Principal puts Calhoun Square on the market

Calhoun Square owner Principal Global Investors listed the property for sale this month, adding to growing uncertainty about the future of Uptown’s core business center.

A much-anticipated condominium and retail revamp of the shopping center was planned to begin last spring, but a slow housing market and subsequent re-visioning of the project put it on hold, development officials have said. Uptown stakeholders are concerned the delay is hurting business throughout Uptown.

Joe Pierce, regional real estate director for Principal, declined to give details on the reason for putting Calhoun Square on the market. “It’s just a part of our industry,” he said.

No price has been set for the property; Pierce said Principal would be entertaining offers. “But just because we put it on the market doesn’t mean we’re going to sell,” he said.

Listing agent CB Richard Ellis will request purchase proposals around April 12, according to the online property profile.

The profile states that the property is being offered to investors or developers “who may undertake the redevelopment plan conceived by Principal and approved by the city or an alternate redevelopment plan if so desired.”

The Uptown Association, neighborhood groups, City Council Member Ralph Remington (10th Ward) and Mayor R.T. Rybak’s office planned to send letters to Principal earlier this winter expressing concerns about the development’s stagnation.

Remington said he’s been trying to set up a meeting with Principal and the Uptown Association to discuss the development’s progress, but it’s been slow going.

“Principal is kind of dragging its feet right now,” Remington said.

Mike Finkelstein, an active broker in Uptown and member of the Uptown Association, said the possible sale of Calhoun Square doesn’t come as a big surprise.

“I think we all speculated and expected it,” he said.

Finkelstein said whether the property is sold doesn’t matter much as long as its owner follows through with the development.

“Something needs to happen to get that project to move forward,” he said.