A 10-acre swath of land in River North just listed

A buyer could eventually build up to 5.3M sf of new apartments, office, retail or hotels

Jul.July 30, 2019 10:00 AM
Dr. Mark Jobe and a map of the Moody Bible Institute property (Credit: Moody Bible, HFF)

Dr. Mark Jobe and a map of the Moody Bible Institute property (Credit: Moody Bible, HFF)

The owner of a 10-acre swath of land in River North is looking for a buyer in what could be a massive redevelopment opportunity.

Moody Bible Institute, a Christian higher education school, is advertising a string of properties roughly bounded by Chestnut Street, LaSalle Street, Oak Street and Franklin Street, according to a listing brochure published by HFF. An asking price was not included.

If a buyer pursues a zoning change, the parcels could eventually accommodate more than 5.3 million square feet of built space, according to the brochure. The institute would hang onto its core campus between Chestnut Street and Chicago Avenue, but it could hand over some of its unused density to give an adjacent development more room to grow, according to HFF brokers.

Moody Bible Institute president Mark Jobe announced earlier this month that the school would sell off its outer-lying properties, a mix of low-lying and vacant buildings, in order to fund infrastructure and technology upgrades for its campus.

Brokers pitched the less developed western portion of River North as an area ripe for retail, apartment, office or hotel development. They point to “pent-up demand” for office and living space from the neighborhood’s roughly 18 percent population growth since 2000.

River North commands some of the city’s highest office rents and lowest commercial vacancy, due in part to its reputation as a hub for tech startups.

The listing marks one of HFF’s biggest sales efforts since the company was acquired by JLL on July 1.

A representative of JLL declined to comment on the listing on Tuesday.

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