Chicago billionaire Joe Mansueto buys Wrigley Building

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The Wrigley Building pictured in 2005. | Sun-Times file photo

Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building has been sold to billionaire Joe Mansueto.

The deal between Mansueto Properties to purchase the Mag Mile landmark from a consortium led by BDT Capital Partners became official on Friday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Chicago Tribune reported the sale price at $255 million.

Mansueto, the CEO of Chicago-based investment giant Morningstar, called the building “a clear symbol of our city’s rich history.

“We are thrilled to be the new owners of this iconic Chicago and U.S. landmark property,” Mansueto said in a statement. “We are committed to preserving the legacy of this building and ensuring that it remains a vital part of Chicago’s growth well into the future.”

Joe Mansueto, the CEO of Chicago-based Morningstar, in 2010. File Photo.

Joe Mansueto, the CEO of Chicago-based Morningstar, in 2010. File Photo.

The Wrigley Company left their namesake building at 400-410 N. Michigan Ave. for new Goose Island headquarters in 2011, shortly before the BDT Capital consortium — which included Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell — bought the property for just $33 million.

They pumped $91 million into the building to boost occupancy from 19 percent up to 90 percent, adding 50,000 square feet of retail space along the Chicago River. It was designated with landmark status in 2012.

“We are confident that Mansueto Properties will be an excellent home and steward for this dynamic, generational asset,” BDT partner Robbie Robinson said in the statement. “For the last seven years, our investment group has committed itself to the success and revitalization of this architectural masterpiece while preserving its long-standing Chicago heritage.”

The 30-story, 460,000-square foot building opened in 1924, designed by architects on the order of chewing gum mogul William Wrigley Jr. to make it look like a “luscious birthday cake.”

A pioneer of the Michigan Avenue commercial district, the building was finished a few years after the Michigan Avenue Bridge opened the street to the Loop’s commerce. The area had been mostly factories.

Its 250,000 terra cotta tiles are tracked by computer for optimum maintenance. Six color shades, from creamy white at the bottom to blue-white at the top, are arranged to increase brightness for higher floors.

Its two towers were connected by a 14th-floor walkway built in 1931 out of concern that a bank inside was technically violating a state law that limited banks to one location. Later it became the city’s first air-conditioned office building.

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