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November 20, 2018

The Margin: Changing of guard at Willis Tower highlights turbulent period for Chicago real estate

It’s not just the changing of the guard at Willis (né Sears) Tower. The first quarter of 2015 has been a turbulent time for trophy towers and other notable structures throughout Chicago’s built environment.

It was confirmed Monday that Willis Tower, the world’s tallest building from its completion in 1973 until 1998, is being acquired by Blackstone Group

BLK, +1.72%

 from New York investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian and Skokie, Ill.–based American Landmark Properties. They paid $841 million for the tower in 2004, while Blackstone’s purchase price of $1.3 million is, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, set to become the highest ever paid for a U.S. office building outside Manhattan.

For Chicagoans, who’ve only reluctantly learned to identify the 110-story skyscraper by the name of the U.K. insurance broker

WSH, +1.74%

rather than that of the Chicago-area-based retailer

SHLD, +0.68%

 , the deal delivers none of the psychic blow that its renaming in 2009, in accord with the terms of the Willis Group lease, did.

But, among Cubs diehards, Opening Day at a bleacher-free Wrigley Field is something else entirely. Off-season renovation work fell behind schedule late last year, and, to add insult to injury, City Hall declined recently to bend the rules — and raise neighborhood ire — by allowing construction to proceed around the clock. It’s been reported that it will be May before the famed bleachers are open; even then, only the left- and center-field sections will be at box-office disposal. The right-field bleachers are slated for June completion.

Even in a sports-mad city, though, ballparks are not held quite as dear as municipal parks. And in Grant Park, dubbed Chicago’s Front Door, and down in Hyde Park, near the University of Chicago, that’s what’s at stake.

On the South Side, there’s been controversy over a prospective location for the Obama presidential library, with a U. of C.–led bid requiring acquisition of park land. The matter has grown touchy enough locally that it’s been reported by Melissa Harris of the Chicago Tribune that the announcement of a decision is likely to be withheld until after the April 7 mayoral runoff. (The Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed, meanwhile, has reported that the Obamas themselves may no longer be planning a return to Chicago in January 2017.)

In Grant Park, meanwhile, the building-upon of Chicago Park District property — all but verboten by local tradition — is again at issue. George Lucas’s decision to locate his visual-arts museum in Chicago was likely predicated on a prime lakefront location and a central role in the city’s Museum Campus, but the project has met with challenges on both legal and aesthetic grounds.

Along the Chicago River, there’s been an even more concentrated tumult.

True, work proceeded apace through an overly wintry winter on the next civic showpiece, the Chicago Riverwalk.

But, elsewhere along the river — whose evolution into the city’s second waterfront was trumpeted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a Monday night debate with challenger Jesus “Chuy” Carcia as a top idea for his second term — the remaining tatters of the Chicago Spire dream, which was to have culminated in the world’s tallest residential structure, were finally swept aside; the Kennedy family has been locked in battle over certain specifics of the high-profile Wolf Point development, according to Crain’s; and a massive, backlit T-R-U-M-P, slapped on the prime river-facing facade of Trump Tower, served as a unifying force in a divided city, with Emanuel calling the signage “architecturally tasteless,” and effectively no one disagreeing.

In the latter incident, the mayor and City Council, faced with widespread outcry about the Trump visual assault, drew a line in the sand. But the city’s new riverfront signage ordinance reluctantly was required to grandfather in the Trump sign. All 2,891 square feet of it.

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The Margin: Changing of guard at Willis Tower highlights turbulent period for Chicago real estate

At Davos, it's not all about money

Read MoreBold-facers to talk crises at Davos

“It is a combination of networking, understanding the scope of views with respect to markets and the economy, and some out-of-the-box idea generation,” explained the manager of a multibillion dollar firm who is avoiding media interviews.

“Going to Davos helps generate investment ideas and manage risk by giving attendees a better understanding of the global dynamics driving markets,” added a handler for one of the prominent hedge fund managers in attendance but who is not speaking.

Of course, selling funds to the many huge institutions in Davos also factors in. There are chief investment officers from sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, insurance companies, charitable foundations and more floating around, potentially looking to allocate billions of dollars to so-called “alternative” investment funds.

At least one firm is hosting a formal event. Hedge fund investor SkyBridge Capital is putting on its annual “Wine Forum” tasting this week at the Hotel Europe’s Piano Bar, a popular Davos after-hours hangout. The event is both for client purposes and charity; this year proceeds will go to the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, whose namesake sang at Davos on Tuesday.

