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Chicago Prudential Plaza Loan Sent to Special Servicer

A loan on two downtown Chicago office towers owned by BentleyForbes Group LLC, a Los Angeles-based real estate investor, was transferred to a special servicer because default is imminent, Fitch Ratings said.

The balance of the debt on Prudential Plaza is $205 million, Fitch said today. BentleyForbes bought the towers, which have a total of 2.2 million square feet (204,000 square meters), for $470 million in 2006 as U.S. commercial-property prices were peaking.

The first building was completed in 1955, and Two Prudential Plaza opened in 1990, according to the property’s website. The largest tenant at One Prudential Plaza is Baker & McKenzie LLP, which occupies 21 percent of the rentable space in the 41-story tower. The law firm plans to leave when its lease expires at the end of November, according to loan data compiled by Bloomberg.

A telephone message for C. Frederick Wehba II, president of BentleyForbes, wasn’t immediately returned.

Special servicers negotiate with landlords on behalf of investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities.

BentleyForbes also owned the 55-story Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta, which was sold at auction in February to the holder for $235 million of debt after the borrower missed mortgage payments. BentleyForbes had purchased the building, the tallest in the southeast, for $436 million in 2006.

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