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CHICAGO-Washington Mutual, Curves Fitness and Southport Grocery and Café have taken 8,000 sf formerly occupied by Cooney’s Funeral Home at 3552-56 N. Southport Ave., paying $31 per sf for the space. The going rate for retail space in the hot Southport Avenue corridor is $26 per sf to $28 per sf, reports Century 21 Sussex & Reilly Commercial Properties division manager Karoline Drobny.

Partner Scott R. Maesel and director of retail sales and leasing Chris Irwin represented the limited partnership that acquired the building from Thomas J. Cooney & Sons for $2.07 million last year.

The Southport Avenue corridor, which is only a few blocks west of the long-established upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood on the city’s North Side, has bloomed into a fashionable residential district comparatively recently. In the last few years, a host of retailers, both independent and chain, have set up shop there.

In an unrelated but nearby North Side retail deal, Aerosoles leased 2,400 sf for its first local location at 2052 N. Halsted St. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Nicole Paster Putzel and Lorraine Adney of Baum Realty Group represented Aerosoles while property owner Gossamer Inc., was represented by Judy Sullivan of Kerry Development.

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