Best in Chicago commercial real estate receive honors

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Des Plaines River Casino

The annual Chicago Real Estate Awards met the challenge Thursday night of finding worthwhile projects to honor in a time of little commercial development.

Projects that won accolades for work in 2011 included the new North American home for the pharmaceutical company Astellas in Glenview, the $90 million Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and the renovation of the Presidential Towers complex in the West Loop.

The firm Bridge Developments Partners was named developer of the year for completing two projects in a tough economy: an office building in Lincolnshire and a two-building industrial complex in Woodridge.

The awards, the Oscars of local real estate, were announced at an annual dinner that raises money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Organizers said the event at the Hyatt Regency Chicago raised about $875,000.

The Astellas development was named build-to-suit project of the year. MB Real Estate and GlenStar Properties LLC handled the work.

Rivers Casino and partners Development Management Associates and Pepper Construction won for special achievement of the year. It covers 20 acres.

The Presidential Towers work by U.S. Equities Realty and Waterton Residential was named redevelopment of the year. The $22 million alteration to a retail concourse reoriented the stores’ entrances to the street and added a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

An award for innovative deal of the year went to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and Prime Group Realty Trust for lease negotiations that brought the American Medical Association to the landmark 330 N. Wabash building, formerly the IBM Plaza. AMA will take at least 275,000 square feet and the building will be renamed AMA Plaza.

The Sun-Times founded the awards, now in their 24th year. Current sponsors are Crain’s Chicago Business and Associated Bank. An industry panel picks nominees and winners are decided by a secret vote of the dinner’s ticket buyers.

Other awards went to:

Industrial broker of the year: Daniel Leahy of NAI Hiffman.

Interior contractor of the year: Leopardo Cos. Inc.

Interior design firm of the year: Partners by Design Inc.

Investment sales broker of the year: Nooshin Felsenthal, Bruce Miller, Jim Postweiler and Jascint Vukelich of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Mortgage broker of the year: David Knapp, Chang Lee, Stephen Livaditis and Michael Pagliari of Eastdil Secured LLC.

Office broker of the year: Joe Learner and Robert Sevim of Studley Inc.

Office property representative of the year: Mark Baby, Jack McKinney Jr., Matt Pistorio and Brian Whiting of J.F. McKinney & Associates Ltd.

Project manager of the year: MB Real Estate.

Property management company of the year: CBRE Inc.

Retail broker of the year: Joseph Parrott and Jim Sakanich, CB Richard Ellis.

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