For many Americans, investing in commercial real estate is a great way to diversify financial portfolios and earn profit without relying too heavily on the stock market. However, amid questions about how to invest in REITs and which real estate partners should manage your funds, there is often one lingering question in every potential investor’s mind: should I invest in real estate, or is this option best left to others. After all, there have been plenty of highly-publicized cases where taking a financial risk went awry. Fortunately, because many real estate ventures are conducted by industry experts, this type of investment is often much more stable. Moreover, in many cases, real estate can be extremely profitable: in Chicago, for example, an investor and developer recently sold a piece of property for more than $70 million.
Laurence Freed, of Joseph Freed and Associates, recently sold the Norridge Commons shopping center to a Stamford, CT real estate investment firm called AmCap. The 328,000-square-foot property sold for more than $70 million, although both parties refused to name the exact amount. Amcap was reportedly drawn by a recovering retail market, strong returns in shopping centers, and the property’s prominent location in Chicago’s Norridge suburb.
Insiders with knowledge of the deal commented that competition for the shopping center was fierce, with plenty of bidders considering the property. The shopping center, which is 99% leased, has been owned by Freed’s company for decades. Tenants include Kmart and the craft store Michaels, creating strong sales that only increased its desirability.
Norridge Commons was sold in light of a number of lawsuits Freed is now facing: in 2013, federal prosecutors accused the former commercial real estate mogul and a business associate with lying to lenders,a charge both denied. The case is scheduled to go to trial in May, but in the meantime, Freed is also facing a civil suit: in November, his sister accused him of forging her signature and committing bank and wire fraud, attempting to push him out of the family real estate business. The legal dispute is ongoing, but Freed has already been forced a number of desirable properties over the last several years.
AmCap is reportedly thrilled with the Norridge Commons deal. Company representatives say the firm is planning to redo the building’s existing facade and increase the rents to improve the overall quality of the property and earn the most for their investors. Research more like this.