Change is on the Way

by Chicago Agent

By Agent X

Looks like Andrius Augunas has motored on out of here, back to a safe house in his home country of Lithuania. The Rokas International Inc. owner responsible for the stalled Motor Row Condominium development hasn’t been seen in months. Although his partners have other reasons for the departure, Agent X thinks Augunas just couldn’t find a decent beet soup in the states.

CMK’s new approach to moving condos at 1720 could shift they way developers look at sales centers. Agents and their buyers can now tour 15 different furnished models rather than selecting their dream home by looking over pages of options and floor plans. Will all developers start offering multiple finished units for buyers to actually see and touch?

Word is that one bad apple can spoil the bunch, but Terrapin Properties took that saying to whole new level. An unusual foreclosure suit filed by Indymac Bank over their project in Kenosha might hinder the completion of Terrapin’s three projects currently in development in Chicago. This includes the Burnham Pointe project, which is reportedly 50 percent sold, with units beginning to close this Spring. Agent X heard this juicy tidbit at Terrapin’s corporate headquarters, where the apples tasted a little funny.

Is Related Midwest merging with Magellan Development? With Canyon Ranch Living the latest proposed condo project to fall victim to the credit and market crunch, and with sales at Peshtigo lingering in the 15 percent range, Agent X hears the merge is inevitable. Will this make Magellan, the largest builder in Chicago, unstoppable? Agent X will stay on the story and report back to you in our next issue.

If you thought the concept of flipping condos prior to a development’s completion was unheard of, think again. Several unconfirmed reports to Agent X say that 40 percent of the condos at Avenue East, which all closed in the last 75 days, are already back on the market. Also, Trump Tower recently recorded its first flip of a condo hotel unit, with more likely to come soon.

Lennar’s Park Huron sales center hasn’t had a sales staff in weeks and the phone number is disconnected. The regional guy who answers the main line told Agent X that the sales manager is out on medical leave … hmmmmm.

As always, people in the industry can’t sit still. Erik Stegemann, former managing broker with Property Consultants has taken on the role of managing broker with D’Aprile Realty. Tracy Andersen is moving from @properties to Koenig & Strey GMAC on The Home Discovery Team.

Last, but certainly not least, if you’re hiding under a rock then maybe you missed CA’s awesome 100th issue party at The Kohler Store LuxeHome at the Merchandise Mart. Sadly, Ivanka couldn’t be there (she had to go fire somebody) but the showroom was jam packed with other local celebrities. The bubbly was flowing and the snacks were a hit. There was some coat swapping, and thankfully no one fell into a bathtub. Be sure to come to CA’s New Construction Collection on March 18 at the W Hotel on Adams (not the other one) for another rocking good time.

Here are some early March birthdays so you know who to pinch. Maureen Tighe, Vince Keller and Mary Nitsch all celebrated on the first of the month, while Toni Henricks might have felt left out on March 2. Timothy Scott Pomaville and Steve Schwartz celebrated on March 4, while Kim Suhanek partied on March 9. Katrina Schmitt’s birthday coincides with this issue’s release on March 10. Also, my editor’s father, Gary Porton, will celebrate his big day on March 12. Since she edits everything I write, I had no choice but to include this tidbit.

Agent X
Keepin’ the “real” in real estate

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