Downtown office buildings sell for $6.9 million

New owner could have mixed-use development planned

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Two mixed-use office buildings in downtown Oak Park were sold last week to UrbanStreet Group LLC for $6.95 million. The deal could pave the way for another multi-story mixed-use real estate development at the intersection of Lake Street and Forest Avenue.

Terry McCollom, a co-owner of the buildings at 1000 and 1010 Lake St., said in an interview that the deal was completed last Wednesday but declined to discuss the details of UrbanStreet's plans for the two buildings, which take up nearly an acre of land at the intersection. 

Asked whether the 24,017-square-foot, two-story building at 1000 Lake St. was likely to be torn down and rebuilt as a residential real estate development, however, McCollom said "it doesn't take a rocket scientist" to figure out what might be planned.

UrbanStreet could not immediately be reached for comment, but a press release notes that it is the company's first investment in the Oak Park area.

"We are excited to be part of the vibrant community of Oak Park and look forward to working with the village of Oak Park," Bob Burk, managing partner at UrbanStreet said in the press release. 

Tammie Grossman, development customer services director for the village, said the village has not received any proposals or permit applications for redevelopment of the 1000 Lake St. site.

William J. Novelli Jr., senior vice president with CBRE, the real estate company that brokered the deal, said in a telephone interview that the building at 1000 Lake St. would most likely be torn down and redeveloped. But Novelli could not give details about what might be planned. 

Urban Street's proposal for a mixed-use real estate development project at Harlem Avenue and South Boulevard earlier this year could give an indication as to what the company might have planned for 1000 Lake Street.

UrbanStreet partnered with North American Properties on the Harlem and South project, proposing a 10-story building with 205 apartment units and 8,465 square feet of street-level retail. The village ultimately chose a different plan by Lincoln Properties for an 11-story mixed-use rental apartment development at that village-owned site.

Novelli said a redevelopment deal for a multi-story project at 1000 Lake St. could take 2 to 4 years, but in the meantime, UrbanStreet is expected to rehab the seven-story office building at 1010 Lake St. The building, once known as the IBM building, was built in the 1960s, according to UrbanStreet.

Novelli said the second and third floors of the building have been vacant since the Cook County Department of Health left the location around 2010. Current tenants are smaller clients with office space from a few hundred to a few thousand square feet, he said. 

Novelli said UrbanStreet plans to upgrade parts of the building such as common areas, the lobby, bathrooms and possibly some exterior features.

The sale of the building is McCollom's last big deal as a real estate broker, he said, noting that he will enter semi-retirement. McCollom added that, along with the sale of the building, UrbanStreet is setting up office space in the 1010 Lake St. building and employees for McCollom's real estate firm will continue as UrbanStreet employees.

McCollom said the office building may also have a new tenant, noting that he received a letter of intent by an unnamed company last week to rent a full floor of office space. Each floor has approximately 12,600 square feet of space.

John Hedges, executive director of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, said in a telephone interview that he's also heard rumors about the redevelopment of the 1000 Lake St. building. He said UrbanStreet has not contacted OPEDC, a quasi-governmental economic development group aligned with the village, because the transaction is a private deal that did not involve the village.

"It would be nice to have more office space downtown, but I'm sure they're looking at residential and retail," he said.

Hedges added that the 1000 Lake St. building, constructed in 1959 and originally home to Lytton's department store, "is probably getting to the end of its life expectancy." 

He said that if there were a development, it likely would be smaller than the 21-story mixed-use residential tower planned for the northeast corner of Lake and Forest. 

Village President Anan Abu-Taleb said in a telephone interview that he met with representatives of UrbanStreet when they bid for the Harlem and South Project, but said the purchase of 1000-1010 Lake St. was a private deal that did not involve the village.

"I'm glad they did not give up on our community, and they came back and found a project they are interested in," Abu-Taleb said. "That gives me a lot of hope and confidence that Oak Park is turning the corner to attracting good investments, smart investments and developers that feel this is the right opportunity."


Reader Comments

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Posted: August 14th, 2014 10:57 AM

Could have gotten money for the Colt building if the wack jobs who thought it was of historical value didn't stop that process and turn it into a parking lot.

kathryn from oak park  

Posted: August 14th, 2014 10:53 AM

So a developer just paid nearly $7 million for a downtown property for redevelopment, but the Village Board GIVES the Colt Bldg ste (buildings already knocked down) and the site at Harlem and South Blvd. to developers for FREE?

