The Real Deal Chicago

Related Realty to close; Replacement will focus on selling Related Midwest properties

The full-service brokerage will re-emerge this month as the smaller in-house Related Midwest Sales
By Alex Nitkin | October 10, 2018 05:30PM

Dina Lewis, Erin Ward, Gwen Farinella

Related Midwest will whittle down its sales arm and focus exclusively on marketing the company’s own properties, ending its five-year run operating a full-service brokerage.

Related Realty will be replaced this month with Related Midwest Sales, a “boutique brokerage” charged with selling homes built by the development giant, a company spokesperson told The Real Deal.

The spokesperson said the move will allow the company to focus on its core business at a time when it has a significant amount of development in the pipeline.

Shrinking to a “a small group of veteran development-sales brokers best aligns with our growth strategy,” the spokesperson added in an email.

Related Midwest is a subsidiary of the New York-based Related Companies, which estimates its worldwide assets are valued around $50 billion.

Related Realty counts 45 brokers marketing condos and single-family homes across dozens of Chicago neighborhoods. As of Wednesday, the company had 133 units listed or under contract.

The company is eliminating most of the broker positions as it narrows its staff to a “small group of veteran development-sales brokers,” the spokesperson said. Patrick Ryan, managing broker of Related Realty, will leave the company amid the downsizing.

Veteran brokers Gwen Farinella and Erin Ward will stay on at Related Midwest Sales, as will former Douglas Elliman broker Dina Lewis, who joined Related in August.

Related this year launched its first round of marketing for The 78, the barren 62-acre patch of the South Loop the company plans to spend decades transforming into a 13 million-square-foot hive of residential and office properties. Amazon leaders paid a visit to the site last month, suggesting it’s still being considered as the future home of HQ2.

The company began pre-leasing in July for apartments in the Robert A. M. Stern-designed One Bennett Park, which is set to become the city’s tallest all-residential tower when it opens next month.

Related also unveiled a proposal this spring for a pair of residential skyscrapers at 400 North Lake Shore Drive,  formerly the planned site of Santiago Calatrava’s ill-fated Chicago Spire.

And the company is teaming up with Heartland Housing and the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation on a mixed-income redevelopment of the Chicago Housing Authority’s 80-year-old Lathrop Homes, which accepted its first crop of new tenants this year.

Ryan did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.