Newport completes Edens Plaza takeover with purchase of former Carson’s store

The Chicago-based investor paid a total of $86M in recent months to acquire the Wilmette shopping center

Newport Capital Partners acquired a former Carson’s department store at the Edens Plaza shopping center, rounding out the company’s purchase of the entire 343,000-square-foot Wilmette mall.

The Chicago-based firm paid $14 million to buy the 161,000-square-foot store and surrounding parking lots, according to Cook County property records. The seller was an entity controlled by Mark P. Naughton of the Tiger Capital Group, who was facilitating a bankruptcy sale.

The department store chain has been liquidating its stores since its parent company filed for bankruptcy last year, joining troubled retail behemoths like Sears and Toys “R” Us and posing challenges for retail landlords nationwide. Carson’s closed more than a dozen stores across the Chicago area, but reopened one in south suburban Evergreen Park late last year.

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Newport bought the Carson’s building about two months after it paid about $72 million to acquire the rest of Edens Plaza, where it plans to build medical offices.

Both purchases were financed with loans from LoanCore Capital, records show. The firm extended a $50.5 million loan for the January acquisition, and a $63.3 million loan on the Carson’s space this month.

Newport Principal Ben Andrews told Crain’s this week his company plans to lease out the department store space to a cluster of small retailers.

The shopping center is about 92 percent leased, according to Crain’s.