WICKER PARK — The former Continental Furniture buildings in Wicker Park were sold to an out-of-state investor for $3.37 million, according to principals from Baum Realty Group who brokered the deal.
Located at 1421-27 N. Milwaukee Ave., and comprised of three adjacent buildings, Continental Furniture closed in early 2015 after 63 years in business, and has sat empty since then.
Greg Dietz and Danny Spitz, both Managing Directors at Baum Realty Group, represented the sellers in the Aug. 17 transaction.
In prepared statements, Dietz said the buildings "represent a rare assemblage" partly because of the chance to "breathe new life into the otherwise vacant buildings," while Spitz said being close to both the Damen and Division Blue Line CTA stations appealed to investors.
It is unclear if a new retail tenant or group of tenants have been tapped yet for the buildings. Dietz confirmed the sale included use of a vintage water tank atop the building that could be used for advertising.
The buildings, which feature 25,823 square feet of space, were bought by RSR Chgo LLC, an entity headed by Kenneth Code, county records show.
Code is a founding partner at Maryland-based Realterm, a real estate investment company that specializes in cargo and transportation logistics. On Monday, Code confirmed his firm — which also owns a Downtown building at 6 S. Clark St.— bought the buildings. He said the Wicker Park space is ideal for retail.
John Tsiskakis, Vice President of Acquisitions at Realterm, said that the company is seeking office tenants for the 3rd and 4th floors, which offer about 4,500 square feet per floor.
The first floor would be ideal for a restaurant or a fashion tenant, Tsiskakis said.
"We like the what’s happening on Milwaukee Ave. Great foot traffic. We also like that we can offer the largest ground floor space in the market," Tsiskakis added.
At one point, Milwaukee Avenue boasted dozens of furniture stores and shops selling rugs and bedding.
Today the 1400 and 1500 blocks of North Milwaukee Avenue feature trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques selling shoes (including Steve Madden, Aldo, Doc Marten, Fluevog, St. Alfred and a forthcoming Adidas), clothing, food and more.
Realterm's immediate plans include "bringing the building up to code" and adding a new lobby and elevator to the north side of the building. Check out a rendering of what the buildings will look like after a planned renovation:
Rendering Courtesy of Realterm.