IBT Group Announces Partnership with Blackrock to Build Project in Chicago’s West Loop

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IBT Group LLC (http://www.ibtgroupllc.com), a real estate and asset management firm and advisory client of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) (http://www.blackrock.com), one of the world’s largest investment management firms, have announced a partnership that will provide capital for a new mixed-use development in Chicago’s West Loop.

It not only secures capital for West Loop Promenade, but also provides access to Wall Street, and the capital that will allow us to pursue larger, more complex transactions.

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IBT Group LLC, a real estate and asset management firm and advisory client of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK), one of the world’s largest investment management firms, have announced a partnership that will provide capital for a new mixed-use development in Chicago’s West Loop.

“Our partnership with BlackRock represents a significant step forward in our growth,” said IBT Group President Gary Pachucki, who founded the company in 1999. “It not only secures capital for West Loop Promenade, but also provides access to Wall Street, and the capital that will allow us to pursue larger, more complex transactions.”

“We are pleased to become a capital partner to IBT Group and its West Loop Promenade development, which has already secured a lease with Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinemas,” said Erik Grabowski, BlackRock Vice President. “We view the West Loop as one of the fastest-growing areas of Chicago and are excited about the opportunity to bring a high quality retail/entertainment project to the neighborhood.”

West Loop Promenade is a $240 million retail and residential project being developed by IBT Group on Chicago’s Near West Side. Scheduled for a spring 2009 opening, it will include 285,000 square feet of retail space on three levels, including the eight-screen Sundance Cinemas theaters.

About IBT Group LLC
Founded in 1999, IBT Group LLC (http://www.ibtgroupllc.com) is a full-service real estate and asset management firm specializing in the leasing, development and construction of high quality projects throughout the United States. Through its philosophy of integrating sound financial planning and thoughtful building design, it has more than $100 million worth of projects completed or under development. It is affiliated with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Arts and Business Council of Chicago.

About BlackRock
BlackRock is one of the world’s largest publicly traded investment management firms. As of June 30, 2007, assets under management were $1.230 trillion. The firm manages assets on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide through a variety of equity, fixed income, cash management and alternative investment products. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use BlackRock Solutions investment system, risk management and financial advisory services. Headquartered in New York City, the firm has approximately 5,000 employees in 18 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at http://www.blackrock.com.

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