Condo deconversions are back, at least in Lakeview

North Park Ventures acquired 115-unit complex after Covid scuttled deal

North Park Ventures co-founder Robert Secula and Barry Quad rental complex in Lakeview. (Google Maps)
North Park Ventures co-founder Robert Secula and Barry Quad rental complex in Lakeview. (Google Maps)

A year after the pandemic scuttled North Park Ventures’ attempt to buy out a Lakeview condo complex and convert it into rentals, a similar deal has been completed.

A group led by North Park paid $32.3 million for the 115-unit Barry Quad, according to Crain’s. The buyers won at least 85 percent of condo owners’ support, the minimum required for a bulk sale. In October 2019, Chicago upped the threshold from 75 percent as a deconversion craze was sweeping the city.

North Park and a different partner had reached a deal in late 2019 for the Barry Quad, a three-building complex along the 800 block of West Barry Street. But when the pandemic set in, that collapsed, the report noted. A new, unnamed investor later came in.

North Park said it will put money into renovating the units at the more than century-old property. This will be the complex’s second conversion. It was changed from rentals to condos in the early 1980s.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Barry Quad condo owners in August 2019 looked to sell the complex for $36 million, or around $313,000 per unit. Condo deconversions in Chicago were starting to heat up at the time as the rental market boomed and investors and developers sought to cash in.

Although deconversions didn’t suddenly stop after the rule change, there have been far fewer of them: The 85 percent approval required for a bulk buyout led to higher prices and lengthier negotiations. And Covid put the brakes on deals.

In addition to Barry Quad, another failed buyout may get another shot. Strategic Properties of North America recently bid again to deconvert a 467-unit River North condo tower, Crain’s reported. What would have been the biggest condo deconversion in Chicago history fell apart last August when condo owners rejected Strategic’s $188 million offer for the 51-story tower at 10 East Ontario Street.

[Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman