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LAKE FOREST, IL-Green Courte Partners is investing $47 million in three retail projects, including two in the Chicago suburbs. The real estate investment firm has purchased 50,499 sf of retail buildings in Long Grove, is investing in a 50,076-sf retail and office project in Lake Forest, and is investing in a 31,428-sf mixed-use project in Steamboat Springs, CO.

The firm recently purchased a collection of 12 retail buildings in Long Grove’s historic downtown district. With more than 50,000 sf, the purchase is approximately half of the retail in the village. The collection has an approximate 90% occupancy rate and includes the Pine Cone Shop and Long Grove Confectionary. The average lease rate is in the “low to mid $20s” per sf, says Bob Duncan, managing director of Green Courte. The company purchased the properties from Mangel Investments LP. Mangel principal John Mangel will continue to operate four of the properties. Howard Wiese, senior investment associate with Marcus and Millichap, brokered the sale.

Green Courte recently closed on a convertible mezzanine debt investment for the Fiore Square development at 840 S. Wauegan Rd. in Lake Forest. “It is arguably the last piece of land available pretty much anywhere in Lake Forest for a retail development of this nature,” says Randy Rowe, chairman of the company. The 50,076-sf transit oriented development will have a mix of retail and office space within walking distance to a Metra train station. Fiore Square is a joint venture between Westminster Partners LLC and Swanson Development LLC, both of Lake Forest, and was designed by Swanson+Donahue Architects.

The Fiore Square development is currently 35% preleased. Starbucks has already signed on as a tenant for 1,825 sf. Other tenants will include Westminstire Partners, a dry cleaners and day spa. Several other leases are in negotiation, including one with a “Chicago brand name restaurant,” Duncan says. “We are early in the process but we are seeing very strong interest and activity,” Rowe says. Lease rates range from $32 to $40 per sf. The project should be complete by October.

The firm also recently acquired a 90% joint venture interest in the Alpenglow development at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs, CO. The project consists of 23,845 sf of condominiums, 6,306 sf of retail and 1,277 sf of residential rental units. Construction has already started and the projected should be complete in the early part of next year, Duncan says.

“We are looking for really hard to replicate main street retail locations,” Rowe tells GlobeSt.com. “Locations that have typically high barriers to entry; are locations that people want to get out and walk…and where we believe, over time, there is going to be increased demand.” Rowe and Duncan say they could not disclose the prices for the individual project but that the total expenditure was $47 million. “Under our arrangements with sellers, we did not individually report sale prices,” Rowe says. The investments are part of a fund that has about $120 million of equity and is about 60% invested.

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