The Real Deal Chicago

Sterling Bay expands already big footprint in Lincoln Yards

The developer's latest purchases of industrial spaces adds to its 53 acres of property there
August 28, 2018 05:00PM

1411 West Wabansia Avenue, 1685 North Elston Avenue and Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor

Sterling Bay has padded its 53-acre stable of properties along the North Branch of the Chicago River with yet another pair of industrial sites.

The developer paid $2.7 million last month for a scrap metal recycling facility at 1685 North Elston Avenue previously occupied by Safran Metals, Crain’s reported on Tuesday. The firm also bought an adjacent warehouse at 1411 West Wabansia Avenue.

It remains unclear what the company will do with the spaces, which sit about 500 feet west of their planned $5 billion Lincoln Yards development.

Sterling Bay bought the 22-acre site of A. Finkl Steel & Sons on the east bank of the river in late 2016, and months later it paid the city $105 million for the 13-acre former home of its fleet and facilities management department on the river’s west bank. Last month, General Iron Industries said it would sell its 21.5-acre property, which sits immediately south and east of Sterling Bay’s holdings. That property remains on the market but it seems likely Sterling Bay would also be interested in that, market pros have said.

Sterling Bay managing principal Andy Gloor and director of development services Erin Lavin Cabonargi rolled out their initial plans for the Lincoln Yards campus in a July public meeting. The huge proposal included developing up to 5,000 apartment units and 6 million square feet of office space. Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) has vowed to prevent the proposal from moving forward until planners fill out their proposal with more specifics.

The mega-developer has made waves with big deals all over the city this year, including its $680 million acquisition of both towers at Prudential Plaza in March and its $300 million buy into the tower previously known as the John Hancock Center in July.

Sterling Bay also paid $25 million last week to acquire 2.2 acres in Fulton Market, where the company envisions a new Metra station, according to the Chicago Tribune. [Crain’s] — Alex Nitkin