An affiliate of Hutensky Capital Partners, a real estate fund management company from Connecticut, bought two shopping centers in Chicago’s western suburbs for $31.6 million after the pandemic crushed the mall industry.
Hutensky Group signed a deed Aug. 23 for the 160,330-square-foot Hillside Town Center, at 50-190 South Mannheim Road in Hillside for $23.5 million, using a $14.8 million mortgage from Jackson National Life Insurance, Cook County Property records show. Hutensky also bought the 54,948- square-foot Prairie Market East in Oswego for a bit more than $8 million.
West Palm Beach, Florida-based Sterling Organization sold both parcels.
The purchases came after struggling malls and hotels skipped almost $500 million of local property taxes last fall. This year, Lincolnwood Town Center’s owner defaulted on a $47 million mortgage. Starwood Retail Partners handed over the keys to its lender on the almost 1-million-square-foot Louis Joliet Mall in 2020.
About 95 percent of Hutensky’s two new malls are leased. Anchor tenants include GameStop, Panda Express, Petco Animal Supplies Stores at the Hillside Town Center and Petsmart and Aldi at Prairie Market East.
“Both properties were very well managed but there was also room for improvement by leasing out some of the vacant spaces and looking at the tenant mix,” said Hutensky Group President Brad Hutensky. “We have two other properties we own in Chicago so it was natural for us to add more properties in that location.”
Hutensky owns an outdoor mall in Wheaton, about 25 miles west from Chicago, and a retail and apartment development in Arlington Heights, northwest of the city.
Sterling acquired Hillside from Beachwood, Ohio-based DDR in 2018 for $20 million and also bought the 101,000-square foot Prairie Market center that same year for an undisclosed price.