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NORTHBROOK, IL-A joint venture of ICE Realty Group, based in Des Plaines, and Chicago-based ABC Real Estate Investment have acquired a 233,000-sf office and warehouse building at 1000 Sunset Ridge Rd. with plans to redevelop the property into a senior housing development. The venture 1000 sunset LLC acquired the property from a partnership of Gold Realty. The JV has entered into an agreement with Chicago-based Senior Lifestyle Corp. (SLC) to construct and operate the senior housing, says Jonathan Malm, president of ICE Realty Group. The total estimated cost of the 180-unit project is $50 million, sources say.

The building was constructed in the 1960s and was occupied by Bankers Life & Casualty Co. until 1993, he says. It was then renovated into a multi-tenant office and warehouse building. The Village of Northbrook has rezoned the property, so that the space cannot be occupied for industrial uses, leaving little possibility to lease-up the property, Malm says. “We identified the property as a functionally obsolete facility and there was a potential for a higher use for it,” he says. The venture plans to demolish the existing structure and prepare the site for the senior housing development. The prepared site will then be sold to SLC, which will develop the facility, Malm says.

A five-story building will have a 136 independent living units connected with a one-story structure to a four-story building with 32 assisted living units and 12 special memory care units. The units will be for rent, Malm says. The single-story structure connecting the two is expected to have dining facilities and common areas. The project will have mostly underground parking with almost no surface parking, he says. The demolition and site work will be done by the venture with the building constructed by SLC. Construction is expected to begin late this year or early in 2009 and the development is expected to be completed in 2010.

The joint venture had considered redeveloping the site into an animal emergency hospital, self-storage facility, medical office, health club and office building, Malm says. “Any way you look at it, a portion would have needed to be torn down,” he says. The idea of a senior housing development “was supported by the village [and] it was supported by the neighborhood,” he says. Additionally, a senior housing development “is probably going to be the highest return of our investment,” Malm says. Mitch Loveman, with Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler, represented the joint venture in the transactions. Sam Badger, with Paine Wetzel, represented Gold Realty in the sales transaction. Steve Levitas and Bob Chodos, both with Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler, represented SLC in the development agreement.

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