S.B. Friedman & Co. notes that while office vacancy in the14-million-sf O'Hare submarket is 23.6%, the retail and residentialmarkets near Executive Office Plaza, between Touhy Avenue andNorthwest Highway, remain strong. The Lakota Group presented aseries of redevelopment scenarios, including one with a 30,000-sfbuilding anchored by retailers such as Crate & Barrel or TraderJoe's.

However, Chicago-based S.B. Friedman & Co. cautionspotential retail developers to consider the 82,000 sf of commercialspace expected to be added in the nearby Uptown Park Ridgeredevelopment project farther west, which also is adding more than75 multifamily units. All 51 loft units in the project were sold ina single day, according to S.B. Friedman & Co.'s report.

The properties already have drawn interest. The American FarmBureau building at 225 E. Touhy Ave. was sold last year for nearly$5 million--$65 per sf--to Park Ridge 2004 LLC, which got a$7.4-million mortgage from Parkway Bank & Trust Co., accordingto the Cook County Recorder of Deeds office. Park Ridge 2004 alsoacquired 1 S. Washington Ave. early this year for nearly $2.2million, according to property records, getting a $3.4-millionmortgage. A long-term owner, George S. May International Co.,refinanced its 303 and 315 S. Northwest Highway buildings for $3million this year. K&F Management, which paid more than $1.1million for 111 S. Washington Ave. in 2003, mortgaged the propertylast year for more than $1.5 million, according to propertyrecords.

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