The Sterling Organization has made its second retail play in recent weeks, picking up a ground-floor retail condo on the Near North Side for $15.2 million.
The space is best known as the former home of Bar Toma, a pizza restaurant that opened in 2011 and shuttered in January of last year.
The Palm Beach-based equity fund paid $1,616-per-square-foot for the 9,400-square-foot property at the base of the 57-story tower at 110 E. Pearson Street, a property built in the mid-1970s. The seller was the Compass Group, a United Kingdom-based holding company, according to Real Capital Analytics.
In April, Sterling paid $8.1 million for the 87,100-square-foot office building at 219 South State Street, which also includes street retail currently occupied by three Foot Locker-brand shoe stores. It appears Sterling will undertake a renovation of the property, as it took out an $18.3 million construction loan with L.A.-based Karlin Real Estate.
Bar Toma’s owner, restaurateur Tony Mantuano, said closing his restaurant was “heartbreaking” and “a business decision,” according to the Chicago Tribune. He added that “the times and business call for a different move,” but didn’t elaborate on specifics. It’s possible a rent hike made the business untenable.