Reinsdorf makes $17M land play near United Center

An LLC with ties to the White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner bought the parcel from longtime owner Joseph Feldman

A photo illustration of Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf along with an aerial view of the lots at 1728 West Adams and 125 South Wood (Getty, Google Maps)
A photo illustration of Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf along with an aerial view of the lots at 1728 West Adams and 125 South Wood (Getty, Google Maps)

Correction: A previous photo in this story highlighted a parcel adjacent to the property purchased.

A company with links to the Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf added to its spending spree on the Near West Side, signaling there’s potential for development of a large, mostly vacant property in the future.

RE Holdings Group LLC purchased about half of the vacant block bounded by Adams, Washington and Wood streets and train tracks to the east for $17.2 million. Only the portions of the block at its northwest and southeast corners were involved in the deal, meaning Reinsdorf’s group picked up parcels that touch diagonally, at 1727 West Adams and 125 South Wood, about a block away from the United Center.

Managers of the LLC that bought the property are registered as longtime Reinsdorf associate Howard Pizer and Terry Savarise.

Pizer is the senior executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox and the executive vice president and CEO of the United Center Joint Venture, the entity that includes Reinsdorf’s Bulls and the Wirtz family-owned Blackhawks that controls the stadium. Savarise is the senior vice president of stadium operations for the White Sox and the executive vice president of operations for the United Center.

The seller of the property was a series of LLCs managed by Joseph S. Feldman, Jr., who owns a large portfolio of properties in the Near West Side, records show. Feldman appears to have made out quite well on the deal, having bought the southeast corner lot that he traded to Reinsdorf for $340,000 in 2002, according to Cook County records. It’s unclear how and when he obtained the northwest portion of the property.

Requests for comment from the executives made through a White Sox spokesperson were not immediately returned. Feldman declined to comment.

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The purchase adds to recent acquisitions Reinsdorf-affiliated companies have made near the United Center, and represents another bet on the development potential near the arena, according to one prominent West Loop investor who predicts zoning for more residential density is likely to be granted in the area in the near future. Last year, an LLC managed by Pizer bought a vacant parcel for $5.5 million at the southeast corner of West Warren Boulevard and North Paulina Street.

That property is within two blocks of the Bulls’ and Blackhawks’ home, the United Center. The lot was sold by a group of developers with Irish roots who bought it back in February for $3.5 million. The initial plan was to build a handful of homes. The two parcels are not adjacent to each other, and are separated by two blocks on the eastern portion of the United Center.

Reinsdorf’s more recent deal for the Adams Street parcel deal comes on the heels of a nearby property’s $24 million sale to the Blackhawks, owned by the Wirtz family, whose patriarch and former chairman of the NHL team Rocky Wirtz died last month.

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White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and the property at the southeast corner of West Warren Boulevard and North Paulina Street in Chicago (Google Maps, Getty)
Jerry Reinsdorf-backed firm buys lot near United Center
Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and a rendering of Fifth Third Arena
Blackhawks propose hotel, housing development near Fifth Third Arena
Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz with rendering of Fifth Third Arena
Blackhawks shoot for $65M practice facility expansion

The property bought by Reinsdorf’s group is slightly northeast of a planned expansion of the Blackhawks’ Fifth Third Arena training complex at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and South Wood Street. The Blackhawks purchased vacant land at 303 South Damen Avenue to tee up that project, and have asked the city for approval to build up to 1,200 residential units and 663 hotel rooms two blocks south of the United Center, as part of a future phase of the Fifth Third expansion.

And adjacent to Reinsdorf’s newly bought property at Adams and Wood, City Church Chicago has proposed a new two-story building at 116-138 South Paulina Street that’s slated for a 1,500-seat auditorium. The church wants to move away from its current property nearby the Bally’s casino development site, and its proposed building on Paulina would comprise just over 40,000 square feet, with a planned second phase to include a more than 28,000-square-foot expansion, with the 76 housing units across 12 stories.

It’s unclear how Resindorf’s deal to buy the vacant land next door to that site could be impacted by or involved in those plans.