Developer to buy Kraft’s 57-acre Glenview campus
Updated: October 1, 2012 5:50PM
An Itasca-based development firm with many commercial properties in the Chicago area said Thursday it plans to purchase the Kraft Foods office location that straddles Glenview and Morton Grove.
Hamilton Partners said it expects to close the sale in late 2013, when Kraft is due to vacate the property. The 57-acre campus is at the northwest corner of Golf and Waukegan roads.
Paul Sheridan, partner at Hamilton, said the property is a rare large parcel in the northern suburbs and its redevelopment could take any of several directions, depending on demand. He said Hamilton has no development agreement with Glenview or Morton Grove, but that neither town wants to see the property become idle.
Neither Sheridan nor Kraft Foods Inc., which is reorganizing as it splits into two companies, would disclose the purchase price.
“Initially, we thought retail would be the best use. But we’ve looked at the market and we’re reluctant to believe that we can build out 57 acres of pure retail,” Sheridan said. He said offices, medical uses and perhaps a senior living center could be in the mix.
Mary Bak, Glenview’s director of planning and economic development, said the village wants to see jobs and business activity at the site. “We’re not interested in burdening the school district,” Bak said.
The property has two office buildings totaling almost 500,000 square feet and a small fitness center for Kraft workers. Sheridan said no decision has been made about preserving or replacing the buildings.
Most of the site has parking lots and landscaping. Forty-one acres is within Glenview and the rest in Morton Grove.
Kraft spokesman John Simley said 800 employees work at the location, mostly in marketing and research for cheese and other dairy products. Most will be transferred to the Kraft headquarters site in nearby Northfield, he said.
The Glenview property is across Waukegan Road from another development site, an empty Avon Products building that sits on 19 acres. Its contract purchaser, Regency Centers, proposed putting a Mariano’s grocery store, a car dealership and a bank on the property.
Officials in Glenview and neighboring Golf suggested a redesign to deal with traffic issues. Regency Centers has yet to indicate it intends to move forward with the project.
Bak said the village is still discussing with Regency traffic signals and access to the site.