Joliet Church Goes Residential; ABA to Extend Operations on 200K SF

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor The Diocese of Joliet has approved a redevelopment project proposed by Celadon Holdings. A diocese official quoted by The Herald News revealed that the Chicago-based developer plans to transform the St. Mary Carmelite Church into a [...]

The Diocese of Joliet has approved a redevelopment project proposed by Celadon Holdings. A diocese official quoted by The Herald News revealed that the Chicago-based developer plans to transform the St. Mary Carmelite Church into a senior housing complex, preventing the 19th-century limestone church, which closed almost 20 years ago for lack of parishioners, from being demolished.

Scott Henry, a Celadon Holdings principal, told the Chicago Tribune that the company wants to renovate the church and convert it into a 60-unit residential complex. He added that the construction could break ground in six to 12 months. The company has already started finding a name for the senior housing complex—ideally it would include both “St. Mary” and a reference to Route 66 since the church was built on this historic highway. The $20 million redevelopment concept was approved by the Joliet Land Use Committee in July, and it will be financed with federal tax credits.

In commercial real estate news, a new lease contract was closed last week by the American Bar Association (ABA), informs ChicagoRealestateDaily.com. After returning one floor, or 25,000 square feet, at a River North office building owned by Hines REIT, ABA signed a much larger and profitable lease for 201,000 square feet of space within the same property. The company had signed a 10-year lease back in 2004 when it first moved into the building but decided to go for a new deal that stipulates significantly reduced rental prices and tenant-improvement money. ABA was represented in this transaction by John Goodman, executive vice president of the Chicago subsidiary of Studley Inc., a commercial real estate service company specializing in tenant representation.