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South Loop condo project files Chapter 11
Crain's Chicago Business, Bob Craig, 12/29/11
"... according to a third-quarter report from Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The great condo bust has claimed another casualty: a slow-selling South Loop project led by former First Ward Alderman Ted Mazola. A venture controlled by Mr. Mazola that built a 176-unit condominium tower at 1555 S. Wabash Ave. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday. Buyers have closed on just 35 condos in the building, or 20% of the total, with the rest converted to rentals, according to a third-quarter report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. The Mazola venture lists both assets and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million, according to its Chapter 11 petition. The document doesn't break out the project's secured debt, but its biggest liability likely is the construction loan it took out to finance the 14-story development. The venture borrowed $46.2 million from Amtrust Bank in 2007, county records show. No foreclosure suit has been filed. Mr. Mazola, president of Chicago-based New West Realty Group LLC, says the filing is “just a partnership filing and it is what it is.” He declines to comment further. His lawyers also decline to comment....
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Spurt of sales ends hot year for suburban apartments
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 12/28/11
"... says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Suburban Chicago apartment buildings were on a lot of investors' Christmas lists this year. More than a half dozen suburban properties are changing hands in a flurry of year-end sales activity, spurred by strong investor demand for rental housing and an urgency to get deals closed by Dec. 31. Leading the list of buyers is Friedkin Realty Group, a San Francisco-based firm that's buying three properties: Brook Hill, a 408-unit apartment complex in west suburban Westmont; Aspen Place, a 416-unit property in Aurora, and the 204-unit Avalon Lakeside Apartments in Wheaton, according to sources familiar with the transactions. Rising rents and occupancies — and the expectation that the trend will continue — have drawn money into the apartment market over the past year or so, pushing prices higher and tempting many landlords to cash out. “If you are going to invest in real estate, apartments are the easiest decision to make still,” says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based firm that tracks the local apartment market....
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Flair Tower sells as apartment deals approach record year
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 12/7/11
"... says a recent Appraisal Research report."
In a flurry of year-end sales activity, three big downtown apartment buildings are changing hands, including Flair Tower, a recently completed 198-unit high-rise in River North. Pension fund adviser General Investment & Development Cos. has agreed to pay about $87 million, or $439,000 a unit, for Flair Tower, a 26-story building at 222 W. Erie St. developed by Chicagobased McCaffery Interests Inc., according to people familiar with the transaction. The tower, which cost about $80 million to build, opened last June. In the South Loop, Miami-based Crescent Heights bought the 344-unit building at 1212 S. Michigan Ave. from a fund led by local real estate investor Allison Davis, according to CBRE Inc., which brokered the sale. CBRE did not disclose a price, which sources pegged at about $66 million, or $192,000 a unit. Sources also say Crescent Heights has emerged as the leading bidder for Echelon at K Station, a 350-unit high-rise at 353 N. Des Plaines St. developed by Fifield Cos. and Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. The price is in the $105-million range, or about $300,000 a unit. The downtown apartment investment market has been on fire this year, with rising rents and occupancies — and the expectation for more gains - drawing investors willing to bid aggressively on properties. Eleven big downtown buildings have already sold this year for a combined $1.07 billion, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm....
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Warehouse to walkups? Apartments planned in South Loop
Crain's Chicago Business, Micah Maidenberg, 12/7/11
"Gail Lissner, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors, says..."
A condominium developer who recently lost one South Loop development site to a lender has pounced on a foreclosed warehouse just a few blocks away, with plans to convert it into 50 apartments. A venture led by Jericho, N.Y.-based JK Equities LLC has agreed to buy the fourstory building at 2100 S. Indiana Ave. and a lot next door for about $3.6 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The JK venture is buying the properties from First Midwest Bank, which foreclosed on them in September. Developer Andrius Augunas had planned to convert the warehouse into 42 condos and build a 163-unit condo tower on the lot, but the market crashed before he could begin and he fled the country amid a spate of foreclosure suits against him. He filed for personal bankruptcy in April 2008....
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Young adults find renting a safer choice than buying
Chicago Sun Times, Don DeBat, 12/6/11
"... according to Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research..."
Rental apartments are in heavy demand among young living in the suburbs of Chicago, experts say. A new survey by Appraisal Research Counselors Ltd. noted that young people—age 25 to 34 years—prefer the flexibility of renting, instead of buying, because renting is easier if they have to relocate in today’s tough job market. That fact is very apparent in the Appraisal Research survey of more than 75,000 units in the seven county Chicago-area suburban market covering Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will counties. That fact is very apparent in the Appraisal Research survey of more than 75,000 units in the seven county Chicago-area suburban market covering Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will counties. Suburban apartment occupancy rates have improved significantly over the past year to 94.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011 from 92.9 percent during the same period last year, and the highest posted since the third quarter of 2007, according to Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research....
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Retail Rises While Housing Stays Depressed
Equities.com, Brittney Barrett, 12/6/11
"A new survey by Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The Federal Reserve’s most recent statistical review indicated that retail spending growth has been increasing year-over-year, but it appears that the more people spend on minor luxuries, the less they’re saving for a home. Americans have been spending on cars, clothes and electronics, boosting U.S. retail sales for October, the last month for which information is available. For five consecutive months retail sales have been increasing, and many economists, factoring in the record breaking sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, anticipate the trend to continue....
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Suburban apartments fuller amid record-high rents
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 11/21/11
"... says Appraisal Research Vice-President Ron DeVries."
Suburban apartment buildings continue to fill up as more would-be homebuyers seek refuge from the lousy market for single-family homes and condominiums. The occupancy rate at suburban multifamily properties rose to 94.3% in the third quarter, up from 93.9% in the second quarter and 92.9% a year earlier, according to a recent report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. Occupancies are now at their highest level in four years, though still well below the last peak of 97.1% in 2006. Apartment landlords are among the biggest winners in the collapse of the for-sale housing market, as falling prices and a lack of mortgage financing have pushed many people into rentals. And the good times are likely to continue in 2012, says Appraisal Research Vice-President Ron DeVries. Read more: http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20111121/CRED02/111129974/suburban-apartments-fuller-amid-record-high-rents#ixzz1f0d6RFJ5 Stay up-to-date on Chicago real estate with our free, daily e-newsletter...
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Condo sales stall downtown in third quarter
Crain's Chicago Business, Mary E. Morrison, 11/15/11
"... said Gail Lissner, Appraisal Research Vice-president."
Downtown condominium developers looking for reasons to be optimistic didn't find many in the third quarter. Downtown developers closed 229 sales in the quarter, up slightly from 196 in the second-quarter but down from 251 in the year-earlier period, according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicagobased consulting firm....
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Rents, occupancies stumble at high-end downtown apartments
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 11/14/11
"... says Appraisal Research Vice-president Ron DeVries."
The hot downtown apartment market cooled off in the third quarter, as rents at high-end buildings slipped for the first time in nearly two years. The average net rent at Class A apartment buildings was $2.40 a square foot, down 1.2% from the second quarter but still 8.1% above the year-earlier period, according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. Net rents include concessions such as free rent....
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Golub plans South Loop apartment tower
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 11/8/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors."
Chicago developer Golub & Co. has agreed to pay about $6 million for a city-owned South Loop property where it wants to build a 35-story, 392-unit apartment tower. The $111-million project at the southeast corner of Ninth and State streets is the latest entrant in a downtown apartment boom spurred by rising occupancies and surging rents. Developers this year have already broken ground on seven downtown apartment towers comprising more than 2,800 units. The Chicago Community Development Commission is set to consider the sale of the South Loop property to Golub at a meeting Tuesday afternoon....
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Unsold units plague a major South Loop development
Northwestern University - Medill News Service, David J. Unger, 10/27/11
"... said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
How do you board up a foreclosed property when it’s a 54-story high rise with views of Lake Michigan? Short answer: You don’t. “Condo foreclosures tend to be less visible than a single-family home, because you’re not seeing a boardedup building,” said Katie Buitrago, a policy and communications associate at the Woodstock Institute. “You don’t get that first indicator with the visual component.”...
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Foreclosure threatened for Central Station development
Chicago Journal, Matthew Blake, 10/26/11
"... according to figures from Appraisal Research Counselors."
Bank of America may soon foreclose on Museum Park West, a 298-unit condo building in which the developer Central Station Development Corp. has sold just 65, or 22 percent, of the units since the building opened in early 2010. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Central Station Development Corp. owes Bank of America $125 million, making it the most costly Chicago foreclosure case since the housing bubble burst in 2007. According to Crain’s, the developers testified at a civil trial last month that the building would likely enter foreclosure. Multiple calls to Central Station Development Corp. were not returned. The corporation is a joint venture between Fogelson Properties, headed by Gerald Fogelson; Enterprise Companies, headed by Ronald Shipka Sr.; and Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises....