Speaking on stage can also help brand managers as astute economic thinkers.

Dalio, for example, will participate on a panel Thursday on the looming end to U.S.-style quantitative easing, “Ending the Experiment.” Singer will be part of a debate Wednesday on whether markets are “mispricing” geopolitical risks. And Rubenstein will talk Wednesday on the “New Growth Context” in the global economy.

Others speaking include George Soros of Soros Fund Management (now a family office) on Europe; Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge on economic volatility; Kenneth Hersh of NGP Energy Capital Management on fossil fuels; and Colin Teichholtz of Pine River Capital Management on shadow banking.

But the majority of managers in Davos aren’t speaking, many opting to keep a lower profile.

Hedge fund managers at WEF include Dan Loeb of Third Point, Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, Frank Brosens of Taconic Capital, Alan Howard of Brevan Howard Investment Products, Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global Investors, Mitch Julis and Josh Friedman of Canyon Partners, Andrew Law of Caxton Associates, Michael Martino of Mason Capital Management, Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management, and David Harding of Winton Capital Management, according to WEF materials.

Private equity investors include Stephen Pagliuca of Bain Capital, Scott Kapnick of Highbridge Capital Management, Mitch Truwit of Apax Partners and Tom Speechley of Abraaj Group.

View the original here – 

At Davos, it's not all about money

At Davos, it's not all about the money…seriously

Read MoreBold-facers to talk crises at Davos

“It is a combination of networking, understanding the scope of views with respect to markets and the economy, and some out-of-the-box idea generation,” explained the manager of a multibillion dollar firm who is avoiding media interviews.

“Going to Davos helps generate investment ideas and manage risk by giving attendees a better understanding of the global dynamics driving markets,” added a handler for one of the prominent hedge fund managers in attendance but who is not speaking.

Of course, selling funds to the many huge institutions in Davos also factors in. There are chief investment officers from sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, insurance companies, charitable foundations and more floating around, potentially looking to allocate billions of dollars to so-called “alternative” investment funds.

At least one firm is hosting a formal event. Hedge fund investor SkyBridge Capital is putting on its annual “Wine Forum” tasting this week at the Hotel Europe’s Piano Bar, a popular Davos after-hours hangout. The event is both for client purposes and charity; this year proceeds will go to the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, whose namesake sang at Davos on Tuesday.

Speaking on stage can also help brand managers as astute economic thinkers.

Dalio, for example, will participate on a panel Thursday on the looming end to U.S.-style quantitative easing, “Ending the Experiment.” Singer will be part of a debate Wednesday on whether markets are “mispricing” geopolitical risks. And Rubenstein will talk Wednesday on the “New Growth Context” in the global economy.

Others speaking include George Soros of Soros Fund Management (now a family office) on Europe; Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge on economic volatility; Kenneth Hersh of NGP Energy Capital Management on fossil fuels; and Colin Teichholtz of Pine River Capital Management on shadow banking.

But the majority of managers in Davos aren’t speaking, many opting to keep a lower profile.

Hedge fund managers at WEF include Dan Loeb of Third Point, Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, Frank Brosens of Taconic Capital, Alan Howard of Brevan Howard Investment Products, Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global Investors, Mitch Julis and Josh Friedman of Canyon Partners, Andrew Law of Caxton Associates, Michael Martino of Mason Capital Management, Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital Management, and David Harding of Winton Capital Management, according to WEF materials.

Private equity investors include Stephen Pagliuca of Bain Capital, Scott Kapnick of Highbridge Capital Management, Mitch Truwit of Apax Partners and Tom Speechley of Abraaj Group.

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At Davos, it's not all about the money…seriously

Paula Staples Burrell

Paula Staples Burrell


August 7, 2014

Paula Staples Burrell

BLACKSTONE, MA – Paula Staples Burrell, 67, formerly of Blackstone, MA, died on July 24, 2014 at her home in East Lempster, NH. She was the daughter of the late George and Pauline Staples of Blackstone.
Paula is survived by her five children: her two sons Kenneth and Keith Cranshaw, and her three daughters Patricia Prudhomme, Pauline and Penny Cranshaw; as well as, fourteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Paula was the sister of seven brothers: Timothy, James, Daniel, Michael, John, Kenneth and David Staples and three sisters: Frances Dorr, Kimberly Buda and Virginia Baker.
A private family gathering was recently held at Paula’s childhood home in Blackstone.
To sign guest book visit www.cartiersfuneralhome.com

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Paula Staples Burrell