On again, off again Gold Coast condo deconversion is back on again

New York-based ESG Kullen finally won approval for its $92M plan to convert 2 East Oak back to rentals
July 18, 2019 03:00PM

ESG Kullen’s Eric Granowsky and 2 East Oak Street

ESG Kullen’s Eric Granowsky and 2 East Oak Street

ESG Kullen is cleared to close its latest Gold Coast condo deconversion after running into a roadblock last month.

Condo owners at 2 East Oak Street voted to accept the New York firm’s $92 million offer buy all 309 units in the building with plans to convert them back into rentals, according to Crain’s.

Illinois law requires at least 75 percent of building ownership to vote in favor of a bulk sale in order for the deal to go through.

Only 68.6 percent of ownership at 2 East Oak approved of the plan in the first round of voting, but the condo board decided in late June to keep counting ballots for another three weeks since 12 percent of owners hadn’t voted. The board this week released a final tally showing 76.1 percent of owners in favor and 18 percent against.

Deconversions have been growing in popularity in recent years from investors seeking to get a bigger piece of Chicago’s hot rental market.

ESG has been active on the deconversion front, paying $112 million for a 391-unit building on North Lake Shore Drive in what is the priciest such deal in city history. The firm also recently paid $38 million for 250 condos at 1140 North LaSalle Drive.

[Crain’s]John O’Brien