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CHICAGO-Centrum Properties and New York-based Angelo Gordon and Co. have bought the former headquarters of bankrupt retailer Montgomery Ward & Co., reportedly for about $30 million, and plan to convert the 26-story office tower at 535 W. Chicago Ave. into condominiums. They also may add something lacking so far in the hot Kingsbury Park neighborhood – hotel rooms.

The development partners say several hospitality chains have expressed interest about operating a hotel on the first 14 floors of the building designed by Minoru Yamasaki, whose work includes The World Trade Center in New York.

The purchase not only includes the 29-year-old, 600,000-sf office building, but a parking garage on the north side of Chicago Ave. that may be converted to retail use as well as parking. The deal is part of the boom that is seeing 3,500 residential units being built in a former industrial area along the Chicago River, about a mile from the Loop, with at least 500 more on drawing boards.

“Angelo Gordon is attracted to real estate investments in Chicago, and the River North neighborhood in particular, because of its vibrant residential neighborhoods and strong, diversified commercial base,” says Angelo Gordon and Co. vice president Andrew Jacobs. “It’s a great place to live.”

This is not the first time Centrum Properties and Angelo Gordon have teamed up. They are build building the $50-million North Avenue Collection, a retail fashion and office development about mile north in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

In addition to creating 400 condominiums with 12-foot ceilings, the developers plan to lighten the building’s exterior with glazing and tinting. Also, they must add windows that open. “We are excited to have the opportunity to preserve this important Chicago building and redevelop it into a luxury residential project with dazzling views and a short walk to most Downtown offices,” says Centrum principal and partner John McLinden.

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