A property that formerly housed a controversial pain clinic in downtown Riverside has been purchased by one of the partners behind La Barra Ristorante.
According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the property at 28 E. Burlington St., which includes an unassuming one-story white stucco office building, was purchased by Lion Development II LLC for $350,000.
The manager of Lion Development II, according to Illinois Secretary of State records is Patrick Leone, who partnered with Rich Labriola in 2016 to open La Barra Ristorante in the Village Center building, which sits immediately to the west of 28 E. Burlington Ave.
Leone purchased the four ground-floor commercial spaces and 12 residential condominiums in the Village Center in 2013. He has since sold a number of the residential units, but retains ownership of the commercial spaces, including the corner unit leased by La Barra.
Reached last week about the purchase of the former medical office, Leone declined to comment. He said no tenant has been lined up for 28 E. Burlington St. at this time.
But, Leone’s purchase of the former medical office hints that he has bigger plans for the north side of East Burlington Street in the village’s central business district.
In addition to 28 E. Burlington St., Leone also owns the property immediately east at 30 E. Burlington St., a building that once housed the Coveny Lane gift shop. The one-story brick building has been vacant since Coveny Lane closed its doors in 2013.
The two adjacent properties give Leone about 26,000 square feet of contiguous property on the north side of the street, with 125 feet of street frontage.
But, that area could grow to 62,400 square feet and 225 feet of street frontage if Leone decides he’s interested in buying the now-vacant PNC Bank building at 40 E. Burlington St., which sits immediately east of the Coveny Lane building.
PNC’s realty arm has put that property on the market for $925,000, which would seem to be quite an ask for a property that’s a little more than double the size of 28 E. Burlington St.
Leone would not comment on his interest in the former bank branch property.
From 2013 to early 2017, the building at 28 E. Burlington St. housed Riverside Pain Management, whose doctors were accused of running a “pill mill,” prescribing hundreds of thousands of doses of opioids for non-therapeutic purposes.
The clinic’s former doctors, all of whom have been stripped of their medical licenses by the state of Illinois, along with a number of opioid manufacturers and distributors are at the center of a pair of lawsuits filed in Cook County Circuit Court seeking monetary damages for their alleged roles in creating a nationwide opioid epidemic.
The purchase of 28 E. Burlington St. had been in the works for months, but was held up due to an ownership dispute for a portion of the land and due to a claim by a local real estate broker for sales commission on a deal that was reportedly set but fell through when the former owner died.
The court ended up awarding the real estate broker the commission for the aborted sale and released the estate from the ownership claim.