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Troubled Luxury Condo Development Adds Tenants to Long-Vacant Storefronts

By Benjamin Woodard | December 13, 2013 6:38am
 Storefronts at the Clarovista development, at North Broadway and Granville Avenue, have been empty for years.
Storefronts at the Clarovista development, at North Broadway and Granville Avenue, have been empty for years.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

EDGEWATER — The long-vacant storefronts at one of Edgewater's most ambitious developments in recent years won't be empty much longer.

Real estate brokers for the troubled luxury condo development at North Broadway and Granville Avenue — known as Clarovista or The Granville — have signed two new leases to fill empty storefronts, they said Thursday.

Sleepy's, a mattress store chain, signed a lease for the space closest to anchor tenant Aldi along North Broadway, while Edgewater's Nova Spinal Care plans to open in a storefront along Granville Avenue, said Peter Graham, a broker with CBRE, Inc., which manages the building's retail leases.

The $50 million development has struggled to find tenants since it opened in 2008.

"It was basically delivered right when the economy crashed," said Graham. "It had a lot of head winds for the first couple years because it had 160 residential condos."

But now, Graham said, the market has improved and all of the residential units have been sold.

With the addition of Nova and Sleepy's, only two retail locations in the building remain without tenants, including the 3,870-square-foot corner storefront that hosts Vintage Garage's Holiday Market and other temporary businesses throughout the year.

"We’ve had a strong pickup in calls and activity," said Graham of the storefronts. "By summer, we should have the rest of the building leased."

Developer Bill Platt, president of Access Group Chicago, owns the building.

Platt was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

But Los Angeles-based lender Thorofare Capital, Inc. announced last week in a statement that it had given Platt a $7.9 million loan to help pay off a debt of $20 million on Clarovista's retail storefronts,

Thorofare said the debt had recently been negotiated down to $6.5 million.

Graham said the debt had made it difficult to find tenants for the storefronts, but now with the commitments from Thorofare, it should be much easier.

"Now the owner is in a healthy position," he said.

He said he was in negotiations with other possible tenants and was seeking restaurants, medical businesses and other retailers.

Company officials with Sleepy's, which has another store at 5300 North Broadway, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A message left for the owner of Nova Spinal Care, which has a location at 5439 North Broadway, did not return messages Thursday. It was unclear whether the chiropractic clinic would relocate or open a new location on Granville.