"The key to the whole thing is creating a high-quality, indoor,year-round French market," Tobin said. "The idea is to bring someenergy and retail presence to the unused space near the OgilvieTransportation Center to serve the neighborhood that grew up aroundit. There was nothing around this train station 15 years ago; nowyou have residential and increasing commuter traffic."


The development will be anchored by a 15,000-sf French marketmanaged by Paris-based Sebastien Bensidoun, which will offer freshproduce, meats, fish, cheese and a bakery. CVS has signed anothersignificant lease, planning a 14,000-sf pharmacy. "What you haven'thad is any new retail that has been open to serve the market,"Tobin said. "Not only will this serve the people living and workingin the area, but people traveling through the Metra station."


The development will offer 90,000 sf of retail space, and110,000 sf of customer parking. The first phase will bring 60,000sf of retail space, with the remaining 30,000 sf coming in thesecond phase, Tobin said. Lease rates at the MetraMarket rangebetween $37.50 and $60, net, Tobin said. U.S. Equities, which ispartnering with Metra in the development, is acting as leasingagent. MetraMarket is a little more than 50 percent pre-leased,Tobin said.


"It's centrally located and is well-served by publictransportation," Tobin said. "There's not a lot of competition orother retail space in the area, and this is large amount of retailspace in one building. What retailers like is critical mass; theylike to be with other retailers because they draw shoppers andshoppers cross shop. You have thousands of commuters each day,going in and out of the building."

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