Mars sells Goose Island building to LBA Logistics for $28M

Industrial sale made as candy giant builds new $40M R&D facility nearby

LBA Logistics’ Phil Belling with 1300 North Branch Street
LBA Logistics’ Phil Belling with 1300 North Branch Street (LBA Realty, Loopnet, Getty)

LBA Logistics found a sweet deal with its latest Chicago purchase.

Candy maker Mars sold the Irvine, California-based industrial landlord a 115,000-square-foot building at 1300 N. North Branch Street on Chicago’s Goose Island, a hub of warehousing where Mars also has offices nearby the property it unloaded, CoStar News reported. The price of the deal was more than $28 million.

Mars moved on from the property because it’s building a $40 million research and development facility nearby on Goose Island, next to its Wrigley Global Innovation Center less than a mile north at 1132 West Blackhawk Street.

Both investments by LBA in the existing building and Mars in a new development add to the streak of the world’s biggest industrial players moving in on Goose Island, where Prologis last year paid nearly $100 million to buy the 340,000-square-foot property at 930 West Evergreen Avenue. Plus, Amazon has a last-mile distribution facility serving the neighborhoods surrounding the 160-acre land mass in the middle of the Chicago River, and FedEx has a logistics operation on the island, as well.

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Yet the flavor of Goose Island could be changing, especially at the southern, opposite end of the new Mars development. That’s where thousands of residents could be lured to a five-tower apartment development that will include more than 2,500 units being developed by Vancouver-based Onni Group, right across the river from where the $1.7 billion Bally’s casino and entertainment complex is poised to rise on the site of the Freedom Center printing plant.

Some office plays have recently been made on the island, too, with developers such as R2 Companies converting former industrial buildings into modern workplaces, including 1315 N. North Branch, which the firm sold to a Hines fund earlier this year for $47 million. Hines is also working to lure an office tenant into a prelease to turn a one-story structure into a 275,000-square-foot, six-story timber office building at Division and Cherry streets.

Sam Lounsberry