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Michael Lerner, Founder and President, MCZ Development Corp.

by Chicago Agent

Work Experience:
Lerner founded MCZ Development Corp. in 1985, and remains at the helm of his ever-growing company. The adaptive reuse of historic buildings and neighborhoods is MCZ Development’s specialty.

In 2003, MCZ development partnered with another Chicago-based development firm, Centrum Properties, to enter new markets in other states including Florida, where MCZ/Centrum has completed five projects and is active in five others.

At the forefront of the MCZ/Centrum effort has been the conversion of rental communities into for-sale condominiums in highly sought-after neighborhoods in south and central Florida.

Lerner is an expert in all facets of residential and mixed-use development, including adaptive reuse urban developments, condo-conversions, condo-hotels and new construction across numerous states.

Current Projects:
•No. Ten Lofts is an MCZ/Centrum property located at 1040 W. Adams St. in Chicago. The 266-unit condo conversion features loft-style units with high ceilings, private balconies, large interior timbers and sandblasted exposed brick.

Recently Completed Projects:
•Jefferson Tower, completed in 2004, is located between downtown Chicago and River North at 200 N. Jefferson St. MCZ was the development consultant for the glass-and-granite amenity building in which all standard units feature marble master baths, granite kitchens with stainless steel appliances and private balconies.

•The Lofts and Townhomes at University Village was completed in 2005 as part of the master-planned University Village community. With 200 condominium units and 50 townhomes, MCZ Development is part of the largest planned development in recent Chicago history.

•Park Millennium, located at 222 N. Columbus Drive, was completed in mid-2006. The 480-unit condo conversion overlooks the Chicago River, Grant and Millennium Parks and Navy Pier.

Community Involvement:
Economic Club; Executive’s Club; Chicago Builder’s Association; Professional Builders of America; West Central Association; Civic Committee of Commercial Club; Friends of the Chicago River; Wetlands Preservation Society; Sheffield Neighborhood Association; Sierra Club

Hobbies:
Traveling with his family; and working to preserve the art foundation in honor of his father, the Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner Foundation, which supports outside artists and the use of art therapy for the mentally challenged.

Awards:
2007 National Association of Home Builders Pillars of the Industry Awards
Finalist in two Builder Award categories:
-Best Repositioning/Conversion of a Multifamily Asset
-Best Multifamily Community Site Plan

Little-known Fact:
Michael’s father is Nathan Lerner, a world renown photographer who documented some of Chicago’s most vibrant and historical past on Maxwell Street in the 1950s and 1960s. As a young man, Nathan invented the honey bear container that honey is distributed in. Among other achievements, he was also responsible for the discovery of the artwork of Henry Darger, who stands as the world’s foremost example of “outside art.”

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