ADM looks to sell Fulton Market facility it's closing in 2019

Archer Daniels Midland doesn't plan to shutter a wheat mill in the Fulton Market district until 2019. But with real estate values soaring in the area, the agribusiness giant isn't waiting to cash in with a sale of the 2.2-acre property.

Chicago-based ADM and Larry Goldwasser, one of the Cushman & Wakefield brokers representing the company, declined to name an expected price for the brick structure, which ranges from three to six stories tall and includes several silos. Based on comparable land sales in the area, the property may now be worth several times the $14 million ADM paid for it in 1990.

The site, which Cushman says could allow for 457,000 square feet of redevelopment, takes up a full block of Carroll between Ada and Elizabeth streets. It's one of the largest potential development sites remaining in the fast-changing area west of the Kennedy Expressway.

"Based on the strength of the market, it's a good time in the cycle to sell," Goldwasser said. "There are a lot of developers looking for sites in Fulton Market."

The value of the property could hinge on whether buyers believe they can negotiate new zoning with the city to repurpose or replace the existing structure. The site is in a planned manufacturing district, meaning uses such as apartments, hotels and some types of retail are prohibited.

ADM's property is just north of Sterling Bay's under-construction Fulton West office development on Fulton, where tenants including vacuum cleaner-maker Dyson and job site Glassdoor have leased space.

Google is the largest office tenant in the area, and McDonald's future headquarters is under construction. The district was once known for meatpackers and food wholesalers, but new uses such as hotels, boutique shops, chef-driven restaurants and loft offices have poured in.

In June, ADM confirmed plans to close down on Carroll Avenue and move its operations to a new facility in Mendota, about 90 miles west of Chicago.

ADM plans to open the new LaSalle County facility in the second half of 2019, at which time the Chicago operations will be transferred there, ADM spokesman Colin McBean said. ADM will likely lease back the Chicago property from the buyer until the new facility is ready, McBean said.

There are about 60 employees in the Fulton Market facility, according to ADM. It's unclear how many of those workers may move to the new facility.

"When we get closer to transferring production, we'll be talking to employees about that process," McBean said.

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