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CHICAGO-Lacava Design has acquired an 80,000-square-foot building at 6630 W. Wrightwood Ave. from Chicago Steel Rule & Die for $2.4 million. The growing luxury bathroom design and manufacturing firm will expand into the 4.2-acre property from a 40,000-square-foot, multi-story building it previously leased at 2243 S. Throop St. in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Both Lacava and Chicago Steel Rule & Die were represented by Michael Nelson, VP, and Mark Nelson, associate, with Paine/Wetzel ONCOR International.

“Lacava specializes in high-end bathroom collections which include hardware such as faucets and bathtubs, mostly imported from Italy, as well as contemporary elegant bathroom furniture made here in Chicago and distributed worldwide,” Nelson tells GlobeSt.com. “The furniture design and manufacturing part of the business has been growing and this facility presents the perfect solution for growth. Fully equipped for furniture manufacturing, Lacava will double the size of their manufacturing operation in this building, from 40,000 to 80,000 square feet – an encouraging sign for us in this market.”

Nelson says this property is a perfect example of the changed market, in that it was listed just two years ago for $4.2 million, nearly twice the price for which it has now sold. “We have worked with Carmine Lacava, owner of Lacava for the past two years – about 18 months ago we were under contract on a less functional multi-story facility but the deal fell through on account of the seller,” Nelson says. “The market has shifted which has created a unique opportunity for companies like Lacava to buy better, more functional real estate at heavily discounted prices.”

The building offers heavy power, 18-foot clear ceilings and a land-to-building ratio that allows for outdoor storage. The property had been vacant for some time, thus qualifying Lacava for a 6B tax incentive, which will reduce property taxes by half in the next decade. Having been built and previously owned by a cabinet building company, the building is designed with wood working needs in mind, and features a dust-collection system, buss ducts and air lines throughout.

“Chicago Steel Rule & Die was a second-generation cabinet building company, manufacturing mostly TV cabinets,” Nelson says. “When the industry changed to flat-screen TVs the business slowed down and most of this type of manufacturing moved to China. This transaction represents another shift – a move from mass production to custom, niche manufacturing – offering higher quality and better service to customers.”

The property is located in the northwest side of the Chicago, an area which Nelson says has a significant amount of product and not much demand. “6630 W. Wrightwood is the first industrial building in this size range to sell on the northwest side of Chicago this year,” Nelson says. “Market value is influenced by arm’s length transactions like this one, so we are optimistic that this represents a turning of the tide after a tough year in this Chicago submarket.”

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