CHICAGO—Worries about big box vacancy has more than ever focused investors’ attention on core, well-located, class A properties. Westwood Financial LLC, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, is one of several groups now on a bit of a buying spree in the Chicago market. It just acquired Clybourn Galleria, a fully leased, urban retail center in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The 24,601-square-foot center is in the midst of the bustling North & Clybourn Retail Corridor across from Trader Joe’s and adjacent to Lincoln Yards, the new 70-acre, $1 billion, mixed-used development by Sterling Bay.
The purchase price was undisclosed, but Cook County records show Westwood paid $12.25 million. That was just over the $11.75 million paid by the seller, Newport Capital Partners, in 2013.
“Our expanded presence in the region represents our increased interest in purchasing urban street retail in one of the top metropolitan areas in the US,” says Joe Dykstra, Westwood’s chief executive officer, “and further reinforces our investment strategy of buying high-quality properties in highly-dense locations.”
Westwood has now bought four retail properties in the Chicago market since last December. It first bought Kingsbury Center, also located in the Clybourn Corridor, followed by Walgreens-anchored, Elmhurst City Centre in June. The most recent acquisition, a retail condominium occupied by Amazon, is also located in Lincoln Park across from DePaul University.
Natuzzi Italia, a high-end luxury furniture brand, anchors Clybourn Galleria. Other e-commerce resistant retailers include Jos. A. Bank, Massage Envy and Red Wing Shoes. The location benefits from a dense population of over 500,000 within a 3-mile radius combined with a strong daytime population of over 600,000 and an average household income of over $115,000. The surrounding submarket features market leading retailers such as Apple, Whole Foods, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Saks Off 5th, Nordstrom Rack and Arclight Cinemas.
The seller was represented by an investment advisory team from Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, LP, including senior directors Amy Sands and Clinton Mitchell.