Metropolitan Square in Des Plaines sold for $13 million

Metropolitan Square, the downtown center for retail shopping and restaurants in Des Plaines, has a new owner with high hopes for attracting business to the site.

Tabani Group, a Dallas-based firm with a focus on owning commercial properties, bought the property from World Class Capital Group for $13 million in late October, according to real estate brokers Marcus and Millichap. There's about 121,000 square feet of leasable space at the site. The sale did not include the 135 condominiums at Metropolitan Square.

Sean Sharko, senior vice president of investments at Marcus and Millichap, said the proximity to the Metra train station and residential buildings made the property attractive.

"There was a lot of appreciation for the density," Sharko said. "It felt very urban. It feels Chicago-esque."

World Class Capital Group bought Metropolitan Square for $6.5 million in 2012, just as the Jimmy Buffet-themed Cheeseburger in Paradise and other businesses had left the shopping center. Today the property is 68 percent occupied, with anchor business Shop-N-Save covering a third of the total square footage.

Tabani Group owns other commercial real estate in the suburbs, including Geneva Crossing in Carol Stream, the Glen Town Center in Glenview and Town Center Promenade in Deer Park.

The city has focused on filling up its downtown commercial properties, with plans primarily hinging on buying and renovating the defunct Des Plaines Theatre. The city entered a partnership this year with Rivers Casino pledging up to $2 million to buy the theater. The city would then hire an operator to book shows.

Negotiations between the city and theater owner Dhitu Bhagwakar are heating up, but a deal has yet to be been inked, City Manager Mike Bartholomew said this week.

City officials hope business owners will take advantage of an economic development program that offers up to $10,000 to open restaurants once the theater is back in business.

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