The recession hit many in the real estate world hard, but it also created some opportunities. Cleveland-based APM Management LLC, for example, just paidWindy City RE LLC $33 million for Mount Prospect Greens, a 344-unit, 14-building apartment complex in northwest suburban Mount Prospect. Since 2010, Windy City assembled the property from five different owners, rebranded the complex, renovated 30% of the units and increased rents significantly. Kiser Group, a Chicago-based broker, represented both the buyer and seller in the transaction, which closed in late December 2014.
“It was a huge effort to buy properties from five different owners over a three-year period,” saysJohn Meyer, senior managing director at Kiser. “Windy City also started a big process to upgrade the units. They’re an opportunistic group, and once they add a certain amount of revenue, they’re ready to exit.”
A Chicago real estate firm is pocketing a tidy sum on a suburban apartment sale.
Windy City RE sold the 344-unit Mount Prospect Greens for $33 million, said Managing Partner Milan Rubenstein. Cleveland-based APM Management bought the property, he said.
The complex includes 14 buildings, which had five different owners before Windy City spent around $22 million acquiring them starting in 2010 and upgrading units, he said.
Renovations, such as new appliances and electrical fixtures, cost about $1.5 million and were funded mostly through rental income, he said. All in all, Windy City made about $10 million in the transaction, according to Rubenstein.
'WORTH MORE' AS ONE PROPERTY
“We had to essentially purchase all 14 buildings from five individual owners in order to assemble the whole thing as one 344-unit complex, so that was the value-added portion of the deal,” Rubenstein said. The complex was “worth more as one 344-unit building.”
Windy City RE LLC is going as long as anyone is on Motor Row, teeing up a spate of acquisitions in the area next to McCormick Place.
The Chicago-based firm is acquiring around 70,000 square feet of mostly vacant commercial properties and an empty lot near the massive convention center, betting the city's investments in a stadium for DePaul University, new hotels and a new stop on the Green Line at Cermak Road and State Street will allow it to find tenants to fill up the buildings.
“We're trying to do what the Friedmans did in River North,” said Windy City Partner Milan Rubenstein, refering to Friedman Properties Ltd., which gobbled up properties in the neighborhood over many years, before it became hot.
A Windy City venture paid $1.6 million for a 17,100-square-foot commercial building at 2210-2212 S. Michigan Ave., Mr. Rubenstein confirmed, a property Cook County records show was owned by local lender American Metro Bank.
“It needs a ton, a ton of work,” said Milan Rubenstein, a partner at Chicago-based Windy City RE LLC, which tried to buy the property. “It feels like a very complicated, huge project on a small scale.”
Mr. Rubenstein said his company bid $11 million for the Bush Temple and wanted to convert the upper-floor space into 24 condominiums, in part to distinguish the residential component from the 295-unit apartment tower Chicago-based Smithfield Properties LLC is building immediately to the west.
Mr. Rubenstein added that so-called adaptive reuse deals are a key part of Cedar Street's operations here, describing them as a “good fit” to buy the structure and convert it.
Milan Rubenstein is scheduled to speak at this year's Marcus & Millichap Multifamily Forum. The Event will take place on September 9, 2014 at Venue SIX10.
An excerpt from the event's website: "This year, the conference will bring together Chicago’s most important and influential multifamily real estate leaders to discuss the latest industry trends and what neighborhoods show the most upside. This event will also highlight how the “new economy” is reshaping Chicago’s apartment market and a special presentation by Tom Ricketts, the Chairman of the Chicago Cubs.
Milan Rubenstein came to LA from the former Yugoslavia at age 17 (after his wealthy family lost everything in the war), with nothing but a backpack and a dream. A newspaper ad for an apartment management position soon caught his eye, and after stellar performance RE/MAX Commercial brought him on for a job of 24/7 cold calling. A year later, he got his first bite (and $10k commission).
Milan began syndicating small value-add apartment deals with his commissions. Until the fateful day his soulmate Amy was on the buying end of a deal in 2004. He selected her offer in return for a date, he laughs, and they were engaged five weeks later (happily married with two kids today). The pair turned to single-family flipping after the downturn, making about $100,000/house, until returns started shrinking in 2010 and they decided to move back to Chicago to be with family (Amy's from Deerfield).
Small apartment projects gave way to larger ones, and today Windy City RE has 1,200 units with an estimated value of $200M...
Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of a 10,854 square-foot mixed-use property located in Chicago, IL, according to John M. Przybyla, regional manager of the firm’s Chicago Downtown office. The asset sold for $1,050,000.
Tony Mazur, an investment specialist in Marcus & Millichap’s Chicago Downtown office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a limited liability company. The buyer, Windy City RE LLC, a limited liability company, was secured and represented by Kyle Stengle and Joseph Bergman, investment specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s Chicago Downtown office.
Milan Rubenstein spoke amongst other notable members of commercial real estate community at the CRE Conference yesterday at the Bradley Business Center. The first panel that took place at the event focused on "Making the Transformation' and included insight on re-purpose and build-to-suit projects. The second panel focused on brokering and financing commercial real estate opportunities. Click the link below for more information on this event.CRE Conference
Family owned and Chicago-based real estate investment firm, Windy City RE, is please to announce it closed today on two adjacent properties in South Loop with plans to renovate and redevelop. Windy City RE paid a combined $3.3 million for the properties that straddle the CTA Green Line located on Cullerton Street between State Street and Wabash Avenue. With an additional $3.9 million for construction, the firm has been working since September on plans to renovate and build a total of 25 units, 20,500 square feet of retail space and a parking lot.
The project differs from the firm’s usual specialty...
A 13,000-square-foot, 20-unit mixed-use building at 1601-1615 W. Montrose in Ravenswood closed Oct. 31 for more than $1.9 million. The seller was 1601-1615 W. Montrose LLC and the buyer is Windy City RE LLC. Clark Patterson from Jameson Commercial repped both the buyer and the seller.
TA relative newcomer to the Chicago apartment market paid $18.1 million for 251 units in a Mt. Prospect housing complex, part of a plan acquire the entire community and cash in on a strong demand for rental units. Windy City RE LLC bought the apartments in 10 of the 14 buildings that make up Colonial Greens, 1958 W. Algonquin Road, said Milan Rubenstein, principal in the Chicago-based firm. The deal marks the largest local acquisition for Windy City, which was started in 2010 and specializes in distressed assets that it buys and flips, though the 251 Mt. Prospect units were not distressed. The firm owns about 480 units in the Chicago area, the majority of which are in smaller, city buildings, he said. Windy City also owns about 700 units in the Los Angeles area, where a predecessor venture was based. Its timing has been good.