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Here are the Chicago-area’s top 5 retail investment sales of December

An empty Toys “R” Us store, Edens Plaza at 3232 Lake Avenue, and Joseph Sitt, chairman of Thor Equities Group and 36 South State Street (Credit: iStock)

The area’s priciest retail investment sale in December was for a Wilmette shopping center that will be anchored not by a store, but by a medical center.

More than $137 million was spent in December to buy the top five Chicago-area retail properties, according to a review of property records by The Real Deal. The Edens Plaza Shopping Center in Wilmette topped the list after selling for $72 million despite losing a Carson’s department store.

The shopping center wasn’t the only property with a shuttered major retailer to make the list of the biggest sales last month. A former Toys “R” Us store in Niles sold for $5.4 million, making it the fourth most expensive retail trade in December.

All prices are calculated from Cook County property records.

1. Edens Plaza Shopping Center | $71.9 million

Chicago-based Newport Capital Partners picked up this shopping center at 3232 Lake Avenue in Wilmette after village officials approved a plan to build a new medical center in the complex. The center previously lost a 161,000-square-foot Carson’s after its parent company went bankrupt. Other tenants include a Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walgreens and Five Guys burger joint. Selling the property were Chicago firms 11 East Partners and Draper & Kramer.

2. Elston Plaza | $28.35 million

RREEF Property Trust Inc., a REIT controlled by DWS Group, bought this shopping center at 3752 North Elston Avenue in Chicago. The 93,000-square-foot complex is anchored by a Jewel-Osco and has a total of 11 tenants. Selling the property was Oak Brook-based IRC Retail Centers.

3. 36 South State Street | $26 million

Thor Equities got $26 million for the two retail floors in this 19-story Loop building. The New York firm bought the property in 2004 for $10.35 million before selling the upper floors for $9 million. With the retail floors now sold, Thor netted more than $24 million in profits from the combined sales. Jenel Management Corporation bought the retail floors, giving the company its 19th Chicago property and its second in the Loop. The space is occupied by Verizon, T-Mobile and Blick Art Materials.

4. 8341 Golf Road | $5.4 million

This Niles retail building formerly occupied by Toys “R” Us was sold by the toy retailer for $5.4 million. Toy “R” Us shuttered 800 stores in 2018 after going out of business, and its properties have been flying off the shelves since. Buying the property was Rakesh Patel, president of the Patel Bros., a local chain of Indian grocery stores. In 2017, Patel bought a shuttered Menards in Naperville before opening a Patel Bros. location at the site, according to the Daily Herald.

5. 4151 North Cicero Avenue | $2.975 million

Chicago-based developers Kaufman Jacobs sold this new construction retail building occupied by a Starbucks for nearly $3 million. It was developed in partnership with Baum Revision. The Starbucks is just north of the Six Corners shopping district, which is undergoing a massive mixed-use redevelopment to replace a shuttered Sears. Paolo and Deanna Colletti bought the property.

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