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Chicago suburbs stuck with failed condo projects reconsider apartments
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 10/24/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
After shunning the suburbs for much of the past decade, apartment builders are returning to places like Elmhurst, Orland Park and Evanston, filling the void created by the condo crash. With rents blowing past prerecession levels, a construction boom that started downtown this year is spreading to suburbia, where it has been difficult to build apartments in recent years due to community resistance and a lack of profitable opportunities. But those obstacles are fading amid a mega-shift in the housing market, as many suburban officials give up on proposed condominium projects anchoring downtown redevelopment plans. More than a dozen apartment projects are in the works, with one developer estimating that the suburbs could gain as many as 2,000 units over the next 18 months, nearly 10 times the annual average since 2003....
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River North apartment high-rise sells for over $90 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 10/19/11
"... says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
A Texas pension fund adviser has jumped into the downtown apartment sales frenzy, paying more than $90 million for a 304-unit high-rise in River North. An affiliate of Dallas-based L&B Realty Advisors LLP has acquired the 25-story tower at 77 W. Huron St. from Archstone, an Englewood, Colo.-based apartment owner, according to people familiar with the transaction. It is the latest in a series of downtown apartment building sales amid a surging rental market. Several other deals are in the works in what could be a record year for local apartment sales as landlords seek to cash out at lofty prices. The River North high-rise is a property in transition. Archstone leased the entire building to Oakwood Worldwide, a Los Angeles-based corporate housing firm. But the tower is converting back to a traditional rental building after Oakwood terminated its lease July 1....
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Investor buys out residents in failed suburban condo project
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 10/19/11
"... says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Chicago apartment investor Greg Moyer has accomplished the real estate equivalent of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. A venture led by Mr. Moyer has reassembled a failed 154-unit condominium conversion project in northwest suburban Buffalo Grove, buying both the 148 unsold condos from its lender and six units its developer sold before losing the property....
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Tightening supply in U.S. rental market favours landlords
Canadian Real Estate Magazine, Editorial Team, 10/17/11
"... according to a forecast by Appraisal Research Counselors."
While home sales remain slumped in the U.S., the rental market is back to peak demand levels in most major markets. As lending standards have tightened and household incomes have shrunk, many Americans have been increasingly turning to the rental market for at least a temporary fix. Landlords are recognizing the increasing demand with higher rents. The New York Times reported last week that the average Manhattan rent in September was US$3,331, up 6% from $3,131 a year ago and an 11% increase from 2009 when it as $3,013. The vacancy rate in Manhattan is close to 1%....
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Park Tower sees 3 sales over $3 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Mary E. Morrison, 10/11/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors."
Three condominiums in the Park Tower on Michigan Avenue sold for more than $3 million each in the past month, belying a broader downward trend in the high-end condo market. Sitting atop the Park Hyatt hotel, the 117 condos in the high-rise at 800 N. Michigan Ave. are among the most expensive in the city, with prices of some units exceeding $1,000 a square foot. But only seven condos in the 117-unit building have changed hands so far this year, including the three that sold in the past month. The recently sold units were all on the larger side, with a 3,200-square-foot condo on the 47th floor selling for $3.25 million, a 4,200-square-foot home on the 48th floor selling for $4.05 million and a 4,200-square-footer on the 53rd floor selling for $3.18 million. The 53rd-floor unit had been on the market for two years and was originally listed at $4.75 million, said listing agent Hillary Levy of Baird & Warner. “Prices came down to a level where it was priced right,” she said. Yet the broader market for luxury condos has slowed over the past year. The number of condos in the city of Chicago that sold for more than $1 million dropped to 232 between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30 of this year, down from 291 in the year-earlier period, according to data from Midwest Real Estate Data LLC. The average unit sat on the market for 230 days, up from 161 in the year-earlier period. Chezi Rafaeli of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the listing agent on the 47th-floor Park Tower unit, is optimistic that the high-end market will improve in the coming months, saying demand for condos with more than 3,000 square feet has been strong. He expects prices to rise in the next year....
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River North apartment tower slated to sell for about $125 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 10/5/11
"... says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
MetLife Inc. has emerged as the leading bidder for the EnV apartment tower in River North, the first in a wave of high-end downtown apartment sales expected this fall. Sources say the New York-based insurer has agreed to pay between $122 million and $126 million for the 249-unit project next to the Merchandise Mart, which was recently built by the Lynd Co., a San Antoniobased developer. At the upper end of the range, the sale could break the $500,000-a-unit barrier, further evidence of investors’ willingness to pay up for luxury high-rises, betting that the apartment boom will continue. “This is going to establish a new benchmark for downtown for pricing,” says Ron DeVries, vicepresident at Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm that tracks the local apartment market. “It shows that there’s an incredible appetite for multifamily.” Indeed, the sale bodes well for other downtown landlords that have put their properties up for sale in recent months, aiming to cash out in a hot market. Investors have acquired $999 million in Chicago-area apartment properties this year, already eclipsing the sales volume for all of 2010, according to CB Richard Ellis Inc. But so many buildings are on the market that total 2011 sales volume could break the $2.48- billion record set in 2007....
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Condo developer sells River North retail space
Crain's Chicago Business, Staff, 10/4/11
"... according to Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors."
An affiliate of Gammonley Group sold the retail space in a River North condominium tower built by the LaGrange-based developer. RTG Land Development Corp. sold the 13,738-square-foot space at 757 N. Orleans St. and 315-319 W. Chicago Ave. for $10.8 million to a subsidiary of Rockville, Md.-based Finesa Real Estate Group, according to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, which represented the seller. The space is fully leased to Walgreen, Verizon Wireless and Bank of America. Gammonley had sold 120 of the condo project’s 198 units by the end of the second quarter, according to Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors. Austin Weisenbeck and Sean Sharko, senior associates in Marcus & Millichap’s Oak Brook office, represented RTG in the sale.
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Buck eyes new project on Michigan Avenue
Crain's Chicago Business, al, 9/28/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm."
John Buck, known best for building Wacker Drive office towers, is staking a claim on another prominent Chicago boulevard: Michigan Avenue. A joint venture led by the John Buck Co. is mulling plans for a development at 200 N. Michigan Ave., just north of Millennium Park, a project that could include retail and residential space and a hotel. The project would mark a return to the busy street for the Chicago-based development firm, which built the North Bridge mixed-use complex along Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River more than a decade ago. Buck is teaming up on the new project with Becker Ventures LLC, the Michigan-based firm that owns the Hard Rock Hotel next door....
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Developers lose trial on earnest money refunds
Crain's Chicago Business, Mary E. Morrison, 9/27/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Condominium developers Ronald Shipka Sr. and Gerald Fogelson have lost one round in a long-running legal dispute with buyers in a struggling 298-unit South Loop project, and the fight isn’t over. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled after a trial last week that the developers could not keep the earnest-money deposits of five parties that signed contracts to buy condos in One Museum Park West and then walked away. The buyers sued to get their deposits back, arguing that the developers breached their purchase agreements by failing to complete the condo units on time. Buyers Craig Stepnicka and Janet Elston in 2006 signed a contract for a unit that was expected to close in 2008 but wasn’t ready until 2010, said their lawyer, Robert Minetz, a partner at law firm Latimer Levay Fyock LLC....
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Local apartment sales at nearly $1 billion and counting
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 9/26/11
"... according to the Appraisal Research report."
With several big downtown buildings expected to sell in the next three months, 2011 is shaping up as the strongest year for local apartment sales in at least four years. Investors have spent $999 million on Chicago-area apartment acquisitions this year, up 33% from 2010, according to a report by CB Richard Ellis Inc. But the pace of dealmaking has picked up so much in recent weeks that sales volume could easily double by the end of the year, and possibly eclipse the record of $2.48 billion set in 2007. “There is so much money that’s flooded into the market that it is difficult to find good deals,” says Darren Sloniger, managing director of acquisitions at Marquette Cos., a Naperville-based apartment investor....
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Glut persists at some downtown projects
Crain's Chicago Business, Mary E. Morrison, 9/8/11
"... said Appraisal Research Vice-president Gail Lissner."
