SOLD! Developer Buys Norwood Plaza

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Nassimi Realty LLC has purchased Norwood Plaza. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Story updated on March 10, 7:25 a.m. 

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—  Nassimi Realty LLC closed on Norwood Plaza last Thursday, purchasing a property that has been deteriorating for years. Director of Economic Development and Planning Hildy Kingma reported the news to the Village Board during Saturday’s Rules Meeting. The New York-based privately held investment and development firm plans to redevelop Norwood Plaza as a shopping center.

According to  Kingma, Nassimi will spend up to $1 million on initial improvements to the property. These will include but are not limited to, “facade improvements, for side improvements, parking lot, landscaping, lighting, signage — basically exterior things that aren’t specific to a particular tenant.” Plans for these improvements must be submitted within three months of the closing date. Within six months of getting the permit for work, they must begin construction, and then must complete construction within a year. In other words, Kingma says, within 12 to 15 months from the closing date, they are required to have spent a minimum of $1 million on these initial improvements.

The selling price was $400,000. The broker, Baum Realty Group, was paid $125,000.

“They earned every penny of that,” she said.

$250,000 went into an escrow account that will be put back into the initial $1 million in improvements.

“We’re taking the long view on this,” Kingma said, “This was not done to make money on the sale.”

Kingma says Nassimi has done initial construction estimates on the property that indicates they could spend anywhere between $3 to $5 million more on things like roof replacement, sprinkler upgrades, tenant build-out and other improvements.

“There’s one space that still has a dirt floor," Kingma said. "There’s a lot of work that needs to be done on that building."

Kingma said that within 24 hours of the closing she received an e-mail from a representative at Nassimi saying they had a potential tenant who might be interested in a space in Norwood.

"They’ve been talking to people about the property since last summer," Kingma said. "They just haven’t been able to do anything definitively until they owned the property."

Kingma said Nassimi has a “really great track record” of taking properties similar to than Norwood and revitalizing them.

Oliver Nassimi spoke to a joint meeting of the Village Board and the Economic Development Advisory Group via speakerphone last April. He reported that his company has turned around many properties like Norwood Square, “This kind of redevelopment is our bread and butter. It’s virtually the only thing we do. Our specialty is to find what we call ‘troubled properties’ and, through a lot of effort, a lot of tender loving care, to turn them around. We think [Norwood] is a viable turnaround opportunity.”

Almost a year later, the sale is finally complete.

Related: A Future for Norwood? Developer Takes Interest