The Real Deal Chicago

California investor buys North Suburban Walgreens in wake of overhaul

The Gillick family of Park Ridge sold off a portion of its retail complex after an extensive redevelopment
By Joe Ward |
Research by Haru Coryne
February 11, 2019 04:00PM

Walgreens at 800 Devon Avenue, Park Ridge (Credit: LoopNet)

A California investor bought a portion of the Gillick family’s namesake retail development in Park Ridge for $12 million, two years after it redeveloped the strip mall.

The Walgreens building at 800 North Devon Avenue was sold in late January to Marilyn Gantz, a California investor who owns Rancho Pacific Properties, Cook County property records show. Gantz financed the deal with a $5.3 million loan from Wells Fargo.

The Walgreens building was completed in June 2016 as part of a larger redevelopment of the Gillick Plaza, according to marketing materials for the building, which was listed for sale at $12.2 million. Walgreens has a lease on the building through 2036.

In 2013, late businessman and Park Ridge Alderman Fred Gillick received zoning permission to redevelop his 115,000-square-foot shopping center. Gillick was a longtime Realtor and managed Fred I. Gillick & Co., a real estate business his grandfather founded in 1901. He also owned a brokerage that he sold to Koenig & Strey, according to an obituary in local newspaper Journal & Topics.

Redevelopment plans included tearing down and replacing the former Walgreens building and redeveloping a second building for use as a bank, zoning documents show. One of the center’s buildings that houses a Boston Market and a music store would remain as-is.

In 2016, Nancy Gillick, Fred’s widow, successfully petitioned Park Ridge to subdivide the shopping center into three lots. The 15,000-square-foot Walgreens and its parking lot that just sold was one portion of the subdivided property.

Despite doom-and-gloom reports, Chicago’s retail sector is showing some signs of life. The vacancy rate for the retail market dropped by 0.4 percent by summer 2018, while average rent rates jumped by 3.4 percent.