The suburban property traded for a fraction of what it cost to develop just before the recession.

Two local real estate investors have picked up a shopping center in suburban Burr Ridge at a steep discount amid a tenuous time for brick-and-mortar retail.

A joint venture of Orland Park-based Edwards Realty and Chicago-based Core Acquisition paid $15 million last month for the retail part of the 12-year-old Burr Ridge Village Center complex, which they plan to revamp with new entertainment-focused tenants and programming, said Edwards Realty President Ramzi Hassan.

The price is a fraction of the $85 million that a unit of Minneapolis-based developer Opus Group spent to develop the 200,000-square-foot retail property in 2007, according to Edwards Realty. Edwards and Core Acquisition bought the property from Opus offshoot Founders Properties, which took control of it in 2011 and refinanced it with an $18.1 million loan in 2014, Cook County property records show. A Founders Properties spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached.

The shopping center’s stark drop in value has become a common tale in recent years, bucking the trend among most property sectors, where values have soared since the recession. As brick-and-mortar retailers grapple with the rise of online shopping, retail landlords have taken a hit and investors have grown wary of the sector, making it a tough time to sell.

But the chance to buy on the cheap and reposition Burr Ridge Village Center as an entertainment destination for residents nearby and from its surrounding suburbs offered a big potential upside, Hassan said.

“When people are running from these things, we’re running to them,” he said of suburban shopping centers, pointing to similar projects Edwards Realty has taken on in Orland Park and Plainfield. “People are worried about the income stream. Obviously it’s pretty volatile, but we manage all our own assets. We’re very hands-on, and we feel like we have the pulse of the community.”

The Burr Ridge Village Center, at the Stevenson Expressway and Interstate 294, is about 70 percent leased, with retail tenants including a White House Black Market, Kohler Waters Spa, Hampton Social and Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Hassan said. The new owners plan to spend around $5 million to boost tenancy, ramp up marketing for the complex and upgrade certain features like signage, he said.

The acquisition includes a 1,200-car parking deck and a development parcel on the shopping center property.

Opus Group opened the 20-acre, $150 million Burr Ridge Village Center project,which includes offices and almost 200 residential condominiums, amid a slowdown in consumer spending in 2007.

As part of the retail complex acquisition, Edwards Realty and Core Acquisition also took control of the associations that manage the residential and office condos, according to Hassan.

Article sourced from Crain’s Chicago Business.