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Lee Wayne Plaza changing hands

Schmitt family shedding properties in preparation for retirement

STERLING – A New York-based real estate investor now owns the Lee Wayne Plaza buildings in Sterling.

Joel J. Gorjian, president and CEO of Gorjian Acquisitions in Great Neck, announced the Sterling deal Wednesday, along with acquisitions of office and retail space in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Gorjian bought the Lee Wayne properties at 2317-2323 E. Lincolnway from local investment group Schmitt Partners LP. 

“The family is trying to reduce its holdings because we’re getting ready to retire,” said Terry Schmitt, daughter of the late John W. Schmitt, founder of Lee Wayne Corp.

The family bought the plaza properties in 1975, Schmitt said. They still own 2605 Woodlawn Road, which houses the Department of Children and Family Services and Public Aid offices, and a nearby property on Woodlawn that is used for office space.

The Lee Wayne Plaza buildings, located on about 2 acres, have more than 43,000 square feet of office and retail space. The plaza has 13 tenants and the buildings are fully leased. Two of those tenants are government entities – the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Other tenants include McCormick Financial Services, Castor Home Nursing and Back to Health Chiropractic.

The property, which was sold for $722,000, also has two warehouses.

Gorjian also announced the acquisition of the Bradley Square professional services and medical center and Teutonia Square neighborhood strip mall, both in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a single-tenant retail building in East Cleveland, Ohio.

Gorjian has been on a shopping spree in the last year, buying 27 properties and pursuing others in just about every region of the country. He targets retail, office, and medical properties.

“These latest acquisitions bring our national ownership interest portfolio to 60 properties totaling 7 million square feet. The four most recent deals were completed as all-cash transactions,” he said in a news release.

Gorjian became familiar with Sterling through his long association with Namdar Realty Group, the owners of the Northland Mall, which also are based in Great Neck. Gorjian left Namdar in early 2017 to focus on his own business.

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