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An Evanston condominium complex has been sold to a developer, North Park Ventures, that’s converting the property to rental apartments.

The sale was approved by just over the 75% of condo owners required by the city’s condo deconversion ordinance back in January, but only closed recently.

Opponents of the sale among the condo unit owners had sought to persuade aldermen to impose a moratorium on condo deconversions.

Alderman Ann Rainey’s proposal for for a six-month moratorium was rejected by the City Council at its Jan. 13 meeting after owners of units in other condo buildings said a deconversion might be the only way for them to not lose money on the sale of their units.

The sale was reported Tuesday by Chicago Business, which suggested that condo deconversions in the suburbs are becoming more attractive to developers after Chicago last year passed an ordinance raising the support needed for a deconversion from 75% to 85% of unit owners.

Robert Sekula of North Park Ventures told the paper he believes that in the coronavirus era Evanston will experience an influx of residents looking for more space in less dense neighborhoods.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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4 Comments

  1. The Loss of Actual Affordable Housing

    They should sell the building to Northwestern.  Make some quick money.  You’d have to think NU would love that piece of land — particularly since they are going to need to find off-campus housing for the next year.  Seems almost meant to be.

    So this is the second big conversion that I can remember in the past few years.  And obviously that small building in SE Evanston will become rental as well.  I’m sure housing activists will be excited at the number of taxpayer-subsidized/income-restricted “affordable” units this conversion made available.  And thrilled with its location in the rich, white part of town.  But the sad thing is that this was market rate affordable housing for middle and working class people looking to buy a unit with parking.  Off the top of my head, the purchase prices were around $175K or so and you could rent them for $1300-1500.  And now even those rental prices will go up.  They’ll make some cosmetic changes to modernize and justify higher rents.  And after all, someone is going to have to subsidize the “affordable” units — and it isn’t going to be the developer.

    So, was it worth it?  Losing those condos and raising rents for the building in exchange for a handful of apartments for the housing list?  

    1. You are absolutely right
      You are absolutely right about this. This is another nail in the coffin of affordable housing. They increased the rentals by 250-350 already without doing any cosmetic changes.

  2. The Loss of Actual Affordable Housing

    They should sell the building to Northwestern.  Make some quick money.  You’d have to think NU would love that piece of land — particularly since they are going to need to find off-campus housing for the next year.  Seems almost meant to be.

    So this is the second big conversion that I can remember in the past few years.  And obviously that small building in SE Evanston will become rental as well.  I’m sure housing activists will be excited at the number of taxpayer-subsidized/income-restricted “affordable” units this conversion made available.  And thrilled with its location in the rich, white part of town.  But the sad thing is that this was market rate affordable housing for middle and working class people looking to buy a unit with parking.  Off the top of my head, the purchase prices were around $175K or so and you could rent them for $1300-1500.  And now even those rental prices will go up.  They’ll make some cosmetic changes to modernize and justify higher rents.  And after all, someone is going to have to subsidize the “affordable” units — and it isn’t going to be the developer.

    So, was it worth it?  Losing those condos and raising rents for the building in exchange for a handful of apartments for the housing list?  

    1. You are absolutely right
      You are absolutely right about this. This is another nail in the coffin of affordable housing. They increased the rentals by 250-350 already without doing any cosmetic changes.

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