Canadian company plants flag in Fulton Market with low-rise purchase

Toronto-based Pearl Group paid $10M for a row of brick storefronts in the heart of the district

Properties at 1015-21 West Lake Street
Properties at 1015-21 West Lake Street

Toronto-based Pearl Group chose Fulton Market for its first venture out of its home city this month, buying a row of low-rise properties at 1015-21 West Lake Street.

Pearl paid Speedwagon Properties $10 million for the three contiguous brick storefronts, which each anchor two or three floors of apartments overlooking the tracks of the CTA Green Line. The site is steps away from the freshly-renovated Morgan station, and around the corner from both McDonald’s new corporate headquarters and Google’s Chicago office.

No mortgage was issued for the property and no plans were filed with the city’s buildings department, according to public records.

Managing director Jordan Pearl plans to maintain the existing buildings on the site and “raise rents over time,” he told The Real Deal on Friday.

“Most of the work we do in Toronto is development or redevelopment, so for our first deal in Chicago we wanted something that we view as relatively complete, from a physical point of view,” Pearl said.

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Pearl is the latest developer racing to gobble up property in Fulton Market, which took another leap this year when McDonald’s corporate relocation turbo-charged property values around the company’s new home at 110 North Carpenter Street.

Between the influx of businesses and the nearby train station, the site “checked a lot of boxes” for Pearl’s first American location, he said.

“Chicago is a lot like Toronto in that it’s a city of neighborhoods, and it’s relatively easy for us to manage,” Pearl said. “It’s a great neighborhood with a lot of action and a lot of growth, which is what we normally look for.”

Danny Spitz and Greg Dietz of Greenstone Partners brokered the deal.

Thor Equities also has been an aggressive booster of the area, most recently taking out $50 million in loans on a handful of local properties on the heels of its $12 million acquisition of the Isaacson & Stein Fish buildings at 800-810 West Fulton Street this year.

They join numerous other developers building portfolios in Fulton Market, including Sterling Bay and Shapack Partners.