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Church, Industrial Building Available for Condo Development in Wicker

By Alisa Hauser | September 23, 2013 4:05pm
 In recent days, "For Sale" signs appeared on two prominent Wicker Park properties, on opposite sides of the neighborhood. 
Two Large Wicker Park Buildings Up for Sale
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WICKER PARK — Condos aren't the only properties selling within days of going up for sale in an already hot Wicker Park real estate market.

Add a manufacturing building and old church to the mix, too.

About one block north of Wicker Park's Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection, a 35,000-square-foot industrial building has entertained over 120 inquires and received seven offers from buyers since hitting the market earlier this month, according to broker Joshua Joseph.

Joseph, from Northbrook-based Frontline Real Estate Partners, said the bank-owned building at 1739-45 N. Milwaukee Ave. was initially slated to be a mixed-used development with two commercial storefronts on the ground level and eight residential units above it.

 A 16,000-square-foot church at the corner of Schiller and Evergreen street and Wicker Park Avenue is for sale. Price tag? $2.2 million.
A 16,000-square-foot church at the corner of Schiller and Evergreen street and Wicker Park Avenue is for sale. Price tag? $2.2 million.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

Joseph said he was hired to find a buyer for the building, which is one door south of Aldi foods and only a few hundred feet away from The Bloomingdale Trail's newest entry park.

Joseph and partner Andrew Rubin declined to reveal the range of the six or seven contract offers they've received in the past few days.

An online listing calls the building "an incredible opportunity to develop as condos or rentals, along with first floor commercial units."

"We have 120-plus prospects looking at it right now that have toured the building. As soon as there's the right offer from the right parties we will make a recommendation [to the bank] to get a deal done," Joseph said.

Joseph described the building, which is already zoned for mixed-used residential and commercial use, as "a wonderful piece of real estate." 

Frontline Real Estate Partners will be hosting an open house from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday for anyone that wants to tour the building.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, another prominent building has attracted plenty of attention since going up for sale too.

A yellow-brick building owned by Mision Cristiana Family Ministries, which holds weekly church services at the corner of Schiller and Evergreen Streets and Wicker Park Avenue, is listed for $2.2 million, according to Realtor Richard Wolk.  

Located at at 1903-05 W. Schiller St., the building is not listed in a city database of architecturally significant properties, though it is located just across the street from the southern end of Wicker Park's historic park.

Wolk said a 2003 real estate appraisal estimated the 16,000-square-foot building to have been constructed between "80 to 100 years ago" and his client, who purchased the building 10 years ago, told him the corner building has "no historical value."

The church is zoned for residential use.

A brochure supplied by Wolk touts "a great opportunity to develop or renovate this prime property."

On Tuesday, the church's owner, pastor Silfredo Gonzalez, was unable to provide the number of worshippers who belong to his congregation, but said the reason for the sale is due to a need for more room.

"We are a growing ministry and need more space. We are currently exploring spaces on the south and west sides. The issue is that we want to expand our ministry but here, we don't have land to do that," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said his church works with youth programs, provides breakfasts and lunches, as well as anger management classes and art services.