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Des Plaines investment group to buy former Field’s warehouse

The former Marshall Field's warehouse 4000 W. Diversey is under contract for sale buyers who want renovate it for industrial

The former Marshall Field's warehouse at 4000 W. Diversey is under contract for sale to buyers who want to renovate it for industrial users.

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A Des Plaines-based investment group said Wednesday it has a contract to buy the former Marshall Field’s warehouse on Chicago’s Northwest Side and wants to lease it to several industrial users.

The 21-acre property at 4000 W. Diversey includes 4.6 vacant acres for future construction. City officials and the local alderman, Ray Suarez (31st), have discouraged proposals to turn the property into stores or homes.

The warehouse, at 1.4 million square feet, has more space than most downtown skyscrapers. It’s been empty since 2008, when Macy’s Inc., the successor to Field’s, moved its regional distribution to Minooka.

The buyers include Paul Fishbein and Aaron Paris, partners at Op2mize LLC in Des Plaines. Another investor is Lou Silver, owner of the Studio 41 home improvement stores and ClimateGuard Windows.

Fishbein formerly was involved in the redevelopment of the old Montgomery Ward catalog building at 600 W. Chicago, now the home of Groupon Inc. and other companies. Paris has worked in industrial development.

“It’s a wonderful industrial site,” Fishbein said. The warehouse, he said, is in “pristine condition” and should appeal to companies that need quality space inside the city.

One source of potential users, he said, is the Fulton Market district, where the meat and produce wholesalers have faced pressure to move because of incoming offices and housing developments.

Fishbein declined to discuss terms but said he hopes the deal will close by the end of teh years. Macy’s, the seller, declined to comment.

The warehouse is laid out in six- and five-story sections. Multi-floor layouts don’t fit most requirements for today’s shippers or manufacturers, but Fishbein said the space could be suitable for schools, call centers or as a data center for computer equipment.

The first-floor layout of more than 400,000 square feet can handle a large volume of truck traffic, he said.

The property is within an area zoned for industrial use. City officials have resisted market pressure to rezone those areas, hoping they can stem the loss of industrial jobs.

The buyers said the building opened in 1928. For years before Field’s took it over, it was the home of Olson Rug Co.

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