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City gets development plans for former Edgewater Hospital site

Exterior closed Edgewater Medical Center 5700 W. AshlChicago.   |  Sun-Times files

Exterior of the closed Edgewater Medical Center at 5700 W. Ashland in Chicago. | Sun-Times files

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Updated: September 15, 2013 6:32AM



Months after revising plans to win neighborhood support, owners of the former Edgewater Hospital at 5700 N. Ashland have at last submitted a development proposal to the city. But the filing leaves open the question of who ultimately will take charge of a three-acre site that has been a North Side eyesore for years.

Submitting the plans were Waveland Partners LLC, which includes two developers with downtown experience, and the European bank Dexia, the old hospital’s lead creditor. Downsized compared with an earlier version, the proposal calls for replacing the hospital with a 13-story residential building containing 214 homes, street-level retail and 234 parking spaces.

To the west, along Edgewater Avenue, would be 19 single-family homes. In between them and the main development would be a one-acre park.

The plan essentially puts in official form what the owners showed to local groups in February. The owners have been shopping the project to buyers or partners who want to bear the financial risk of construction. While no takers have been announced, the zoning application could indicate a deal is close.

Owners’ representatives did not return calls. Ald. Patrick O’Connor, whose 40th Ward includes the site, sent residents a letter last month expressing support for the project.

Christopher Swan, president of the group West Edgewater Area Residents, offered qualified backing of the plan, saying he’d like more details on the park’s design and the plan for its maintenance. The lack of open space has been a big concern in his community.

He also hopes someone will take on the demolition of the current building, empty since 2001. “We really want this thing taken down — ASAP,” Swan said.

TOWER TRADES: Tishman Speyer said it completed its acquisition of the postmodern 190 S. LaSalle building, adding to a portfolio that makes the New York firm the largest commercial landlord in Chicago. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal has been reported at $211 million.

With the addition of the 40-story building, Tishman now owns 10.4 million square feet downtown. The total is impressive, but it’s still only a 7 percent market share.

The building’s seller, CBRE Global Investors, bought the building for $137 million in 2006 when it was mostly vacant. It added tenants, turned a former law-firm library into a business club and is reaping a return.

ANYTHING GOES: It was just a few months ago that Stone Park tried to put a strip club next to a convent. The idea faltered because of money trouble among the backers. But now comes none other than the publisher of the men’s magazine Penthouse to announce it will build an adult nightclub within the western suburb.

And it might not be far from the nuns. Stone Park is a small town, after all.

The publicly traded company FriendFinder Networks Inc., the Penthouse publisher, said it will build the world’s first Caligula adult club in Stone Park. It will be 17,000 square feet and is due to open by the end of the year, it said. But the company didn’t say exactly where.

The Caligula name refers to the ancient Roman emperor known for sexual debauchery — perhaps unfairly, some historians assert. He also was the subject of a Penthouse-funded movie in 1979 that combined famous actors with spliced-in sex scenes.

Dean Krone, village attorney for Stone Park, said there’s been talk that Caligula will move into 3815 W. Lake, a space used by the club Noa Noa. It’s a short distance from the convent. But Krone said the town has heard nothing official. A Penthouse executive did not return calls.

Krone said the possible location carries a zoning classification for entertainment use, which in Stone Park allows for adult-themed businesses.

With its history of political corruption, the town long has welcomed businesses that give it a “sin city” tag.

THE STUFF STORERS: Formation of new households is picking up, more people are moving, more people are renting. It all plays into the hands of self-storage properties, which are reporting high occupancy rates and rising rents.

The results of four publicly traded self-storage firms illustrate the trends. An analysis of these companies by Chicago-based MJ Partners Real Estate Services shows strong earnings growth and share prices near 52-week highs for Public Storage, Extra Space Storage, CubeSmart and Sovran, with Chicago among their growth markets.

Or you can forget all that and remember this quote that MJ Partners attributed to Ron Havner, CEO of Public Storage: “Self-storage is a great property type as it just continues to puke cash.” So your storage locker rent is somebody else’s . . . never mind.

DOING THE DEALS: Eagle Seven Trading, represented by Bradford Allen Realty Services, leased 16,500 square feet at 550 W. Jackson, doubling its space in its move from the Chicago Board of Trade building at 141 W. Jackson. . . . Aries Capital arranged $10 million in historic tax credits for Campus Acquisitions and its conversion of 20 and 28 E. Jackson into student housing.

David Roeder reports on real estate at 6:22 p.m. Thursdays on WBBM-AM (780) and WBBM-FM (105.9). The reports are repeated at 10:22 p.m. Thursday and 7:22 a.m. Sunday.



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