The great downtown condo glut is shrinking, but it's a slow go for some developers. Twenty-eight downtown projects still had 20 or more unsold new condos at the end of the second quarter, and seven had more than 100, according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. At the top of the list: a 47-story high-rise at 235 W. Van Buren in the South Loop. Buyers had closed on just 371, or 52%, of the project's 714 units at the end of the second quarter, according to the report. A lot of developers have slashed prices to boost sales, a strategy that has worked in many cases, allowing the developers to pay off construction loans. But developers with the most unsold units have generally held the line on price. At 235 W. Van Buren, the project's developer, CMK Development Corp., earlier this summer promoted an incentive package with free condo assessments for a year and a $5,000 closing-cost credit, but CMK has not offered steep discounts, said Appraisal Research Vice-president Gail Lissner. Other projects stuck with a lot of unsold condos includes the Trump International Hotel & Tower along the Chicago River and two towers in the Museum Park development south of Grant Park. “We are continuing to see closings occur in these buildings,” Ms. Lissner said. “The pace will depend on pricing and marketing strategies.”...
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New condo market in downtown Chicago officially dead
Chicago Journal, Don DeBat, 9/7/11
"... said Gail L. Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research."
The condo construction boom in downtown Chicago is officially dead, reports Appraisal Research Counselors Ltd. According to Appraisal Research’s second quarter “Downtown Chicago Residential Benchmark Report,” the condo boom officially ended in 2010. And, 2011 is the first year in the past 15 where no new for-sale units are being added to the downtown market. “More than 40,000 condo units were constructed downtown since 1996, with a peak of 4,800 residences completed in 2007 alone,” said Gail L. Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research....
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Oak Park apartment market improving, while rents remain stable
Oak Park.com, Jean Lotus, 9/6/11
"Appraisal Research Counselors reported..."
The news for renters in Oak Park is good — so far. In spite of an occupancy spike that has filled apartments to "the highest level in years," according to one landlord, rents are not increasing at the accelerated rate reported in Chicago and other suburbs. Two Chicago realtor organizations released reports in early August indicating rents were rising fast in Chicago and the suburbs. One study, by multi-unit realtors Marcus and Millichap, said rents increased by 2.5 percent on average last year, and that they were poised to rise by another 3.4 percent in 2011. Appraisal Research Counselors reported rents went up five percent last year and were on target to increase again, although not so high — in reaction to a shortage of supply....
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Market for luxury condos rising out of the depths
Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, 9/2/11
"... Gail Lissner, an Appraisal Research Counselors vice president, said..."
On a recent summer day, the area around the northern edge of Lincoln Park's North Pond was shared by families with children in strollers, cyclists resting on the grass and a construction crew making quite the racket across the street as they worked on Lincoln Park 2520's 39 residential floors. Meanwhile, about three miles to the south, a different construction crew was adding to the lunchtime cacophony of shoppers, cars and buses along North Michigan Avenue as they built The Ritz-Carlton Residences' 88 units. The two high-rises share the notable distinction of being the only sizable Chicago condo buildings that will deliver units to buyers in the next year. Lincoln Park 2520 is scheduled to begin closing units toward the end of 2012's second quarter, while the Ritz-Carlton plans to start deliveries late this year. If those deliveries are delayed into 2012, 2011 will go down as the first year in the last 15 years in which no new for-purchase units were added to the market, according to Appraisal Research Counselors. That compares with the peak year of 2007, when 4,800 condo units came online....
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Elysian sells last 2 condos
Crain's Chicago Business, Mary E. Morrison, 9/1/11
"... according to Chicago based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors."
The developer of the Elysian Hotel & Private Residences has sold the last two condominiums in the high-end tower, wrapping up the Gold Coast project at a time when other developers still are struggling to close deals. The units that closed this month include a condo on the 34th floor that sold for $2.98 million and a 35th-floor unit that went for $3.2 million. The 60-story high-rise, completed in late 2009, has 51 condos with owners including Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer, who paid $8.6 million for a 53rd-floor unit last year. The building at 11 E. Walton St. also includes a 188- room hotel, two restaurants and a bar...
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Market Snapshot: New-Construction Condos in Downtown Chicago
Urban Turf Chicago, Don DeBat, 8/26/11
"...said Gail L. Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research."
The condominium-construction boom in downtown Chicago is officially dead, reports Appraisal Research Counselors Ltd. According to Appraisal Research’s 2nd quarter “Downtown Chicago Residential Benchmark Report,” the condo boom officially ended in 2010. And, 2011 is the first year in the past 15 where no new for-sale units are being added to the downtown market. “More than 40,000 condo units were constructed downtown since 1996, with a peak of 4,800 residences completed in 2007 alone,” said Gail L. Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research....
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Suburban apartments gain as housing slump persists
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 8/22/11
"... says Appraisal Research Vice-President Ron DeVries."
Occupancies and rents at suburban apartment buildings rose further in the second quarter as landlords continued to benefit from the single-family and condo slump. The suburban occupancy rate hit 93.9% in the quarter, up from 93.6% in the first quarter and 93.0% a year earlier, according to a recent report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. It was the highest suburban occupancy rate in nearly four years. The median suburban net rent, meanwhile, rose to $1.18 a square foot, up 1.7% from the first quarter and 5.2% from a year earlier. Rents are at all-time highs and have risen more than 11% since bottoming out in 2009, according to Appraisal Research....
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Two more towers foreclosed on
Chicago Journal, Matthew Blake, 8/17/11
"... said Gail Lissner, vice-president of Appraisal Research Counselors."
Same owner for both buildings, but different fates likely await each - The South Loop is still visibly reckoning with the financial meltdown, as two condo towers that broke ground in the last few years may soon be foreclosed upon. Amalgamated Bank, a New York-based lender, has filed two foreclosure actions against Sedgwick Properties Development Corp., the developer of the two buildings — the Terrazio at 1935 S. Wabash Ave. and the 25-story Marquee Tower at 1454-64 S. Michigan Ave. The lawsuits filed against the buildings are nearly identical, but the residential situations of the two are, in fact, quite distinct. The Terrazio is a “ghost town,” according to Tina Feldstein, president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance and real estate agent at Koenig & Stray, though units are now being rented out....
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Chicago-area apartment rents rise again, trend not slowing down
Chicago Sun Times, David Roeder, 8/17/11
".... Appraisal Research said..."
Apartment renters in Chicago and the suburbs can’t catch a break. New market studies show that a two-year trend of rent increases will continue through the fall and could escalate into next year. Rentals remain caught in the backdraft of for-sale housing. Industry watchers said foreclosures, falling home values and tighter standards for mortgage loans have forced prospective homebuyers to rent instead, causing vacancies to decline. Meanwhile, few new apartments are being built in the region except for downtown Chicago. Many suburbs frown on rental buildings and use their zoning powers to ensure that multi-family buildings are condominiums....
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Several Class A Apartment towers up for sale
REjournals.com, Mark Thornton, 8/17/11
"Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, said..."
The apartment market is booming in Chicago and big name developers are attempting to capitalize on the recent surge in value as several buildings have been offered up for sale. Chicago-based Fifield Companies has announced that Echelon and Alta K Station, two Class A luxury apartment complexes in Chicago’s West Loop are available for sale. The buildings offer a combined 1,198 units. “As a commercial developer, it’s our business model to build, hold for a short time and then sell when the timing is right,” said Steven Fifield, president and founder of Fifield Companies, in a released statement. “The apartment market is very strong right now. It’s the hottest asset class around and these two buildings are high-performing rentals that offer an investor a great opportunity to own a large market share of the West Loop.” John Jaeger and Dan Cohen of CB Richard Ellis’ Multi Housing-Group are representing Fifield Companies and Pacific Life Insurance Co. in the sale....
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First-half downtown condo sales fall even further
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 8/16/11
"... says Appraisal Research Vice-President Gail Lissner."
The fifth year of the great downtown condo bust is starting to look a lot like the second, third and fourth. Downtown developers are on pace to sell fewer than 600 condominiums for the fourth straight year as the slump drags on and downtown denizens flock to apartments instead. They sold just 261 condos and townhomes in the first six months of 2011, down from 406 a year earlier, according to a report by Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. It was the poorest first-half showing for downtown developers at least since the market peak in 2005. Many developers have slashed prices to spur sales, but the shaky economy, worries that condo values have further to fall and a tight lending climate continue to work against them. “This is probably the new norm,” says Appraisal Research Vice-President Gail Lissner....
