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Greenfield Partners pays $73M for Goose Island high-tech manufacturing plant

Eugene Gorab and 930 West Evergreen Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Greenfield Partners Principal Eugene Gorab and 930 West Evergreen Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

A Connecticut investor made a splashy acquisition in the Chicago industrial market, buying a Goose Island building that is home to the University of Illinois’ high-tech manufacturing hub.

Greenfield Partners paid $73 million July 8 for a 280,000-square-foot industrial facility at 930 West Evergreen Avenue, according to Cook County property records. Selling the facility was candy purveyor Mars, which appears to have made a tidy profit on the deal.

The Wrigley Company bought the massive factory from Republic Windows and Doors in 2006 for $31 million, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time. Two years later, Mars acquired Wrigley, including its local real estate holdings.

Mars Global Services, a division of Mars that handles information technology for the company, has an office in the facility.

The building also is home to the UI Labs Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, a product development hub that uses cutting-edge technology. The lab opened in 2015, taking up 64,000 square feet, including a 22,000-square-foot manufacturing floor, according to Curbed.

Not only is Goose Island home to the high-tech manufacturing center, it has seen a surge in developer interest in recent years. Early this year, Onni Group paid $38 million for a Greyhound maintenance facility on Goose Island, with plans for a multifamily development.

Goose Island is across the river from where Tribune Media is planning to redevelop its printing plant into a 30-acree development with up to 9 million square feet of homes, retail and office.

Greenfield’s acquisition comes as the local industrial market is riding high. With vacancy at a two-decade low, developers are seizing on the growth in the e-commerce market to deliver industrial facilities at a blistering pace. The second quarter of this year saw the most new industrial space delivered in the last two years.

Greenfield is getting in on the development action, as well. The firm partnered with Brennan Investment group to build the Elk Grove Technology Park, envisioned as an 86-acre digital manufacturing and data storage center.

A representative of Greenfield did not immediately return a request for comment.

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