As developer and investor interest continues moving up the Chicago River into the former North Branch industrial corridor, the deals continue to pile up on Goose Island. And the biggest sale of 2021 has just happened on the man-made island.
According to reporting from Crain’s Chicago Business, the San Francisco-based commercial real estate developer and landlord Prologis has paid a whopping $100 million for the industrial and office facility at 930 W. Evergreen, easily becoming the city’s biggest commercial deal so far this year.
In early 2014, the site was selected as the future home to UI Labs’ Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, whose mission was to research high-tech manufacturing. The facility, which was retooled thanks in large part to funding by the Department of Defense, formally reopened in 2015, and In 2019, the Digital Manufacturing Design & Innovation Institute name was dropped and changed to MXD.
The Evergreen property has changed hands and programming a number of times in recent years. Wrigley, whose research lab — the Global Innovation Center — is located on Goose Island, purchased the property in 2006 for a reported $31 million. At the time, the location was home to the infamous Republic Windows & Doors, which gained national attention in 2008 when its workers staged a six-day factory sit-in. After Republic moved out, Wrigley used the factory for its confectionary business, Mars.
In 2019, Connecticut investor Greenfield Partners paid $73 million for the Evergreen property, providing Wrigley with a windfall profit on the site. But Greenfield Partners didn’t have to wait very long to get a handsome return on the property, which has just traded yet again, this time for $100 million.
More investment and development is still underway on Goose Island. Developer R2 Companies has a handful of projects in the planning and construction phase. Perhaps its highest profile, an adaptive reuse of the Morton Salt shed on Elston Avenue, will make way for office space and a performance venue. Other companies have recently signed leases or announced deals at Goose Island as well, including CB2 and Lucid Motors.