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Downtown apartment rents surpass previous boom
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 8/15/11
"...says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Life was good for downtown landlords before the recession hit four years ago, as rents hit record highs. It's even better now. Rents at downtown buildings have already eclipsed the highs of the last boom and are likely to keep rising, fueled by a broad shift in the housing market away from condominiums and toward apartments. “The market tightened faster than we expected, and the landlords responded in kind,” says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. The average net rent at high-end, or Class A, buildings downtown hit $2.43 a square foot in the second quarter, up 6.1% from the first quarter and 9.5% from a year earlier, according to a new Appraisal Research report. That also tops the peak of the last boom, $2.35 a square foot, in third-quarter 2007. Net rents include the impact of concessions like free rent, which are disappearing as buildings fill up....
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Demystifying the Dodd-Frank Act: What it Is and What REALTORS® Should Know
Chicago Realtor, Russ Haraus, Appraisal Research Counselors, 8/15/11
"By Russ Haraus, V.P. Operations, Single Family Division, Appraisal Research Counselors"
On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-FrankWall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act H.R. 4173 (The Dodd-Frank Act) became law, with farreaching implications to all professionals involved in mortgage lending, banking and mortgage related securities. The five main regulating agencies (there are more) which oversee various financial institutions in the United States...
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Downtown Chicago Condo Market Trends
Chicago Realtor, Gail Lissner, Appraisal Research Counselors, 8/15/11
"By Gail Lissner, CRE, SRA, Appraisal Research Counselors"
In the Downtown Chicago market, rental housing is generating stronger demand than condominiums, as buyers react to the uncertainty in the market. Unsure whether the bottom has been reached in prices, concerned about the continued weakness in the economy and job market, and finding it difficult to sell existing residences and finance new acquisitions,many people are opting for the easier decision – to rent. This impacts absorption. As persons who otherwise would have been in the condomarket are now in the renter pool, we’re left with fewer potential buyers for condo units. Our firm recently analyzed the sales and resales of units in 60 major high-rise buildings with 22,000 units in the greater Downtown market. The survey showed that, from 2002 until 2011, condo pricing in the greater Downtown market has been affected similar to the S&P/Case- Shiller findings for condo prices in the Chicago metropolitan area. Condo prices in the greater Downtown market on average are approximately 15 percent below the market peak in 2007, but price trends in individual buildings vary widely....
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High demand boosts downtown apartment rents, more gains likely
Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, 8/15/11
"...according to a 2nd qtr report on downtown housing by Appraisal Research Counselors."
Almost 5,600 more renters were living in downtown Chicago at the end of June than just three years ago, and continued strong demand for rental units will mean higher rents and a harder time finding an apartment into next year. Monthly rents, which have risen more than 10 percent in some buildings, are likely to increase even more as summer ends and then are expected to spike again in 2012 as the vacancy rate hits 3 percent and the laws of supply and demand take hold, according to a second-quarter report on the downtown housing market by Appraisal Research Counselors....
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Developer Bill Senne faces new foreclosure suit
Crain's Chicago Business, Frank Kalman, 8/11/11
"Lissner, vice-president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Prominent developer William Senne, who like most condominium builders is struggling to muster sales in a depressed market, now faces a $6.4-million lawsuit over a business loan backed by 11 of his properties. First Midwest Bank N.A. filed a foreclosure lawsuit last month against a venture managed by Mr. Senne, alleging the venture failed to pay off the business loan when it came due in August 2010. The suit is another setback for Mr. Senne, who also faces foreclosure on an unbuilt 94-unit Bucktown condo project and has yet to sell out a 212-unit West Loop development. The First Midwest suit is over a loan secured by retail stores in a 78-unit condominium building that Mr. Senne’s Senco Properties built in the West Loop at 1201 W. Adams St., known as Promenade, as well as 10 smaller residential and retail properties, according to the complaint....
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Waterview Tower back in play as apartment complex
Chicago Tribune, Alejandra Cancino, 7/28/11
"... said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Building at 111 W. Wacker, stuck as a 25-story concrete skeleton for about 3 years, to become 65-story, 500-unit luxury rental development - The sale of the unfinished Waterview Tower marks the end of an era for a building that had become an eyesore in the Chicago skyline after construction halted in 2008. Related Cos., a privately held real estate firm based in New York, said Wednesday that it had entered into a joint venture agreement with Clark Wacker LLC to develop the site at 111 W. Wacker Drive, where Chicago-based Teng & Associates had planned to develop a 90-story building with 233 condominiums and penthouse residences and 200 hotel rooms....
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Suburban apartments sell for $34 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Ryan Ori, 7/27/11
"...says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
A Chicago investment firm paid $34.2 million for a Wheaton apartment property, buying the 342-unit complex amid rising demand for suburban rental properties. Westdale Investment Partners LLC paid $100,000 per unit for Briarbrook Village Apartments, 1147 Briarbrook Drive in the western suburb. The seller, Chicago-based Heitman Capital Management Corp., bought the apartments for $33 million in 2007 and spent millions renovating the complex in 2009. “We’re thrilled about the quality of the property — top-notch demographics, great location, great schools,” says David Carlson, managing partner at Westdale....
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Apartments planned for former Arlington Heights hotel
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 7/27/11
"...says Ron DeVries, vice-president of Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors."
The new owner of the shuttered Sheraton Chicago Northwest in Arlington Heights plans to convert the hotel into an apartment building with more than 225 units. An affiliate of Bloomingdale-based Argent Group LLC paid $7.7 million last month for the 429-room hotel and adjoining water park, which were closed in December 2009. The venture plans to gut the hotel and add the apartments and then build a new limited-service hotel next door that will connect to the water park, says Argent Managing Member Mark Matthews....
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Old Chicago post office redevelopment plan unveiled
Chicago Tribune, Alejandra Cancino and Blair Kamin, 7/22/11
"... said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The owner of the Chicago's old post office building on Thursday unveiled a grandiose plan for redeveloping the long-vacant property and the area around it, including a 2,000-foot skyscraper that would dethrone the Willis Tower as the city's and North America's tallest building. The owner, British developer Bill Davies, promises to transform the area into an "urban mecca" of five residential, office and hotel towers that would draw visitors from around the Midwest. Y et the three-phase project, which Davies wants to complete in 10 years, faces economic hurdles due to the weak economy and still struggling retail sector. "It's a pipe dream -- is it doable?" said Gail Lissner, Breaking Problem Solver Your Money Promotions Technology Chicago top stocks Columnists PHOTOS: Chicago's former main post office Homes Rentals Vehicles Related Topics See more topics » Sign In or Sign Up vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors in Chicago....
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We got trashed at ''Transformers''!
Chicago Tribune, Christopher Borrelli, 6/30/11
"Meet Jim Kutill, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Memo: A few notes on the robopocalypse First of all, if you haven't already, see "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" immediately. Should Chicago become ground zero for a hostile robot takeover of Earth — providing our alien overlords with a convenient staging ground for subsequent invasions of Gary and Lake Geneva — there are several factors to consider. For instance, as the film illustrates, robots are like tourists — they hang around Wacker Drive, Michigan Avenue,Streeterville and the Financial District, rarely going north of Oak Street or south of Roosevelt Road. Also, expect a large alien spaceship double-parked in the Chicago River. Also, with several Corner Bakery locations and Dunkin' Donuts seemingly destroyed during the climactic battle, the number of affordable lunch options downtown will be reduced to zero. Also, the ramifications on the real estate market will be massive. Anticipating this, we brought a commercial real estate appraiser to the press screening. You know, to get a sense of the post-robopocalypse market. Meet Jim Kutill, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, the largest independent commercial appraisal firm in Chicago....
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City undergoes apartment-building boomlet
Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin, 6/29/11
"... according to Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
As recession eases, developers aim for both the boring and the bright - The sounds are as unmistakable as the thunder of the L: The whirring of cement trucks, the blasting of jackhammers, and the clamor of arguments over the shape of Chicago. Nearly three years after the financial crisis froze the skyline in place and transformed the grandiose dream of the Chicago Spire into an embarrassing hole in the ground, the city is gearing up for a high-rise apartment building boom — or boomlet, depending how big this muchballyhooed surge of construction really turns out to be. The renewed activity (above, construction at 1233 N. Wells St.) is good news for the recession-battered building trades and a city whose books are splattered with red ink. But for the urban environment, the likely outcome has all the makings of a typical Chicago construction surge -- equal parts enthralling and exasperating. On the bright side, the boomlet is pushing the construction of a new wave of apartment buildings that aspire to rise above the level of the cloddish boxes that have suburbanized the city with their dull architecture and street-deadening parking decks. Among them: the proposed City Hyde Park project by Jeanne Gang, designer of the acclaimed Aqua tower, and the SoNo East tower, by little-known Adam Berkelhamer and Antunovich Associates, at 840 W. Blackhawk St....
