Friday, November 28, 2014

Rentals to Condos A Positive Trend for Sloop Real Estate Market?

1555 S. Wabash - Photo from CoStar Group Inc.
In case you missed this real estate story, this article in Chicago Real Estate Daily points out a positive trend in South Loop real estate:
After renting out a failed South Loop condominium project for two years, a Los Angeles investor has decided the market is strong enough to put the condos back up for sale.  
A venture including Oaktree Capital Management LP that seized the 14-story tower at 1555 S. Wabash Ave. in 2012, after the project landed in bankruptcy, is offering its 141 unsold units to tenants before listing the condos for sale again early next year, according to Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors.  
Renting condos was a common survival strategy among developers who couldn't sell their units after the bust. With prices rising and buyers returning, some building owners have decided to cash out by putting their units back up for sale.  
The South Loop offering would be the largest number of rented downtown condos in a single building to be put on the market since the crash. Other condo-turned-rental projects that have relaunched sales include Emerald in the West Loop and One Place Condominiums in the South Loop.

In our mind the question remains - is this really a positive sign for the South Loop market?

While we understand the sentiment that developers seeing opportunity could be seen as a positive sign, it also sort of simply seems like a business decision for this LA investor.  They got a steal rescuing this building in bankruptcy and have a good opportunity to turn their investment into more riches.

What do you think?

(Hat tip:  GM!)

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