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: August 14th, 2014 9:48 AM

@Downtown OP Resident, you raise a good point regarding sidewalk access. I suggest you contact the Village. Big planters were removed outside the restaurants on the south side of Lake, just east of Oak Park Ave., after some residents noticed more than half the sidewalk was taken up by tables and planters, and contacted Village Hall.

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 10:40 AM

The newest railings around outdoor restaurant tables in OP block pedestrian traffic and are especially hard for wheel chairs to go by. Someone did not notice that green boxes, street lamps and trees are only a few feet from the railing, so that a wheelchair will have trouble getting through. Having lived in other mixed downtown areas on the East and West Coast, I am surprised at this. It's 2014. OP is not well engineered in some ways. Other cities do this well; learn from them!

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: August 13th, 2014 10:36 AM

I winced at your comment, Liquid Evil, but you make a good point. 100 Forest Place, in contrast to newer developments, has a side garage, a back entrance, a front driveway for guests and deliveries, and green space including trees as a pollution shield. Newer construction is poorly engineered, takes up the entire land, so that there is no place for delivery trucks or drop offs. Also, pedestrians and drivers are shoved together in potentially unsafe ways. City engineering has not kept up.


Posted: August 13th, 2014 12:39 AM

You guys complaining about traffic and parking are so cute. If this building ever gets past the demolition phase it'll just sit vacant.

MelRose from Oak Park  

Posted: August 12th, 2014 6:34 PM

I worry about what our two lane Lake Street can handle with traffic....this is a lot of building and potential for more congestion in our DTOP.

Brian Chang from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 1:05 PM

So I guess we're not going to see Founder's Square at that location?


Posted: August 11th, 2014 12:44 PM

Its clearly (based on the layout of the streets ) the wrong place to develop and bring more density!. The ultimate goal is to have these developments do well. Someone either underpaid or over paid. What are the total sq footage comps?

MavenTom from Oak Park  

Posted: August 11th, 2014 12:09 PM

I think the Pancake House bldg. went for $9M - difference is that bldg. sold before the market tanked. And build a surface parking lot? Hmm, what would be the payback period be on that? Short, if you charge $1,000 an hour I guess.

E from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2014 9:13 PM

And subsidized, no doubt, by taxpayers living in older walk-up condos who equity tanked in 2008 and has never recovered..


Posted: August 9th, 2014 9:37 AM

I believe the old pancake house and grocer bldg at Lake and Forest sold for around $10 Million. Now these two buildings sell for $6.95??

JH from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2014 7:26 AM

Great. Just what we need. More buildings that will stay empty for how long? With all of the excessive empty store fronts OP already looks like a dump. It's becoming an embarrassment to admit I live here.

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 10:13 PM

The $6.95M purchase price is based on the expectation of significant zoning variances for building height, density and parking. This expectation is based on tacit approval already provided by the village, or why else would the developer pay this price?

more cars please  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 4:12 PM

car density is already a problem on any given day. Proceed w caution. More big bldgs with more traffic means more congestion that any planner should be able to obviously see from afar. OP can not affird more traffic and congestion in this area. Tear down and build surface lot.

op resident  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 3:23 PM

Besides the free money from the village, the new development will come with a boat load of variances - taller, closer to the street, less green space, etc. etc. etc. which the village board will also happily approve as "essential to progress".

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 2:39 PM

"Asked whether the 24,017-square-foot, two-story building at 1000 Lake St. would be torn down and rebuilt as a residential real estate development, however, McCollom said "it doesn't take a rocket scientist" to figure out what might be planned." Two words come to mind - Uh and Oh. Because what would be better than to add 24,000 square feet of mixed use space to the multitudes of people and developers out there clamoring for more mixed use space in OP.


Posted: August 8th, 2014 2:08 PM

@OPStata: but first the new owners will ask and receive a couple of million from OPEDC/Village Board. I mean, c'mon, they'd be idiots to not turn to Oak Park's "Dept of Santa Claus" for the free money. The Board, after receiving a "can't miss!" recommendation from Hedges - followed by a "but they otherwise can't/won't do this" (even though they already bought the property) - will vote 7-0 to supply the money. Why? Because it's the OP way!!! Alright, who's next for handouts?

OPStata from Oak Park  

Posted: August 8th, 2014 12:55 PM

Great! Hopefully more hard-to-fill condos and empty storefronts.

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