CHICAGO-River North continues to be a hot spot for multifamily and commercial real estate developers, but the newest buyer there is atypical. Fourth Presbyterian Church has bought about three-quarters of an acre at the northwest corner of Chicago Avenue and Hudson Street for $3.3 million from Centrurm Properties and Angelo Gordon, who are redeveloping the former Montgomery Ward’s headquarters nearby.

Although the church has no specific plans for the property now, it is expected to develop a building that will accommodate a youth center, says Millennium Properties, Inc. president Daniel J. Hyman, who brokered the deal. The site is in the Kingsbury Park master-planned development, he notes.

“It has to be part of the whole development,” Hyman tells

“Although we do not have immediate plans to develop this site, the area around Chicago and Hudson is developing rapidly, and the opportunity we have now to secure property for a facility to serve the community might not be available later,” says Fourth Church co-pastor John Buchanan.

Regardless, it was an astute buy for the church, Hyman adds.

“This large concentration of residential population will create a demand for offices and retail,” Hyman predicts. “Already, this area is in close proximity to numerous excellent restaurants and night clubs. More development will follow.”

The bankrupt retailer’s headquarters is being converted into condominiums, while the 1.5-million-sf catalog building along the river has been turned into office space as well as condominiums.

Meanwhile, the church is exploring options for its Michigan Avenue location, and has hired U.S Equities Realty as an advisor on its master plan.

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