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CHICAGO-Loyola University Chicago has teamed up with J.B. Realty Inc. to develop a $9 million classroom and retail building at 20-24 E. Chicago Ave. The five-story, 35,000-square-foot building will offer two floors of retail and three floors of classrooms that will connect to the college’s neighboring Water Tower Campus, at 25 E. Pearson.

The property has been owned for three years by J.B. Realty, primarily a retail developer, who decided to collaborate with Loyola to maximize the site’s potential.

“It works well for J.B. because they’re able to get some money from us and get more value out of the land by building more than just a two-story retail building,” Wayne Magdziarz, head of capital planning for Loyola, tells GlobeSt.com. “For us, it was a great opportunity to add 15 new classrooms and integrate those classrooms into our already existing academic building. We’re going to do this in a way that’s seamless for students and we’re confident it will be easy for students to access.”

Construction on the site, which will include demolition of an existing building, will begin in the coming months Magdziarz says, with completion slated for summer 2010. Loyola is sinking about $9 million into the project, about $3 million of which will buy J.B. out so the university will own floors three through five of the development, to house 20,000 square feet of classroom space. J.B. will contribute $3 million to the development and maintain ownership of the ground and second floors, which will offer 15,000 square feet of retail.

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