investment advisor to the BIT.  "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."

As with all BIT development projects, on-site construction will be performed by members affiliated with the local building and construction trades council.  "At a time when economic challenges persist, this project offers 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. 

Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, noted that, "with the City's unemployment rate at 11.7 percent, the development of 500 Lake Shore Drive will create hundreds of new, middle-class jobs in Chicago."

Also in attendance at the event was Michael Carrigan, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO.  "We are excited to be working with the BIT.  This will be yet another monument to the craftsmanship of union workers and a fantastic example of union pension dollars in action," said Carrigan.

Additional speakers at the ceremony included Deputy Mayor Mark Angelson; Brendan Reilly, Alderman of the 42nd Ward; Commissioner Andrew J. Mooney, Department of Housing and Economic Development; and Curt Bailey, President of Related Midwest.

About the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust

The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust is an open-end commingled core commercial real estate fund with $2.9 billion in gross assets as of June 30, 2011.  The mission of the BIT is to provide competitive risk-adjusted returns for its pension plan participants through investments in institutional-quality commercial real estate, while promoting economic development and creating union jobs.

Since beginning operations in 1988, the BIT has invested over $4 billion for the development and acquisition of more than 160 office, retail, multifamily, hotel, warehouse, and mixed use properties across the country.  These investments have generated approximately 54 million hours in union construction work and created thousands of permanent union jobs in the service, maintenance and operation of facilities owned by the BIT.

The BIT is managed by PNC Bank, National Association (PNC Bank), as Trustee.  PNC Realty Investors (PRI) provides investment advisory services to the BIT.  The AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation provides marketing, investor relations, and labor relations.

About Related Companies

Related Companies is the most prominent, privately-owned real estate firm in the United States. Formed over 39 years ago, Related is a fully-integrated, highly diversified industry leader with experience in virtually every aspect of development, acquisitions, management, finance, marketing and sales.

Headquartered in New York City, Related has offices and major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and South Florida, and boasts a team of approximately 2,000 professionals.  The Company's existing portfolio of real estate assets, valued at over $15 billion, is made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets.  In 2006 Related acquired Equinox(R) Fitness Clubs, further expanding the company's capabilities into the health and fitness arena and enhancing the value of its properties by incorporating an exclusive, branded amenity into the lifestyle offering.

Related Midwest, the Chicago office of Related Companies, has been the preeminent Chicago developer of luxury condominium homes, affordable housing and unique mixed-use properties since 1988.  Recognized for its innovate, market-defining developments, Related Midwest creates properties of enduring value that enhance the lives of residents and the neighboring community, such as 340 on the Park, the first LEED-Silver residential tower in the Midwest.