JM Schapiro drops $94M on suburban Chicago retail

Deal marks one of the largest retail space transactions in the area this year

Continental Realty Corporation ceo JM Schapiro and 425-569 E. Dundee Road in Palatine and 3027 S. Cicero Avenue in Cicero, and 1000-1080 S. Elmhurst Road in Mount Prospect in Illinois (Google Maps, Loopnet, Continental Realty Corporation, Getty)
Continental Realty Corporation ceo JM Schapiro and 425-569 E. Dundee Road in Palatine and 3027 S. Cicero Avenue in Cicero, and 1000-1080 S. Elmhurst Road in Mount Prospect in Illinois (Google Maps, Loopnet, Continental Realty Corporation, Getty)

JM Schapiro went on a shopping spree in the Chicago area.

The CEO of the Baltimore-based Continental Realty Corporation plans to target restaurant, entertainment and medical tenants to fill 150,000 vacant square feet in a massive Chicago-area portfolio of shopping centers it purchased for $94 million from DiMucci Companies. The sale closed Tuesday, according to a press release from the buyer. The seller declined to comment.

Continental picked up five properties as part of the deal. This is among the largest retail space transactions in the area so far this year, but well behind the largest — Brixmor’s $135 million purchase in April of two shopping centers — Elmhurst Crossing and North Riverside Plaza. The Continental portfolio totals more than 900,000 square feet in the suburbs of Cicero, Naperville, Mount Prospect and Palatine.

The largest shopping center in the Continental portfolio is Cicero Marketplace, a 392,000-square-foot property at 3027 South Cicero Avenue in the village of Cicero that’s anchored by The Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Target and Food 4 Less. Also included in the deal are the 101,000-square-foot Northwest Shopping Center at 425-659 East Dundee Road in Palatine, the 145,000-square-foot Golf Plaza II at 1000 South Elmhurst Road in Mount Prospect, the 241,000-square-foot Fox River Commons at West Ogden Avenue and Illinois Route 59 in Naperville and the 24,000-square-foot English Valley Shopping Center at 237 West Dundee Road in Palatine.

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The portfolio is 84 percent leased, with about 39 percent of it leased to grocery or drug stores.

In addition to Schapiro’s plans to add more food, beverage and medical service providers to the properties, Schaprio said in a statement his firm is also eyeing the addition and leasing of outbuildings on the existing properties to boost the rental income they generate.

The deal extends a run on grocery-anchored shopping centers that has attracted real estate investors to the asset class amid the pandemic in Chicago and across the country. Earlier this month, Tampa’s East Coast Acquisitions picked up the Thatcher Woods Center in River Grove for $30.5 million from Northbrook-based retail real estate investment firm Pine Tree, Cook County records show. And Allied Development recently paid PGIM $30.2 million for the Marshfield Plaza shopping strip, a 259,000-square-foot property on Chicago’s South Side along Interstate 57.

Buyers spent more than $13.3 billion on grocery-anchored retail properties last year, the largest share of any retail property type and the second-most in recorded history, according to JLL.

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