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CHICAGO-The 14-acre South Water Market, which covers five city blocks at the southeast corner of Racine Avenue and 14th Place, is being targeted to residential developers. The market, the long-standing source of fruit and produce for Chicago area restaurants, has been rendered obsolete by CenterPoint Properties Trust’s $58-million Chicago International Produce Market in the 2500 block of S. Wolcott Street.

The property is being marketed by Newcastle Limited, which is using a sealed-bid process to sell the 77-year-old facility for South Water Market Unit Sales, LLC. Although the property now consists of six warehouses totaling 1 million sf, Newcastle Limited president Michael R. Haney points to demographic trends indicating residential redevelopment is the likely scenario.

South Water Market is just east of the $75-million University Village development, which is adding 930 units to the area next year. In addition, the property is near the city’s medical district, where three hospitals are operating, as well as University of Illinois-Chicago.

Haney’s vision is likely to get official approval, as he is working with the local alderman as well as city department of planning and development.

“The goal for South Water Market…is most likely to transform this horse-drawn-wagon product terminal into a vibrant residential community, designed to serve the needs of the city well into the future,” Haney says in a statement.

Newcastle Limited has used the sealed-bid process several times, including for Loyola University properties Downtown and in north suburban Wilmette, as well as Baxter International acreage in Lake County. Bids for South Water Market are due Jan. 17.

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