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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Stanley’s Site To Sell For $8 Million To Novak Construction Company

The Chicago-based construction firm bought the former Elston Avenue home of the popular fruit and vegetable business, the Tribune reported.

The land and building that once housed Stanley's Fruit and Vegetables, 1558 N. Elston Ave., is for sale.
Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
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BUCKTOWN — It’s official: a buyer has stepped up to purchase Stanley’s Fruits and Vegetables.

Novak Construction has a deal to buy the site at 1558 N. Elston Ave. for $8 million, the Tribune reported Tuesday.

The sale is expected to be finalized March 2, owner John Novak told the Tribune. A representative for Novak could not immediately be reached for comment.

The news marks the end of a lengthy process in which the Peters family — the owners of the old grocery store — attempted to sell their property.

In July 2018, the Peters family hired real estate brokerage CBRE to sell the site.

In April, the Peters family abruptly closed Stanley’s after 52 years, leaving dozens of longtime employees out of work.

RELATED: Stanley’s Abruptly Closes After 52 Years Of Selling Affordable Produce, Longtime Workers Caught Off Guard

In July, Paine Wetzel and MWA Capital began marketing the property at StanleysNorthAndElston.com.

At the time, broker Ed Wabick told Block Club “everybody” thought Sterling Bay had planned on buying the property because it sits near Sterling Bay’s massive Lincoln Yards development.

“A lot of other developers thought Sterling Bay [would buy it], so they backed off of it,” he said.

Stanley’s is just west of the Lincoln Yards development, where developer Sterling Bay aims to create a 55-acre sprawling residential, office, hospitality, recreational and entertainment district.

Last summer, the owners of Star Car Wash, a gas station at 1901 N. Elston Ave., closed their business after selling to Sterling Bay for an undisclosed amount.

RELATED: Sterling Bay Buys Bucktown’s Star Car Wash But Iconic Neon Sign To Remain

On Nov. 19, Wabick took the property, which includes 23 parcels comprising 45,877 square feet, to auction.

Novak was one of multiple bidders at the auction, according to the Tribune.

The family-owned business was founded in 1967 by Stanley Peters, who retired several years ago.

Peters’ son and other family members continued to operate the store, which offered produce on its shelves from more than 50 Midwest farms.

Despite the announcement of the pending sale in 2018, longtime employees continued to work for the Peters family until April when dozens showed up to the market to find a sign on the door: “Closed for Remodeling. Employees come Wednesday for your checks. Thank you. The Mgmt.”

A few hours later, the staffers learned the Peters family had abruptly decided to close the store for good.

The April store closure took place just a few weeks after City Council signed off on $900 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies for Lincoln Yards.

The Lincoln Yards project is set to include new bridges over the Chicago River, a new Metra station, an extension of the 606 trail, water taxis, dedicated bike lanes as well as a potential light-rail transit way and extension of the city’s street grid.

Novak Construction has worked on several large-scale projects in and out of Chicago. The company has also built nearly 200 Costco Wholesale buildings across the Midwest and East Coast.

Novak has taken on smaller projects, too; in the West Town neighborhood, the company remodeled Erie Neighborhood House, the headquarters for the social services organization.

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