By Agent X
Hands down Chicago has the best skyline in the world. Agent X has been to Timbuktu and back again and has not seen anything more beautiful. I hate the cold and the buses never come when theyÕre supposed to (even with that useless CTA tracker), but ChicagoÕs skyline is unbeatable.
WhatÕs my favorite building you ask? The building I live in of course! Too bad I canÕt tell you what that is because then youÕll come looking for me. But I sure do live in a great place that adds that special something to an already perfect skyline.
Alright, before I get to the gossip I have to come clean. I donÕt actually have suggestions for where CAR should place their new north side facility. Mr. President himself sent me an e-mail inquiring about my brilliant suggestions, and now I have to admit I lied for the sake of humor. If anyone has any ideas please e-mail me so that I can save face.
Good news everyone! Chicago Õs foreclosure rate has been climbing much slower than the rest of the nation. ThatÕs something to be proud of.
Speaking of architects, Caltrava has stopped working on the Chicago Spire, claiming the developer owes him $11.34 million. Then, developer Shelbourne Development Ltd. turns around and files a lien against their own project. Chicago Spire LLC and Shelbourne Lakeshore Ltd. claim they were supposed to manage the work for Shelbourne North Water Street L.P. and havenÕt been paid. The dispute, however, isnÕt over Òunpaid bills.Ó
PNC Financial Services Group made good use of their bailout money and purchased National City Corp. News came right after regulators told National City they would not receive any of the $250 billion in capital being put into banks by the government. I heard from a National City VP that this should have no impact on anything, outside of an eventual name change.
A developer in New York has come up with an ÒObama Contigency.Ó In regards to all contracts between Oct. 24 and Nov. 4, if Obama wins the contract goes through, but if John McCain is the winner, buyers can back out, leaving them free to move to Canada. Agent X would like to comment but again has been edited for wishing to express political views. I will say this: Go vote!
Peggy Kozak and Stephanie Szigetvari have been promoted over at Coldwell Banker. Szigetvari is the new co-manager in the Northwest office and Peggy Kozak is the new broker manager in Lombard. Tom Fiddler, divisional VP for Countrywide, has left the company. I hope violins were played for his sendoff.
Policemen, firefighters, Chicago public school teachers or any other City of Chicago employee now qualifies for a $5,000 incentive when purchasing a new condominium at Lexington Park Condominiums in the South Loop, according to Chieftain Group, the developer. Agent X is a volunteer firefighter in my spare time, so IÕll have to see if I qualify.
The mother of all parties, the $200,000 Crystal Ball, brought in over 1,200 attendees to the nature museum on Oct. 23. Though the Perl Swirl and Juicy Jameson were tasty, our hosts quickly learned theyÕd have to increase their liquor order for next time.
Leslie Struthers hosted her annual Halloween party for industry members and clients who have received mortgages in the past couple of months. I was hoping to hear good news about the market from the tarot card reader, but all she told me was I mightÕve had too much to drink; she is clearly really good at her job.
Judd Malkin, Dan McLean, Wayne Moretti and last-minute guest Larry Geller of Strategic Hotels showed their funny side as they revealed stories of how they got started, who mentored them and if it was luck or hard work that got them to where they are today at REIAÕs cocktail party for real estate legends at MaggianoÕs. I wanted to ask Mr. Geller about the recent quick pull out of Aqua Ð a question that even moderator Guy Ackerman regrets not asking.
Coming up soon, WCR will hold their November meeting at Maeve Wine Bar on Nov. 12 and will showcase gift ideas for clients around the holidays. I will be there because I never have any clue what to get for anyone.
Out of the ashes of the Chicago area Homebuilders has risen a new networking group for suburbanites to meet once a month. Open to all at Kona Grill in Oak Park on Nov. 13 around 4:00. So show up sometime around then.
The Lincoln Park Builders will host their Real Estate Forum at Navy Pier on Nov. 13 with more than 700 expected attendees. Make that 701 as soon as my invitation arrives.
No birthdays lately apparently. I find that so hard to believe. E-mail me so I have something fun to close out my column.
Agent X KeepinÕ the ÒrealÓ in real estate
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