November 24, 2022

Crystal Lake Mariano’s sells for $36 million; mayor says it shows city is ‘open for business’

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Island Foods in Island Lake had closed. After the store announced its impending closure in July, that closure has been put on hold, chief product officer Mark Turner said.

Mariano’s Grocery Store in Crystal Lake sold for $36 million earlier this month, a move Mayor Haig Haleblian says speaks to the value of large retailers and the booming Route 14 corridor in the city.

Jason Maier, senior manager of the Manhattan-based Stan Johnson Company, which brokered the deal, confirmed the franchise sale took place earlier this month. The grocery store, which opened in 2018, was sold by New York investor Michael Tsoumpas; Maier said the buyer has not been made public but “plans to hold it for a very long time.”

“It’s a good deal for Crystal Lake,” Haleblian said. “It speaks to the strength of the retail market here. There are some interesting things happening in the grocery sector right now.”

The sale comes as Mariano’s parent company, Kroger, seeks to merge with Albertsons in a potential $20 billion deal, The Associated Press reported.

Although the value of Crystal Lake Mariano’s has increased by 41% since it opened in 2018, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, at least one independent grocery store in the northwest suburbs has announced its imminent closure.

Nonetheless, Haleblian welcomed the news of the sale and said it could indicate positive side effects on the city’s business climate.

Maier, who confirmed the sale was strictly real estate and that of the Marianos would not change, said the value of supermarkets had increased due to the pandemic and the “essential trade” label.


“Everyone needs food, needs groceries,” Maier said. “A lot of people have had to reevaluate which properties are the most valuable, the most stable. Groceries still have huge demand, but the pandemic has shined greater demand and desirability on these assets.”

Maier called Mariano a “unique and upscale” grocery brand, and that this particular location in Crystal Lake should be “unresponsive” to changes in the market, suggesting that only a Whole Foods or similar store coming to town would have a chance to create competition. .

Haleblian said while he was surprised by the dollar figure, it showed real estate investors had a high opinion of this property, both in the location and retail sector, and that the corridor of Route 14 in Crystal Lake was “open for business,” Haleblian said, adding that such a big sale doesn’t happen very often.

Several redevelopment projects are located along the Crystal Lake section of Highway 14, including a new tenant for the former TitleMax Title Loans building and the Water’s Edge mixed-use proposal that would replace the nearly empty Crystal Court Mall. The addition of Rookie’s bar and restaurant to downtown Crystal Lake means that area of ​​town is also filled, Haleblian said.

“If a property is for sale here, it snaps up quickly,” Haleblian said.