Here are the top 5 Chicago-area multifamily investment sales of February

Top sales included two new West Loop buildings, a UIC student complex and a Bronzeville building
By Alex Nitkin |
Research by Haru Coryne
March 19, 2019 03:00PM

From top left clockwise: Kenect, 504 North Green Street, Circa 922, 922 West Washington Boulevard, and 606 East Woodland Park Avenue (Credit: YoChicago and Redfin)

Three apartment complexes on the city’s Near West Side were the priciest multifamily properties to change hands in the Chicago area last month, each selling for at least $60 million.

But the sagas of the top two buildings, both completed since 2015, could be red flags the city’s high-end apartment market. Akara Partners and CA Ventures sold their 227-unit Kenect development after two years and two separate stints on the market, and Clarion Partners swallowed a $11.5 million loss on its 149-unit Circa 922 complex in the West Loop.

The list also includes a renovated student housing facility near University Village, a 168-unit portion of a fractured condo complex in Bronzeville and an 84-unit apartment community in suburban Chicago Ridge.

The five sales combined for nearly $239 million in value, more than doubling the $115 million paid in January’s top five multifamily trades but falling just short of the $245 million spent on December’s highest-valued sales.

All prices are drawn from Cook County property records.

504 North Green Street | $85.5 million

Akara Partners and CA Ventures originally tried to sell their 227-unit Kenect apartment complex in 2017, a year after they finished it, but they later pulled it off the market. They tried again late last year, leading to a $85.5 million sale to Chicago-based Newcastle Limited last month.

The development, which also includes 13,000 square feet of retail space, joined several other Newcastle acquisitions in the past year.

In May, the firm bought a 2,200-square-foot retail space on the ground floor of the residential tower at 2 West Delaware Place in the Gold Coast for $11.6 million. Weeks later, it acquired a two-story retail building at 2368 North Clark Street in Lincoln Park for $6.1 million.

2. 922 West Washington Boulevard | $63 million

New York-based Clarion Partners took a big loss on the 149-unit Circa 922 complex when it sold it to Pacific Life Insurance Company for $63 million last month. Four years earlier, Clarion paid $74.5 million to acquire the 149-unit complex.

Clarion hired CBRE last summer to market the apartments, which are divided between a 45-unit loft building and a larger 104-unit complex. The development was completed in 2015.

3. 847 West Jackson Boulevard | $60 million

California-based NB Private Capital bought the 477-bed Tailor Lofts student housing complex, which sits a block from the UIC-Halsted CTA Blue Line station near the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

The seller, Chicago-based Blue Vista, spent $16 million in 2007 to acquire what then was an office building. In 2010, Blue Star leveraged $10 million in historic tax credits to convert the building into student apartments. The total construction cost was $59 million.

The sale was NB Capital’s second purchase of a student housing complex since last year, when it paid $73.5 million to buy The Buckingham building in the South Loop.

4. 606 East Woodland Park Avenue | $23.5 million

Brothers Jon and Julian Mickelson paid $23.5 million for 168 of the 240 units in this fractured condo complex in Bronzeville. That’s more than triple the $7 million the seller, the Luzzatto Company, spent on the units in 2010 before renovating them.

The complex sits a few blocks south of the former site of the Michael Reese Hospital, where Farpoint Development is leading a team selected by city leaders to build a 50-acre mega-development.

The Mickelson brothers’ company, called South Side Stories Property Management, has been investing in Bronzeville properties since 2007.

5. 10350 South Ridgeland Avenue, Chicago Ridge | $6.7 million

The Chicago-based Bender Company bought the 84-unit Ridgeland Court Apartments in south suburban Park Ridge from a trust.

Bender is re-branding the complex as “Ridgeland Station” because of the Metra train stop on the property’s doorstep, Bender principal Kurt Bender said.

The company owns a portfolio of some 400 apartments spread among multiple suburbs in Illinois and in southwest Michigan.