MCZ Development sues Streeterville condo board over attempts to thwart purchases

The board didn’t like MCZ gobbling up units; MCZ didn’t like the board evicting residents

540 North Lake Shore Drive (Credit: Streetervillehomes.com)
540 North Lake Shore Drive (Credit: Streetervillehomes.com)

MCZ Development is suing a Streeterville condo board over rules changes it claims are aimed at thwarting the firm’s attempts to buy units in the building.

The company has spent as much as $12.8 million buying condos at 540 North Lake Shore Drive, in some cases letting the sellers remain in the units rent-free temporarily, after the sales, Crain’s reported.

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The building association’s board last week voted to give itself the authority to evict such residents by changing the definition of a leased unit. The new rules would not only cover those paying rent, but also those “wherein possession of a unit is provided prior to or after transfer of title,” according to MCZ’s suit. The suit said the board violated state condo laws by changing the association’s declarations without the required approval of 51 percent of owners.

Records show MCZ has spent at least $8.1 million buying 24 condos in the building, though an MCZ attorney said the number is actually 31 units, which Crain’s estimated would mean an investment of as much as $12.8 million.

“They bypassed the rules to stick it to our client,” said Bill Choslovsky, an attorney who represents MCZ in the case, told Crain’s. “If you want to change the declarations because you don’t want (my client) buying condos in your building, there’s a legal way to do that. But you can’t do an end run around the law.” [Crain’s]John O’Brien