Wicker Park’s Josephinum Academy for sale, offering redevelopment prospects

CBRE agents marketing property say residential is most likely new use

Josephinum Academy at 1501 North Oakley Boulevard with CBRE's Nicole Mentone and Mike Nardini
Josephinum Academy at 1501 North Oakley Boulevard with CBRE's Nicole Mentone and Mike Nardini (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

The operator of a Catholic high school in Wicker Park is racing to raise money and make an offer on the land it now leases, which may be one of the neighborhood’s biggest redevelopment opportunities as it was just listed for sale.

The 3-acre site occupied by Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Wicker Park was listed for sale last week by Sisters of Christian Charity, a religious group with offices in Wilmette, Crain’s reported. Since the property is on an interior block surrounded by mostly residential properties, the buyer will most likely redevelop the property into a residential complex.

While there isn’t an official listing price for the school, which sits on land the equivalent size of 39 standard 25-by-125 lots, the property was said to be worth $24 million in 2018. CBRE agents Mike Nardini and Nicole Mentone are the listing agents for the property.

“The pool of [possible] uses is pretty small,” Nardini told the outlet. “Residential is most likely, but the sellers are open to ideas.”

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Josephinum Academy leases the campus from the Sisters and its lease expires at the end of June 2025. The school’s president, Richard McMenamin said school officials want to keep the school open on the site and are in the process of raising money to make an offer on the property.

If Josephinum isn’t able to raise enough money to buy the property, whoever does buy it could build dozens of new housing units. Ald. Daniel La Spata will hold community meetings about the future of the site, including whether the development will consist of single- or multifamily housing.

The Sisters of Christian Charity opened the school in August 1890. It became part of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools in the 21st century and is no longer operated by the Sisters.

— Victoria Pruitt

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