East Coast developer buys Edens Plaza mall for $110M

Wilmette property is WS Development’s first Illinois project

WS Development's Jeremy Sclar and the Edens Plaza mall (Bates College, Google Maps)
WS Development's Jeremy Sclar and the Edens Plaza mall (Bates College, Google Maps)

East Coast mixed-use developer WS Development bought the Edens Plaza mall in Chicago’s North Shore area for more than $100 million.

The 343,000-square-foot shopping center at 3232 Lake Avenue in Wilmette, is WS’s first property in Illinois, the Chicago Business Journal reported. According to CoStar, WS purchased the property for $110 million.

The Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts-based company partnered with Boston-based CrossHarbor Capital Partners to buy the property from Chicago-based Newport Capital Partners.

The plaza already has multiple tenants including healthcare facilities, a grocery store and fast-casual dining, and it will also be the home of the new Wayfair flagship store, which is scheduled to open in mid-2023. The e-commerce company that sells furniture and home-goods is moving into the 152,000-square-foot former home of department store Carson Pirie Scott.

WS plans to make improvements to the shopping center with more evolved merchandising and physical upgrades to the property.

“We’re thrilled to expand our growing footprint to Wilmette, Illinois,” WS founder and CEO Jeremy Sclar said in a statement. “Our team is also looking forward to working closely with the Village of Wilmette to ensure the plaza remains a community-first destination for years to come.”

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WS Development’s portfolio includes more than 100 mixed-use properties across the US.

The pandemic hit retail shopping especially hard, with many stores closing and nonexistent foot traffic. Local real estate professionals say retail is coming back in Chicago, unevenly, with some neighborhoods outperforming after losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the tenants that did make it through the pandemic are looking to expand.

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[CBJ] — Victoria Pruitt