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Jewel-Oscos Getting The Attention Of Investors

Elston Plaza in the Avondale neighborhood

The travails of the retail sector are well-known, but certain portions of the market remain attractive to investors. With Chicago retail sales expected to continue growing this year, many consider grocery-anchored malls in the city one of the best ways to hedge against a possible downturn.

RREEF Property Trust, the daily net asset value REIT of Germany’s DWS Group, just became the latest group to adopt this strategy. It acquired Elston Plaza, a property anchored by Jewel-Osco, and located at the confluence of three of Chicago’s busiest thoroughfares: Addison, Elston and Kedzie.

In the past few years, many of the region’s shopping centers anchored by Mariano’s stores changed hands, but lately investors seem to crave Jewel-Oscos. In the Illinois Medical District, a 9.7-acre Jewel-Osco-anchored center at Ashland Avenue and Roosevelt Road recently sold for $25M. A few months ago, Los Angeles-based ASAS LLC bought a single-tenant Jewel-Osco in suburban Oswego for an undisclosed amount.  

RREEF Property Trust’s latest acquisition was built in 1983, and a diverse mix of 11 tenants lease 96% of its 93K SF. Other tenants include Chase Bank, Chipotle Mexican Grill, O’Reilly Auto Parts and ATI Physical Therapy. Located in the Avondale neighborhood, the shopping center sits east of the I-90/94 Addison entrance and 3 miles west of Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

“While e-commerce is growing rapidly, well-located necessity-based brick-and-mortar sales are also expanding,” DWS head of real estate for the Americas Todd Henderson said.

Chicago retail sales grew 2.21% in 2018, according to CBRE, and the firm expects sales to grow 3.97% this year.

Henderson said centers like Elston Plaza drive consumer traffic by meeting area residents’ daily service and dining needs and have historically held strong throughout cycles because of their lease structures and merchandising mix.

“We believe that grocery-anchored shopping centers have an important place in a portfolio and view the acquisition of Elston Plaza as a complementary addition to RREEF Property Trust’s growing portfolio of assets,” Henderson said.