Cubs buy McDonald's land

After a protracted negotiation, the Ricketts family, under a separate company called North Clark Street LLC, has purchased the property that has housed a McDonald's and adjacent parking lot at 3600 N. Clark.

The price was between $20-$23 million, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The investment will be used to eventually develop a plan of either housing a new facility for the Chicago Cubs front office and employees or a larger scale building that could incorporate different businesses which may include a hotel and other retail ventures. According to the sales agreement, regardless of what is built on the property, McDonald's will be given a space to continue to do business in the new building.

There are a number of different plans to use the property in the future, according to sources. The same source said the purchase should not be confused with the eventual remodeling of Wrigley Field planned by Cubs ownership in the future.

The sale closed in the last two days after a negotiation took place over the past year. One of the existing parking lots will be used in selling baseball merchandise during the 2012 season in a temporary tent location. The Cubs will also use one of the lots for gameday parking. The other lot will remain open for McDonald's customers.

The Ricketts family has been active in the Wrigleyville area in its attempt to purchase parcels of real estate since acquiring the Cubs in October 2009. The family owns 15 percent of a rooftop building on Sheffield down the right field line, which they bought into 2010.

The McDonald's at that location is one of the busiest McDonald's in the Chicagoland area, and no deal would have been done without the owner getting a retail spot for continued business, according to sources.

The marketing department already has moved to a separate building the Cubs own on Clark Street a few doors north of the park. Other departments including media relations and public relations are housed in trailers next to the west side of Wrigley Field.

Crain's Chicago Business was first to report the sale.