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CHICAGO-The former Schoenhoffer Brewery Administration building, 500 W. 18th St., and a neighboring building at 1701 S. Clinton St., have been sold. Both gained Chicago landmark status in 1988. The two buildings, which sit on a 3.7-acre site, were sold as a package after sitting on the market for a year.

Albert Schulman, a senior vice president at Paine/Wetzel ONCOR International, represented the sellers, a family partnership that has held the site for several years. Larry Goldwasser, a vice president at NAI Hiffman, worked on behalf of the buyer, Coru Group LLC, a local real estate investment company.

According to Schulman, the site has generated interest for a number of years. The sellers had operated a water bottling facility for 10 years before discontinuing operations. “The property is unique since there is an operating well underneath,” Schulman tells GlobeSt.com. “The original brewery needed it to make its beer.” The well descends 1,600 feet down.

The properties are in good shape, says Schulman. “The sellers had renovated the buildings,” he says. “Modifications included a new roof, elevator, plumbing and windows, all in compliance with the property’s landmark status.”

Schulman adds that this was an interesting assignment. “This site originally was a complex of 17 buildings, and three of the Brewery’s buildings remain,” he says. “It took a long time to market the property because it was difficult to estimate a value for buildings.”

Schulman says the third Brewery building at this site, a three-story facility that measures 18,000 sf, is under contract expected to close by September. “This had been the office portion of the Brewery, and it needs some renovating,” he says. “This area is not zoned for residential use, although we had contact from some homebuilders who were interested in converting the property to that use. The area is zoned C3-3 and is connected to the Pilsen PMD. The city wanted it to remain that way.”

Goldwasser says that the buyer has no immediate plans for the site. “They had been interested in this site on and off over the years,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “They purchased this on a speculative basis; this is the last commercially zoned site currently available in that area. The market finally caught up with the site and the buyers are considering a number of different uses for it.”

Jay Stewart, an executive vice president at Trammell Crow, explains that the South Loop and the area to the south of that, is where it all began for Chicago. “Any office space left in the area is, for the most part, class C-quality space,” he says. “The highest and best use for this space has been either residential or retail. This area has more vacant land available than the submarkets north of the Loop. A number of the universities in the South Loop will continue to be active in this area, and they have tax benefits that they can utilize.”

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