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Nation’s second oldest shopping center is sold

Can the shopping center of the 20th Century survive? In Wilmette, Ill., this week, the answer to that questions is a resounding, “Yes.”

Plaza del Lago, a Spanish-architecture landmark of that North Shore Chicago community for 80 years, has been sold to an unnamed, publicly traded REIT after a short time on the market. Owner Joseph Moss, who bought the center in 1971, died last year and his heirs decided to divest it.

Mid-America Real Estate Corp. handled the sale on behalf of the family, which claims the property to be the second-oldest continuously operating shopping center in the nation.

The center, which combines necessity-based tenants like Plaz del Lago Cleaners with upscale shops such as Chantilly Lace, was called Spanish Court when it opened in 1928 on a 22-acre piece of unincorporated land surrounded by Wilmette, Kenilworth, Evanston, and Winnetka.

Plaza del Lago is now anchored by Jewel Osco and includes CVS, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and Starbucks.

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