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Renters feeling the pinch
Chicago Journal, Don DeBat, 6/22/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors."
With more and more potential home and condominium buyers opting to rent apartments, experts say a shift is underway in the fundamental way Americans view their housing choices. Despite the obvious benefits of homeownership — from the quality of life to the benefits of hefty tax deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes — worried prospective buyers are seeing the prices of both new and used homes and condos slip....
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Blown Away in the Windy City
Valuation, Apryl Motley, 6/21/11
"... according to Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
“We’re seeing increasing demand for rental products of all types,” Lissner says. “People are having difficulty maneuvering in a weak market. Existing homeowners seeking to move are having great difficulty selling their current residences, and their problems are often compounded by financing issues.” Weakness in the condo market, in particular, has made it difficult for builders and lenders to sell inventory. As a result, there have been bulk sales to investors who are planning to rent the units rather than continue to market them for sale. According to Lissner, renters in the Chicago area are a diverse group ranging from “emptynesters who may have sold their homes but aren’t rushing to buy homes right now, given all the uncertainty in the market,” to “more recent college graduates who are employed but desire the flexibility of renting.” “It’s difficult to sell anything right now,” she explains. “The motivation to purchase was appreciation in value. Long-term people will achieve appreciation, but right now they are concerned about market stability.”...
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Going Rental
Valuation, Apryl Motley, 6/21/11
"In Chicago, where Gail Lissner, SRA, serves as a VP at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Apartments for rent. Condos converted to rentals. New units available. The signs are everywhere, literally and figuratively. And whether it’s for condominiums or apartments, appraisers around the country say there’s no shortage of demand for rentals as former — and potential — homeowners are looking to lease rather than to buy. Economic indicators, such as historically high national rates of unemployment (8.8 percent as of March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor) and foreclosures, are likely driving this trend in most regions of the country. Yet, there are signs that the economy is improving....
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20 Percent Down: Too Much, Too Soon?
Valuation, Apryl Motley, 6/21/11
"Gail Lissner, SRA, of Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Like other stakeholders in the housing finance industry, appraisers have expressed concern about the 20 percent down-payment requirement proposed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve. The proposal would mandate a minimum 20 percent down payment on qualified residential mortgages as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act....
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Developers aim to keep deposits after rental shift
Crain's Chicago Business, Frank Kalman, 6/16/11
"... says Gail Lisner, vice-president of Appraisal Research."
The developers of a luxury Gold Coast condominium project may have given up on selling units in the building, but they're not letting go of the earnest-money deposits from would-be buyers. Ronald Shipka Sr. and Richard Stein gave up control of the Walton on the Park project in March to a venture controlled by the owners of Dart Container Corp., which is now aiming to rent the 160 unsold condos in the 189-unit project at 2 W. Delaware St....
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New Loop apartment tower leased to corporate housing firm
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 6/16/11
"... according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The developer of a new 329-unit apartment tower in the Loop has cut a deal to lease the entire building to a corporate housing provider. A venture led by Midwest Property Group Ltd. is leasing all the apartments to Los Angeles-based Oakwood Worldwide, a temporary-housing landlord with nearly 25,000 apartments worldwide. Hinsdale-based Midwest Property completed the building at 210 N. Wells St. last fall....
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Multihousing Markets Spur Activity and an IREJ Conference
REjournals.com, Staff Writer, 6/15/11
"Ron Devries, MAI, FRICS, will deliver a keynote address..."
The multifamily housing market in Chicago’s downtown and suburban markets continues to spark great interest, from renters and developers to buyers and money sources. It will be the focal point of a conference being held on Thursday, June 30 at the University Club of Chicago. The event is being hosted by the Illinois Real Estate Journal. According to reports produced by Appraisal Research Counselors, occupancy rates for the downtown and suburban markets were 93.9 percent and 93.6 percent, respectively. In both cases, these rates represented increases from the last quarter, and stable or increasing rates from the year earlier. Ron Devries, MAI, FRICS, a Vice President of Appraisal Research Counselors, will deliver a keynote address at the conference, to kick off the event....
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Suburban apartment complex sells for $33 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Todd J Behme, 6/13/11
"... according to Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors."
A San Francisco apartment investment firm paid $33 million last month for a 384-unit complex in Carol Stream, about a mile from its only other property in Illinois. Friedkin Realty Group paid about $86,000 a unit for Parkway Commons, an eight-building complex on Gundersen Drive in west suburban Carol Stream, according to DuPage County records. The firm financed the deal with a $26.4-million loan from government-owned Fannie Mae that was originated by Baltimore-based M&T Realty Capital Corp., DuPage records show....
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Condo developers face spate of suits over earnest money
Crain's Chicago Business, Frank Kalman, 6/9/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The developers of the One Museum Park West condominium project continue to battle former buyers in court as they try to attract new ones to the struggling 53-story South Loop building. A venture led by Ronald Shipka Sr. and Gerard Fogelson sued about 100 condo buyers more than two years ago in the Museum Park complex who wouldn't close on their units. While most of those cases have settled in favor of the developers, according to their lawyer, they still face at least 13 other lawsuits from buyers trying to collect earnest-money deposits on their units at One Museum Park West, a 298-unit high-rise at 1201 S. Prairie St. In the most recent case, Chicago couple Gerald and Marilyn Hall sued the Shipka-Fogelson venture to collect $59,050 — 10% of their $590,500 purchase price — in earnest money they paid in April 2007, according to a complaint filed May 3 in Cook County Circuit Court. Moreover, lawyer Robert McLaughlin says he represents eight other buyers who have sued the venture to get their earnest money back; his first case is scheduled to go to trial in September, says Mr. McLaughlin, a partner at law firm Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney Ltd. Amid the plunge in condo values in recent years, downtown condo developers have struggled to hold on to buyers who no longer want to close on their units, a factor that's pushing many of these instances to court, says Garry Benson, president and CEO of Garrison Partners, a Chicago-based residential marketing firm....
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South Loop condo developer sues to collect deposits
Crain's Chicago Business, Frank Kalman, 5/24/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The developer of a slow-selling South Loop condominium tower is suing buyers who won't close on 27 units, another reminder of the condo market's malaise. A venture controlled by Colin Kihnke, president of CMK Development Corp., is trying to collect deposits on the condos at 235 W. Van Buren St., a 714-unit high-rise the developer launched in 2007, just as the downtown market was sinking....
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Downtown Chicago Apartment Rents at Four-Year High
Urban Turf Chicago, Jacqueline Zenn, 5/19/11
"Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, told Crain’s..."
Downtown Chicago apartment rents have reached a four-year high, Crain’s reports. The demand for rental units hasn’t waned despite the number of new rental buildings on the market. Over 2,500 units have been added over the past year, and this figure doesn’t include condo units being rented out either by developers or individual owners....
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New venture to try its hand at Waterview site
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 5/11/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Yet another developer is taking a shot at the unfinished Waterview Tower, the 27-story concrete carcass on Wacker Drive. Related Midwest has signed a letter of intent to form a development joint venture with a group of creditors that now owns the failed condominium-and-hotel project at 111 W. Wacker Drive, according to a statement issued by both parties. Known best as a builder of condominium high-rises, the developer is likely to reconfigure the structure for apartments, a booming sector that is in the early stages of a construction wave. “It's a great apartment site,” says James Loewenberg, co-CEO of Magellan Development Group LLC, a Chicago-based residential developer that considered buying the project. “The question is converting it from its existing use. And the answer is ‘Why not?' — at the right price.” Originally envisioned as a 90-story skyscraper, the project has been idle since 2008, when its original developer, an affiliate of Chicago-based Teng & Associates Inc., ran out of money and workers walked off the job. Litigation followed, ending with a settlement last year giving ownership of the property to a group of creditors, including Bank of America Corp. Local developer Mark Goodman emerged as the leading contender to buy the Waterview project last fall, with a plan to retrofit it as a 60-story tower with a hotel and offices. But that plan fizzled, and Chicago developer Michael Reschke stepped up with his own office-and-hotel proposal that didn't pan out either....
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Flipping is back in style with Streeterville apartment tower sale
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 4/25/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
With apartment-building prices soaring once again, the owner of a 39-story Streeterville tower is about to pull off an old boom-era trick: the flip. Miami investor Crescent Heights is selling the 480-unit Cityfront Place for about $106 million, just 17 months after buying the riverside high-rise for $82 million, according to people familiar with the transaction. The sale shows just how much the real estate investment world has changed since 2009, when pessimism reigned and few investors had the money or the gumption to make big bets. Crescent Heights is “getting paid for taking a risk at a time when no one was willing to,” says Darren Sloniger, managing director of acquisitions at Marquette Cos., a Naperville-based firm that bid on the property. Now, it seems everyone wants in on the apartment market, which is booming as would-be homebuyers, unwilling to take a risk on a home purchase or unable to get a mortgage to finance one, rent instead. Effective rents at the most expensive downtown apartment buildings rose 7.2% last year and are expected to jump about the same in 2011, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm....
