The vacant former Motorola Mobility campus headquarters in Libertyville has been acquired by a Washington, D.C.-based commercial real estate company that plans to remake the space into an “innovation campus.”
BECO Management Inc. said Monday it purchased the five-building, 1.2-million-square-foot complex on 84 acres of land for $9.5 million.
The investment, development and management company said it plans to spend $50 million on a “comprehensive renovation” of the campus to lure several new tenants to the space, which will be ready for them to move in by late summer or early fall of 2015.
The company plans to call the site “Innovation Park, Chicago-Libertyville.”
A Motorola Mobility spokesman confirmed the price and that the deal closed, but declined to comment further.
The campus formerly housed 2,000 Motorola Mobility employees before they relocated to Chicago earlier this year. The site comes with commercial office, distribution and logistics and laboratory space, as well as a cafeteria, gymnasium and daycare center.
BECO said the campus could include a bicycle sharing program, food trucks and on-site massage therapists.
The real estate company said it plans to model the site at 600 N. U.S. Highway 45 after Innovation Park-Charlotte, in North Carolina, which it bought and renovated four years ago.
The 12-building former IBM campus had 1.8 million square feet of space and was 70 percent vacant when the company bought it, said Jeffrey Lee Cohen, chief executive of BECO Management. Today, the space is 95 percent leased, anchored by companies such as AON Hewitt, Allstate, Wells Fargo and Siemens.
“The Innovation Park concept has resonated with the market, particularly larger enterprises seeking more than four corners of plain office space,” Chris Epstein of BECO Midwest said in a statement. “We believe the former Motorola Mobility site and the Village of Libertyville are the perfect launch pad to expand this offering to the greater Chicago area.”
BECO founding partner and chief executive Jeffrey Lee Cohen said the decision to buy the Libertyville campus was made after plenty of market research.
“A lot of executives and middle management live there,” Cohen said in an interview, adding that there are plenty of big businesses in the suburbs already. “The real estate is excellent. The kind of community we’re going to build is going to make a really unique situation in Chicago. We feel like we’ll find tenants who want exactly what we’re going to offer right where we’re going to offer it.”
Cohen said this is just the second “very large” campus the 25-year-old company has bought and renovated. He said the company will be looking for tenants who need 10,000-20,000 square feet to 200,000 or more.
“We feel like we can hit a broad range,” he said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun