Bon Aviv’s North Side mall listing could test Chicago retail market

Firm purchased 175K sf building for under $18M in 2010

Bon Aviv Lists Century Retail Building in Chicago’s North Side
2828 North Clark Street (JLL. Getty)

A newly listed vertical mall on Chicago’s North Side will test investors’ appetite for retail assets, while providing a clearer future of a commercial sector that could be poised for a bounce-back year.

New Jersey-based Bon Aviv Investments has hired JLL brokers to sell the 175,000-square-foot Century building at 2828 North Clark Street, which was built in 1920 and converted from a vaudeville and movie theater in the 1970s, CoStar reported. It was renovated in 2000, according to the listing.

Bon Aviv, a firm backed by Israeli investors, paid $17.5 million for the property in 2010. It’s unclear how much the company expects to fetch in a sale.

JLL is playing up the listing as an opportunity to own a unique retail asset in a bustling part of the city, with a chance to increase revenue by filling the 47,000 square feet of vacant space in the building.

The Century comprises eight levels of retail and medical office space, along with a parking garage for 400 cars. The top two floors are occupied by LA Fitness, featuring an indoor pool, saunas and racquetball courts. Other tenants include Landmark Century Cinema, occupying the fourth through sixth floors, and an Aveda Institute cosmetology school.

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CVS closed a store at the site but is still paying rent on a lease that expires in January 2038, the outlet said. 

The offering follows a sluggish year for commercial deals in Chicago due to high interest rates, tough lending standards and broader concerns about the economy. However, JLL forecasts a rebound in retail sales over the next 18 months, as low vacancy rates and rising rents drive up property values.

In one recent deal, Namdar Realty Group and Mason Asset Management purchased the mostly-vacant, 22,900-square-foot retail space at the base of the Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago. The space, at 701 North Michigan Avenue, last traded for $17 million in 2002. 

—Quinn Donoghue 

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