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DL3 Realty partners with Blue Cross on 128K sf deal to revitalize South Side neighborhood

DL3 Managing Partner Leon Walker  and 11840 South Marshfield Avenue (Credit: DL3 Realty and LoopNet)

DL3 Managing Partner Leon Walker  and 11840 South Marshfield Avenue (Credit: DL3 Realty and LoopNet)

The developer best known for bringing a Whole Foods to the South Side just inked a big deal with Blue Cross to open a community center and office in Morgan Park.

DL3 Realty signed Blue Cross to a 10-year lease at the Morgan Park Center, a mixed-use development spanning 128,000 square feet at 119th Street and Marshfield Avenue. Until recently, the property held a Target, which shuttered last year amid protests by local activists.

In a statement, the president of Blue Cross of Illinois parent Health Care Service Corp. said the project seeks to improve the community and address “societal factors, such as joblessness.”

Health Care Services also expanded earlier this year to the supertall Aon Center.

“This facility represents the type of collaboration, partnership and investment we need to improve the lives of residents while also boosting the economic development of our communities,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement. Lightfoot sharply criticized real estate developers in her May inaugural address.

DL3 and Blue Cross did not receive state or city incentives on the project, Crain’s reported.

The Morgan Park Center is expected to open in the second quarter of 2020 and bring 550 jobs to the area. The price tag for the deal was undisclosed, but appears to be the first big move since HCSC CEO Paula Steiner and CFO Eric Feldstein departed last month.

DL3, led by Leon Walker, recently helped build a new Jewel-Osco grocery store and plans to demolish and redevelop the Washington Park Bank building in Woodlawn. Walker told The Real Deal earlier this year that he also plans to buy and reposition another closed South Side Target store in Chatham.

DL3 also recently joined rapper Common to propose a 128-acre film production campus and is planning several other redevelopment projects in the South Side with developer Sterling Bay. [Crain’s] — Georgia Kromrei

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