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Chicago’s Recovery Promises Higher Rents
Multi-Housing News, Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor, 4/13/11
"... According to Ron DeVries, vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Judging by the falling number of loan delinquencies, rising property values and increased rents for office buildings, Chicago’s commercial real estate shows signs of recovery from the credit crisis and recession. This will have a positive impact on mortgage payments, as landlords will find it easier to get new tenants and keep existing ones. For businesses, this means the end of very low-priced rents, as statistics show that the landlords will most probably increase the rents. Also, investors are back in the high-end market and have already started driving up prices on some of Chicago’s top apartment buildings and office towers. One such property is the Hyatt Center in the West Loop, sold by the Pritzker family in December for $625 million....
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DuPage apartment complex to sell for $50 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 4/13/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
An Iowa investor is paying about $50 million for a 700-unit apartment building in Downers Grove, a wager that suburban rents will continue to rise amid a booming multifamily market. BH Management Services Inc. is expected to close soon on its acquisition of Prentiss Creek, a 33-acre property at 2110 Prentiss Drive in the west suburb, according to people familiar with the transaction. The sale is yet another sign of the strength of the apartment market, a favored sector these days as the pendulum in the housing market has shifted away from owning and toward renting. The seller is a joint venture including RAIT Financial Trust, a Philadelphia-based real estate investment trust and the lender that financed the property in 2007, when Los Angeles-based Jem Realty Advisors Inc. acquired it for $44 million. The RAIT joint venture with Philadelphia apartment investor PRG Real Estate Management Inc. took over the complex in 2008....
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Investor bails out developers on Gold Coast condo project
Appraisal Research Counselors, Alby Gallun, 3/30/11
"... says Appraisal Research Vice-President Gail Lissner, ..."
Developers Ronald Shipka and Richard Stein have achieved an extraordinary feat in today’s real estate market: They have found a wealthy investor to pay off an $82- million construction loan on a slowselling Gold Coast condominium project. The Dart family, owners of cupmaker Dart Container Corp., emerged earlier this month as a last-minute savior for the developers, who were getting ready to surrender Walton on the Park to its lender, ST Residential LLC. Without enough condo sales to pay off the maturing construction loan on the 189-unit luxury project, the developers needed a minor miracle, and the Darts delivered it....
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Long-troubled South Loop tower adapting to economy - Lexington goes rental
Chicago Journal, Matthew Blake, 3/23/11
"... says Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors."
A 35-story South Loop high-rise that stood completely vacant for 18 months will start renting out all its 333 units — units that were originally supposed to be sold as condos. ST Residential, the property owner of the Lexington Park building at 2138 S. Indiana Ave., announced the decision last week. “We’ve been taking a look at the rental market, which has been improving,” said Peter Marino, a spokesman for ST. “[Renting] is a greater asset in the short term to selling.”...
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Chicago's McCaffery scores a bargain on troubled Roosevelt Road project
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 3/22/11
"...says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
A joint venture including developer Dan McCaffery is buying one of Chicago's biggest boom-era real estate projects to go bust: Roosevelt Collection, a South Loop retail-and-apartment complex that is expected to sell for about half the $350 million it cost to build. People familiar with the transaction say Mr. McCaffery and Los Angeles-based investment firm Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC have agreed to buy the project at Wells Street and Roosevelt Road from Centrum Properties Inc., a Chicago-based developer that broke ground in 2007, just as the real estate market was peaking....
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Grubb & Ellis For Sale?
BisNow, 3/22/11
THE CROWD GOES WILD - Yesterday we brought you the show, but today we bring you the audience from our second annual Bisnow Multifamily Summit at the Metropolitan Club on Friday morning. We snapped Northmarq's Susan Blumberg, Appraisal Research Counselors' Ron DeVries, and Freddie Mac's Joyce Judah celebrating Susan's latest success, a refi of the 553-unit Wacker Plaza (233 N Columbus). The $55M loan came from Fannie Mae (don't tell Joyce, she'll be jealous). Ron's always working on researching apartment trends in Chicago and tells us he sees rental rates on the rise.
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Rentals Rule the Chicago Market as Housing Sales Stall
Today's Chicago Woman, Terri Ryan, 3/20/11
"...according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The rental market in Chicago continues to be the choice for many would-be home owners in Chicago. Instead of buying a home for an investment many are opting to rent an apartment. This is bad news for those that want to sell their home in Chicago and the suburbs, where the news is even more dismal, in most areas. So why are people renting instead of buying homes, especially when there is an abundant supply of housing available at prices not seen since 2000? To understand our current situation we need to first look at the history of the housing boom. Home ownership rates in the Chicago MSA went from 55.3% in 1993 to 64% in 1995, climbing further to a historic rate of 71.2% in the third quarter of 2006....
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Landlord facing foreclosure blames slow-paying tenants
Crain's Chicago Business, Frank Kalman, 3/16/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
A landlord with a past-due $13.3- million loan on a pair of south suburban apartment properties has offered an excuse every owner would love to make: The tenants are slow paying the rent. A venture managed by Chicago apartment investor Joseph Junkovic hasn’t made a mortgage payment since October on a 240-unit property in Alsip and a 72-unit property about two miles away in Merrionette Park, according to a foreclosure complaint filed by an affiliate of LNR Partners LLC in Cook County Circuit Court. Florida-based LNR represents investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities that include the loan on 4045 W. 127th St. in Alsip and 3044 W. 119th St. in Merrionette Park, according to the complaint, filed March 6. When the venture was contacted about the missed payments, “the borrower responded that they are waiting on the tenants to make their payments, but the tenants are slow to pay,” according to a report on the loan compiled by Bloomberg L.P....
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South Loop condo tower converting to apartments
Crain's Chicago Business, Andrew Schroedter, 3/15/11
"...according to Chicago-based Appraisal Research Counselors."
Another failed South Loop condominium project — the 333-unit Lexington Park — is going rental about 10 months after its Irish builder abandoned the development. ST Residential LLC, the current owner of the highrise at 2138 S. Indiana Ave., plans to list units in the building for rent within the next three months, with move-ins starting by late summer, an ST spokesman says. ST, a joint venture led by Greenwich, Conn.- based Starwood Capital Group and TPG Capital of Fort Worth, Texas, took control of the 35-story tower in May after Lexington Park's developer, Limerick, Ireland-based Chieftain Group Ltd., relinquished the struggling project through a socalled deed-in-lieu of foreclosure....
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Market Conditions: Are Rents About to Skyrocket Downtown?
Crib Chatter, Sabrina, 3/15/11
"...according to Chicago-based Appraisal Research Counselors."
There has been lots of talk both locally and nationally that rents are about to take off. Renters beware: Double-digit rent hikes may be coming soon amid rental vacancy rates that have dipped below the 10 percent mark, where they had been lodged for most of the past three years. “Young people are starting to get rid of their roommates and move out of their parent’s basements,” said Peggy Alford, president of Rent.com, predicting the vacancy rate will hover at a mere 5 percent by 2012. With fewer units on the market, prices will explode. Rent hikes have averaged less than 1 percent a year during the past decade, according to Commerce Department statistics, adjusted for inflation. Now, Alford expects rents to spike 7 percent or so in each of the next two years — to a national average that will top $800 per month....
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Discouraged home sellers find success in rental market
Northwestern University - Medill News Service, Lily Cunge Cai, 3/9/11
"Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, agreed..."
Patricia William, a retired loan mortgage officer for University of Chicago Housing Services, listed her 2,000-square-foot Hyde Park condo for $320,000 last March. It didn't sell, she dropped the price, it still didn't sell. She was reluctant to consider renting because, she said, “either people are not respectful to the property, or it’s just another house to take care of and be responsible for.” Nevertheless, with no luck getting the property sold, William took a friend’s suggestion and showed her condo to some potential renters....
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The Condo Lending Conundrum: Blackballed Buildings
Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter, Carol Vansickle, 3/6/11
"...says Gail Lissner, vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors in Chicago."
Whether you are a real estate investor or just a buyer looking for a great deal on a condo, the market in many areas of the country for condos has some of the best deals in years thanks to low interest rates and the best home affordability levels in decade. However, even if you have fantastic credit and a huge down payment, if your dream condo is in the wrong building than no amount of qualifying will get you a loan...
