The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Banking on Bloomingdale Foot Traffic, Firm Buys Damen Building for $3.4M

By Alisa Hauser | October 17, 2014 12:29pm
 A building housing Hot Chocolate and the former Bluebird restaurant was sold for $3.4 million.
A building housing Hot Chocolate and the former Bluebird restaurant was sold for $3.4 million.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — A building along Damen Avenue just steps from the Bloomingdale Trail that counts Hot Chocolate among its inhabitants was sold to a real estate acquisition firm for $3.45 million, it was announced Thursday.

"It's just a new landlord; we are happy about a new relationship and we are not leaving. Nothing will change," said Shirley Segal, an office manager for Hot Chocolate, a popular restaurant owned by Chef Mindy Segal.

Greg Dietz, a vice president at Baum Realty Group, arranged the sale of the 8,368 square-foot building at 1747-49 N. Damen Ave. to Alan Kaplan, owner of Northbrook-based Repak Real Estate Development.

"He is no stranger to the market; he knows it very well and believes in the area," said Dietz of Kaplan.

Dietz said the 2.7-mile elevated Bloomingdale Trail, part of The 606 project, and the nearby ground-level access park where folks can enter or leave the trail, were "huge" drivers in Kaplan's decision to buy the building.

"With the entrance to the trail [in Churchill Park], it will help keep people coming down Damen, it's a foot traffic driver," Dietz said.

In addition to Hot Chocolate, the building is also home to Presidio, a new craft cocktail lounge scheduled to open this winter and a real estate brokerage and marketing firm, Luxe.

Presidio took over the remaining three years left of the shuttered Bluebird restaurant's lease and is planning to stay, too, owner Patrick Cullen said on Friday.

In addition to Dietz, Baum Realty principal Danny Spitz and Adam Secher represented Kaplan in the off-market transaction of the bank-owned building, which was previously owned by Don Glisovich, who bought the property for $1.2 million in 2002, according to county records.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, Baum brokers have arranged other transactions, including the $16.2 million sale of five buildings along Milwaukee Avenue in August 2013 and the former Central Furniture Mart at 1348-52 N. Milwaukee Ave, which sold for $3.7 million in late July.