The solution also takes the greener element of LEDs a step further; Cermak Plaza powers the RGB fixtures and common area lighting with twelve (12) wind turbines that cultivate wind energy from the edge of the Cermak Plaza’s parking lot. In combination with the energy efficient lighting, the 35 foot tall turbines are also an artistic feature that conveys a memory of the kinetic art that formerly decorated the property. The turbines generate 1,500 to 2,500 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
Concordia started Cermak Plaza’s turnaround by moving Walgreen’s to a never developed out-parcel, backfilling that space with K&G Menswear, expanding an already outstanding Marshalls to 33,000 square feet and replacing a vacant Circuit City with Office Depot and Dollar Tree.
In 2011 one third of the shopping center was demolished and a new pad prepared for a 93,000 square for Meijer Marketplace ground lease. Meijer opened in 2012 and the existing retro 1950’s neon pylon signs were completely refurbished to their former glory.
As a part of the redevelopment the front and east side parking areas were also redesigned with additional landscaped islands to improve traffic safety and beautify the center curb appeal. In addition, a StormTrap underground detention system was installed under the east parking area to divert stormwater from the MWRD system.
The redevelopment has also included removing all of the known asbestos containing material from the property, removing more than 14 underground oil storage tanks and remediating soil contaminated with petroleum and perchloroethylene products.
In addition to the new Walgreens out parcel, Longhorn was built on vacant parking lot along with McDonalds being expanded and rebuilt. The newly created and expanded outparcels have increased base rental income by $317,186 per year which does not include the increased common area maintenance payments also now collected.
The final phase included demolishing 26,000 square feet of existing shopping center on the east end of the property to build a 27,000 square foot Ross Dress for Less and expanding a 4000 square foot end cap for an Avenue store. The new Ross store opened in 2015 and Avenue opened in 2016.
The redevelopment has created a beautiful, landmark property that is safer, cleaner, more functional and sparked a revitalization of the surrounding business district. The investment has paid off with a 312% increase in Net Operating Income (NOI) and Cermak Plaza is currently 100% leased.