An asset management group from South Korea has purchased an office building located at 225 West Wacker Drive in Chicago for $218 million.  A piece in ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com, a division of Crane Business News, by Ryan Ori reports that Mirae Asset Global Investors is the new owner.  Headquartered in Seoul, the investment firm has almost $60 billion under management.

This is more evidence of heavy investing in Chicago real estate by foreign groups.  Another article on this site reported that Chicago is one of the top nine markets in the United States for attracting foreign investment.  International Capital Sources report, a unit of Jones Lang LaSalle, the massive real estate firm, states that $20 billion from foreign investors went into these leading American markets last year.

There have been many other media reports of foreign interest in Chicago.  The Economic Intelligence Unit, an arm of the British magazine The Economist, just ranked Chicago the ninth most influential city for the future.  Another British publication, The Financial Times, featured Chicago in its article, "The Future of the American City" by Edward Luce.  At home, Chicago has been the recent cover story for issues of Time magazine and The New York Times magazine.

This is not the first case of South Korean real estate investing in Chicago.  

As Ori notes in his article, "...Seoul-based Hanwha Engineering & Construction, part of a conglomerate that includes insurance and securities units, has invested in several buildings in Lakeshore East, the mixed-used development by Chicago-based Magellan Development Group LLC. In 2011, a venture that includes South Korean institutional investors acquired the 57-story Three First National Plaza office tower, paying $344 million."

About the billions flowing into Chicago real estate from across the Pacific, Jerry Cohen, President and Founder of EquityBuild, a real estate investment firm long active in The Second City area, stated, "The more investing in Chicago the better.  The South Koreans are very savvy investors and recognize the tremendous potential of the Chicago real estate.  All one has to do is pick up a newspaper or magazine and read about how the Chicago real estate market is booming.  Chicago is a world-class city with top schools, a great infrastructure, and easy air travel to Asian cities.  This will certainly not be the last major buy from investors from South Korea, or any other country.  They could not have picked a better market for high yield real estate investing!"