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Market Conditions: Condo Buyers (and Sellers) Now Facing Blackballed Buildings
Crib Chatter, Sabrina, 3/1/11
"Added Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
How hard is it to get a condo loan in Chicago these days? In some buildings, it’s impossible, as they appear on mortgage lenders “blackballed list” which means they won’t lend in the building. Real estate agents and lenders say they are seeing more developers, condo associations and individual owners in economic distress, and, as a result, so are buildings. “Anybody who can’t hang on anymore, that stuff is starting to come out,” said Eric Rojas, a Prudential Rubloff agent in Chicago. “We have people who want to buy units and sellers who want to sell units, and it’s not going to happen.” Added Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors: “Someone told me it’s called mortgage jail because you just can’t get out. That’s a scary problem.”...
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Condo deals die in shadows of financially distressed buildings
Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, 2/28/11
"... Added Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Buyers aren't the only ones who have to pass lenders' test; high percentage of rentals, foreclosed units put some condo buildings on 'blackballed' list - Condo buyers who sat out last year's real estate market, waiting for prices to bottom or their own financial footing to improve, find themselves in an enviable situation. Prices have plunged, and mortgage interest rates, while slowly rising, remain near 5 percent, creating the best home affordability in decades for consumers who qualify for loans. There's just one problem. It's not just the borrower who has to be up to snuff, it's the building, too, and in the Chicago area there are plenty of buildings that lenders won't touch....
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Suburban apartment rents up 7.4% in fourth quarter
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 2/28/11
"Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors, forecasts..."
Business is good for suburban apartment landlords, but it would be even better if the job market picked up. The median net rent at suburban apartments hit $1.15 a square foot in the fourth quarter, the same as in the third quarter but up 7.4% from a year earlier, according to a report by Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicagobased consulting firm. Net rent, which includes concessions like free rent, was at its highest level since Appraisal Research began tracking the suburban market in 2003....
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215 West, 200 Squared, Astoria Tower lead new towers in 4Q leases
Yo Chicago, Joseph Askins, 2/18/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
More than half of all the leases signed at downtown’s eight newest rental high-rises in 4Q 2010 were concentrated in three buildings: 215 West and 200 Squared in the Loop, and Astoria Tower in the South Loop, according to data provided in the 3Q and 4Q Downtown Chicago Residential Benchmark Reports from Appraisal Research Counselors....
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Downtown condo sales hit new low in 2010
Crain's Chicago Business, Eddie Baeb, 2/14/11
"... says Appraisal Research Vice-President Gail Lissner..."
Last year ended on a negative note, literally, for the downtown condominium market. Developers of downtown condos and townhomes lost more contracts than they inked in the fourth quarter, posting a -19 net sales figure, down from 111 in the third quarter and 148 sales in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to a report by Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors....
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Chicago commercial real estate market dodges collapse, begins recovery
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 2/14/11
Appraisal Research's analysis cited in article
The local commercial real estate market is coming back, defying expectations of a prolonged collapse like the one that decimated the housing market. Loan delinquencies are falling, property values are rising and leasing is picking up at the area's office buildings, shopping malls and warehouses, signs that the market is in the early stages of a broad-based recovery. Though it is far from reclaiming the ground lost in the deepest downturn since the early 1990s, Chicago clearly will avoid the devastating crash many predicted two years ago. “Eighteen to 24 months ago, people were saying commercial real estate was the next shoe to drop,” says Bob Bach, senior vice-president and chief economist at Santa Ana, Calif.-based commercial real estate firm Grubb & Ellis Co. “We've come a long way from there, where the worst seems to have passed.”...
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If “The Rent Is Too Damned High”, Then It’s Time To Buy, It’s Cheaper.
ForecloseChicago, ForecloseChicago, 2/13/11
"... said Ron DeVries, vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors."
Dodged a rent increase in 2010? Don’t assume you’ll be so lucky this year. Demand is outstripping supply, meaning landlords both downtown and in the suburbs have many existing and prospective tenants just where they want them. And property managers know it. Last year, landlords were able to push through rent hikes of about 7 percent. This year, rents are expected to rise by an additional 7 percent to 8 percent, particularly in newer buildings downtown, according to a forecast by Appraisal Research Counselors....
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Spring to bring rent increases
Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, 2/11/11
"... said Ron DeVries, vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors."
Strong demand for apartments gives landlords the leverage to push for more - Dodged a rent increase in 2010? Don't assume you'll be so lucky this year. Demand is outstripping supply, meaning landlords both downtown and in the suburbs have many existing and prospective tenants just where they want them. And property managers know it. Last year, landlords were able to push through rent hikes of about 7 percent. This year, rents are expected to rise by an additional 7 percent to 8 percent, particularly in newer buildings downtown, according to a forecast by Appraisal Research Counselors....
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Time to decide
Yo Chicago, Joseph Askins, 2/11/11
"Appraisal Research Counselors Vice President Gail Lissner, noting to Crain’s..."
“The first thing developers are doing is talking to their banks. It’s really kind of decision time.” - Appraisal Research Counselors Vice President Gail Lissner, noting to Crain’s that busted-out condo developments will be the biggest contributor to downtown Chicago’s supply of apartments this year. Seven buildings in the downtown market have more than 150 unsold units, according to Appraisal Research’s latest residential benchmark report. Rents could rise by 7% to 8% among downtown’s top-tier buildings in 2011, and overall occupancy could reach 98%. says Appraisal Research. 2/11/2011 Quote of the day: Time to decide.
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Chicago Rent Will Go Up: Apartment Prices Expected To Rise This Year
CBS2 Chicago, CBS Chicago, 2/11/11
"Appraisal Research Counselors say..."
Appraisal Research Counselors say you will still find some concessions, such as a month of free rent or a free flat screen TV. But by spring, those will vanish....
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Rents Expected To Go Up In Chicago
CBS2 Chicago, Felicia Middlebrooks, 2/11/11
"Appraisal Research Counselors say..."
If you’re renting an apartment and you live in the Chicago area, you might need to tweak your budget to allow for another increase. As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Felicia Middlebrooks reports, the hike could happen later this year....
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Apartment developers enjoy upswing as rents rise; condo woes deepen, analysts sa
Crain's Chicago Business, Eddie Baeb, 2/10/11
"... said Ron DeVries, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
The downtown residential market has become one of joy and despair. There’s joy and hope for apartment developers and owners, who are at least partially benefitting from the despair of the condominium guys. During the condo boom last decade, developers raced to put up new buildings while many existing apartment towers were converted to condos — reducing the apartment supply. Now, with home ownership numbers falling and condo prices sunk to 2002 levels, many city dwellers are opting to rent rather than own. “We keep setting records every year in terms of the number of units rented,” said Ron DeVries, a vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors, speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Chicago consulting firm....
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Slow sales sink Arlington Heights condo conversion
Crain's Chicago Business, Frank Kalman, 2/1/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors...."
Stuck with 39 unsold condominiums in a depressed residential market, the developer of a 240-unit condo conversion in Arlington Heights now has something else he doesn't want: a $5- million foreclosure suit. A venture led by Roselle developer Walter Ascher defaulted on a loan secured by the 39 units in the Ashton Condominiums, according to a lawsuit filed last month by Elgin-based Union National Bank. The suit suggests the clock simply ran out on Mr. Ascher, who launched the project at 2400 S. Goebbert Road back in 2006, when the condo market was peaking. The Ashton was one of 21 suburban condo conversions started in 2006, totaling 5,120 units, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. But many developers got stuck with unsold condos as the market soured, without the sales proceeds to pay off construction loans....
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Realtors’ 2011 Forecast: “Ho-Hum”
Chicago Magazine, Dennis Rodkin, 1/26/11
"... insisted Russ Haraus, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors."
On Tuesday, the latest data from the Case Shiller Index showed that among the country’s 20 largest cities, Chicago-area home values for November 2010 took the second-largest fall from the year before. Prices were down 7.6 percent from November 2009; only Atlanta, at 7.9 percent, fell further. With home prices here stuck for most of the past year at 2002 levels (the latest drop took them back to the early months of that year), it’s no surprise that about 150 real-estate agents converged on the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza for the Chicago Association of Realtors’ (CAR) annual economic forecast last Thursday, each of them eager for insights into what might happen in 2011....
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Near South Side will keep rising
Chicago Journal, Don DeBat, 1/26/11
"Real estate appraiser Gail Lissner of Appraisal Research Counselors noted..."
