A Northbrook-based investment group has purchased the retail center at 95th Street and Ridgeland Avenue with plans to renovate the property into a high-end shopping center.
Next Realty closed the deal on the Oak Lawn Promenade on Dec. 31. Perhaps better known as the shopping center with the giant Mario brother on the roof, the retail center is located on the northeast corner of Ridgeland Avenue and 95th Street, across the street from Chicago Ridge Mall.
“This is a well‐located center with all of the fundamental elements in place to be a real success,” Marc Blum, COO and president, Next Realty, said in a news release. “We believe that under new, focused management and leasing, Oak Lawn Promenade presents an opportunity to attract national and regional credit tenants and upgrade the overall tenant mix at the center.”
The company specializes in purchasing distressed or declining properties, claiming to turn them into high-yielding commercial centers.
We’re a value-add investor,” Next Realty Marketing Director Rebakah Carlson said. “We look for ways to add value to a property. [Oak Lawn Promenade] is exactly the kind of property that we buy, and make more attractive.”
Next Realty’s $250 million portfolio contains approximately one million square feet of retail space nationwide, as well as parking properties containing nearly 1,800 parking spaces in Chicago, Philadelphia, Gatlinburg, TN and the San Francisco-Bay area, according to the company’s website.
Carlson said the company has maintained a 97-percent to 98-percent leasing rate at all of its retail properties “through all levels of the economy.”
The retail center sits on approximate 2.34 acres and has an L-shaped configuration with approximately 135 parking spaces. It was built in 1985, according to the company news release.
At the time of acquisition, the center was 75-percent leased, with two additional pending retailers that would bring the center to 84-percent leased.
Current tenants at the retail center include Play ‘n Trade, Subway, Payless Shoes, Hertz, two Armed Forces Recruitment Centers, a shuttered Cash for Gold store, Discovery Clothing Co., a currency exchange, a nail salon and a Fantastic Sam’s.
The largest space, the corner storefront, housed a seasonal Halloween store last fall.
Following a meeting with the new owner this week, Village Manager Larry Deetjen described Next Realty as a “proactive commercial property owner.”
“This is a new business owner who is investing substantially in our community even before we discussed it on the [village board] dais,” Deetjen said in an email to Patch.
Deetjen said that Next Realty plans to add a new roof, façade and signage at the retail center, and “a new approach to doing business.”