The real estate market in 2016 is looking back to the future as some Chicago developers are considering purchasing entire condo buildings with the intent of converting them back to their former rental glory. One such "de-conversion" project may be Lincoln Park's 20-story Clark Place Private Residences located at 2625 N. Clark Street. According to a recent report by Crain's, the tower may see a return to rental units as the condo board has hired real estate juggernaut CBRE to market the building to redevelopers. Originally built as apartments in 1984 the 231-foot tower was converted to 133 condominium units in 2005.
Condo-to-apartment "de-conversion" is relatively common in smaller buildings, but becomes a much more challenging maneuver to pull off when dealing with larger towers. State law requires the consent of at least 75% of unit owners before a building can be sold to a single developer, meaning that no less than 100 owners of Clark Place's 133 units must agree to the specific terms of the deal. At this point nothing has been finalized as it remains to be seen if CBRE can present a price capable of swaying 100-plus HOA votes in their favor. With the city in the midst of a red-hot rental market and many condo prices yet to rebound to pre-recession levels, it's perhaps no surprise that developers are looking at rental de-conversions as profitable -- albeit tricky to execute -- ventures.