Elite Lincoln Park private school accused of shady condo buy

Belden by the Park condo association says Francis W. Parker school secretly bought 4 units after bulk sale offer was denied

TRD CHICAGO /
May.May 21, 2020 05:05 PM
 Mike Demetriou and Francis W. Parker School (Credit: Google Maps)

Mike Demetriou and Francis W. Parker School (Credit: Google Maps)

A condominium board in Lincoln Park is suing Francis W. Parker School on claims that the elite private school used straw buyers to secretly — and fraudulently — buy up condos in the building.

The private school, with tuition at nearly $40,000 a year, began buying individual condos after the board of Belden by the Park rejected its $11.2 million offer to buy the century-old building to aid a larger expansion, according to the Chicago Tribune. It also unsuccessfully attempted to buy a nearby building for $19 million.

By January, the school had “secretly” acquired six of the 15 units in the Belden by the Park building.

According to the lawsuit, Mike Demetriou, a member of the Parker School board and the head of real estate firm Baum Realty Group, bought four units through a company he controlled after the bulk sale offer was denied.

The lawsuit alleges he committed common-law fraud and conspired to commit fraud. The suit also names Matthew Kirst, the former head of the condo association, for allegedly helping Parker School. Demetriou did not respond to a Tribune call for comment and Kirst declined comment.

Parker board of trustees president Rika Yoshida is married to Joe Mansueto, the billionaire founder of Morningstar.

[Tribune] — James Kleimann

 

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