Iconic assets and visionary management teams are staples of the publicly traded REIT market. It’s not uncommon for REIT assets to create or transform entire neighborhood ecosystems. Finding access to these types of assets outside of the publicly traded REITs is almost impossible for non-institutional investors. Vornado (VNO) has done an incredible job re-vitalizing the Mart, and Vornado share-holders will reap the benefits for years to come.

Source: Nareit | Repost Serenity Alts 2/4/2020

“Everyone knows theMART, this mammoth Art Deco structure facing the river,” says Mark Kelly, commissioner of the City of Chicago’s department of cultural affairs and special events. “It’s a muscular building—a working building—that’s always played with the imagination of the city.”

One of the largest office buildings in the United States, theMART stands tall along two blocks adjacent to the Chicago River in the heart of River North, one of the city’s most dynamic submarkets. Completed in 1930 and purchased by Vornado Realty Trust in 1998, theMART’s history has been intertwined with Chicago’s retail, business, media, and cultural landscape for nearly 90 years.

“theMART is one of the most iconic buildings in the country and since its inception it’s been continually reinventing itself,” says David Greenbaum, vice chairman of Vornado.\

The Merchandise Mart, as the building was known until recent years, was designed by Alfred P. Shaw of the architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, and features decorative chevrons and distinctive towers. Built by Marshall Field as a wholesale warehouse with rentable space for other wholesalers, the Merchandise Mart functioned as the “Midwest Pentagon” during World War II, says Greenbaum. The building was acquired by Joseph Kennedy in 1946. The Kennedy family sold it to Vornado more than 50 years later.

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