Motor Row Condominiums, a long-vacant and idle development at the site of the old Metropole Hotel—ground zero for Al Capone's criminal enterprise—is on the market, reports Crain's. The 94-unit flop at the corner of Michigan and 23rd in Motor Row has been untouched now for about four years, ever since its Lithuanian developer, Andrius Augunas, left the country amid foreclosure proceedings. The defaulted construction loan has been tossed around like a hot potato over the last few years, and current owner Starwood Capital Group, sensing a window in rental conversion, is now marketing the sale as such an opportunity. But, says Dan Hyman, president of Millennium Properties, "There's no sort of residential community and not many amenities right there. You're in a no man's land." The consensus is, rents will have to be low. If they run within the projected range of $1,400 to $2,100, that may do the trick.
This property is not one of the several that ambitious Motor Row developers Pam Gleichman and Karl Norberg control, but it's right at the geographic center of their overall scheme for neighborhood redevelopment (a lot still hinges on what becomes of Prairie Blocks). According to a recent article in the Chicago Journal, the promise of a new Cermak Green Line station and the rezoning of Motor Row as an entertainment district makes the time right for multiple development maneuvers. If the area does coalesce into something dynamic and worthwhile, this residential project will be a part of it. The property is being offered without an asking price, but it ain't free.
·Former Motor Row Condominiums on the market [Crain's]
·Motor Row revs up [Chicago Journal]