Albion Residential took out a $94.2 million loan for one of the largest multifamily acquisitions in suburban Chicago this year.
The property, the Birchwood on Sterling at 975 Sterling Avenue, is a 719-unit apartment complex in Palatine. The property, which sits on a 52-acre lot, changed hands in a $107.8 million deal, Cook County records show. The complex was previously owned by CSC Palatine Apartments LLC, which is managed by investor Chase Chavin.
The sale ranks as the second most expensive multifamily sale in Chicago this year, according to a TRD analysis of property records. The highest price for a multifamily asset paid this year is $175 million. FPA Multifamily paid that amount for its acquisition of McClurg Court at 333 Ontario Street in Downtown Chicago. The biggest single-asset transaction in Chicago this year is for RMR Group’s purchase of Google’s Midwest headquarters. The Fulton Market office complex was acquired in a $354.8 million deal, according to property records.
In a Crain’s post from last month, Albion head Jason Koehn said that his firm plans to spend $23 million to renovate the complex. Voya Investment Management is the lender for the mortgage.
The property, which opened in the 1970s as a rental complex, has a history of legal entanglements. In the late 2000s, its owners were unable to offload units as the condo market crashed. This led to years of lawsuits, culminating in a criminal mortgage fraud case that led to prison sentences for people connected to the property. In 2018, the property once again figured in a legal dispute, this time among investors who wanted to block a sale. The plaintiffs claimed that the property was worth more than the $49 million offer from a buyer.
Albion, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is focused on Midwestern luxury rentals, according to its website. Its other projects in Illinois include the Albion Evanston at 1500 Sherman Avenue, Albion Oak Park at 1000 Lake Street and Albion Highland Park at 1850 Green Bay Road. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.