The economy may be gloomy and the next real estate boom likely is a few years away, but the emerging Near South Side is on a path to be a high-demand Chicago neighborhood, urban planners say. “When the recession ends and new high-rise apartments, condos and homes are developed over the next decade, the new Near South Side eventually will generate millions of dollars of real estate tax revenue for the city,” predicted real estate investor Howard Weitzman of Weitzman Realty Associates, LLC. It’s likely that much of the city’s future lakefront housing will be developed between now and 2020 in the South Loop and Near South Side, surrounding McCormick Place, planners say....
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Cityfront Place Up For Sale
Best Chicago Condos, 1/21/11
"Appraisal Research Counselors VP Ron DeVries was quoted..."
With all of the recent news about Chicago real estate developers pushing new rental tower construction plans, we also see that investors are paying attention to opportunities as well. Crescent Heights of Miami, the developer who recently bought 205 units in Astoria Tower for $45 million, has decided to sell one of their other relatively recent purchases. Cityfront Place, the 39 story, 480 unit Streeterville apartment tower located on 400 North McClurg Court, is now being marketed by CB Richard Ellis according to a Crain’s report....
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Predictions
BisNow, Maureen Wilkey, 1/21/11
"Appraisal Research Counselors' Russ Haraus says...
Now that we're three weeks into 2011, we think everyone in the industry has stated their opinion, from mortgage lending to the Bears' Super Bowl chances. So today we bring you the last (maybe) of this year's forecasts. Now who's ready for a year in review?...
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Experts see weak housing market in the first half of 2011
Northwestern University - Medill News Service, Lily Cunge Cai, 1/21/11
"... said Russel Haraus, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors."
The housing market will remain distressed in the first half of the year amid rising foreclosures, panelists predicted Thursday evening at the Chicago Association of Realtors’ annual economic forecasting event. The group’s grim outlook came on the heels of a report by the National Association of Realtors showing a bigger-than-expected 12.3 increase in sales of previously owned homes in December. That report may have overstated the health of the residential market, said Russel Haraus, vice president and manager of the single-family residential division of Chicago-based Appraisal Research Counselors.“December was not a good indicator because many foreclosures were taken out of the mix in November,” he said....
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Streeterville apartments could fetch $100 million
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 1/19/11
"... says Ron DeVries, vice-president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
A Miami developer has decided to sell a 480-unit Streeterville apartment tower about a year after buying it for $82 million, betting that the hot multifamily investment market will produce a quick profit. Crescent Heights has hired the Chicago office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. to sell Cityfront Place, a 39-story building at 400 N. McClurg Court that could fetch $100 million or more. That would represent a hefty gain for Crescent Heights, reminiscent of the real estate boom that ended in 2008....
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Downtown apartment boom after condo market collapse
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 1/17/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors..."
With rents on the rise and lenders loosening up, downtown apartment developers are back in business. Developers have begun construction on two apartment towers, a 313-unit project in the Loop and a 324-unit building on the Near North Side, the first big multifamily developments here in two years. At least seven other developers are shopping for financing for projects totaling more than 3,400 units, aiming to capitalize on a rebounding downtown market that could soon face a shortage of apartments....
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Downtown apartment tower competes on price
Crain's Chicago Business, Andrew Schroedter, 1/13/11
"... according to a recent report from Appraisal Research Counselors..."
A venture led by developer Jay Javors is undercutting new downtown rental buildings as it tries to lease up a 42-story apartment tower in the North Loop. Tenants have leased 43 units in 200 Squared since November, when the 82-unit first phase of the building at 210 N. Wells St. was completed. The rental effort launched even though key amenities, such as the fitness center and the swimming pool, aren't scheduled to be completed until March, when the remaining units in the 247 units tower are also expected to be finished. “To get people in, they've needed to give away the store,” says Steven Fifield, president of Chicagobased Fifield Cos., which developed the high-end Alta at K Station apartment towers, just west of River North. Yet the move comes as the downtown apartment market favors landlords. Demand has outpaced supply and the depressed condominium market and shaky economy have encouraged more people to rent instead of buying. The occupancy rate for Class A downtown apartments rose to 94.7% in the third quarter, up from 94.5% in the second quarter and 91.1% a year earlier, according to a recent report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicagobased residential consulting firm....
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Condo owners oppose sale to mental-health non-profit
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 1/12/11
"... according to Appraisal Research Counselors."
West Side Alderman Walter Burnett is blocking a plan to convert 20 units in a West Loop condominium project into housing for mental-health patients after getting an earful from building residents adamantly opposed to the idea. The alderman has told Mesirow Financial, which developed the project at 659 W. Randolph St., and Thresholds, the non-profit that would buy the condos and rent them out to clients, to meet with residents of the building and try to sell them on the proposal. The plan won't go anywhere unless they succeed....
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Is Controversy Brewing Over Developer’s Plan to Sell Remaining Units?
Crib Chatter, Sabrina, 1/6/11
"... says Gail Lissner, vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Crain’s is reporting that Mesirow, which holds the remaining units still for sale at 659 W. Randolph, in the West Loop, is trying to sell them to a non-profit group. From Crain’s: The real estate unit of the Chicago-based firm wants to convert 19 unsold condos in the building at 659 W. Randolph St. into housing for recovering mental-health patients who are ready to live independently but still need help getting back on their feet....
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Mental health non-profit wants to buy Mesirow condos
Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, 1/5/11
"... says Gail Lissner, vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors..."
With the downtown condominium market stuck in a funk, Mesirow Financial has come up with a novel way to sell out a 237-unit project in the West Loop. But selling the building’s residents on the idea could be tough. The real estate unit of the Chicago-based firm wants to convert 19 unsold condos in the building at 659 W. Randolph St. into housing for recovering mental-health patients who are ready to live independently but still need help getting back on their feet. Mesirow would sell the condos to Thresholds, a local non-profit that specializes in treating people with mental illness or addictions, which would then rent them out to its clients, according to a proposal before the City Council....
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Fact or Fiction? Chicago Association of REALTORS® 2011 Economic Forecast
Chicago Realtor, 1/4/11
Economic Forecast Panelists include Russ Haraus, VP, Appraisal Research Counselors..."
Insight invaluable to 2011 success in real estate will be presented at the Chicago Association of REALTORS® 2011 Economic Forecast, held on Thursday, Jan. 20, at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N. Orleans St., Chicago, at 3:30 p.m. “Distinguishing Fact from Fiction” will prepare residential and commercial practitioners to take advantage of trends ahead in Chicago real estate. Topics addressed will include strategic business opportunities, finding credit, appraisals, the outlook for home sales, and the real meaning of short sales and foreclosures. Special attention will be paid to the state of Chicago’s condo market....
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Will Chicago think big after Daley?
Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin, 1/2/11
"... says Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors."
The rulers of ancient Rome stamped their presence on the landscape with arches and aqueducts. In modern-day Chicago, outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley will leave his own indelible mark: A plenitude of projects that stretches into nearly every corner of the city , from the glistening "Bean" in Millennium Park to the miles of shrub-filled median planters that soften Chicago's harsh streets. This was a mayor with a passion to build. By combining the roles of chief politician and chief planner, Daley became the ultimate shaper of Chicago's city scape. There was no denying his authority over the cityscape — just as there is no denying the deep anxiety his departure has spawned among the city 's architects and builders. Chicago, they worry, will go from being a city in overdrive to a city on hold. By leaving the city treasury in such bad shape, Daley almost guaranteed it would be tough for his successor to build the kind of public works that burnished Chicago's global stature during his reign. The still-struggling economy will make it even tougher to match the glory of Daley's greatest triumph, Millennium Park, which cost about $500 million and replaced a dusty railroad yard with a spectacular collection of contemporary art and architecture. "I hope the intensity remains," said Chicago developer Dan McCaffrey, who wants to turn the vast former U.S. Steel plant on the southeast lakefront into a thriving, mixed-use community. "People in City Hall knew that when the mayor had endorsed something, it was aggressively pursued. Y ou could feel the difference. It was palpable." "Any new mayor has got to realize that being a green city has become a part of Chicago as much as hot dogs," said Ben Helphand, president of the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, which is pushing for an elevated park, nearly three miles long, on a dormant Northwest Side railroad spur. But as about a dozen candidates v ie to succeed Daley, voters could be forgiven for having little idea whether the would-be rulers want to push forward with Daley's drive to make Chicago "the greenest city in America." Only five candidates attended a mayoral forum on the environment in early December, with frontrunner Rahm Emanuel noticeable by his absence....
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