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Owners Can Finally Move into the Ritz-Carlton Residences

by Peter Thomas Ricci

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Breaking news – owners may finally be able to move into the Ritz-Carlton Residences!

That’s right – after months of deliberation, it seems people can finally move into the embattled Ritz-Carlton Residences on Michigan Avenue!

According to a new report from Crain’s, an arbitrator has ruled over the Ritz-Carlton Residences, which will clear the way for condo owners and retailers to begin moving in to the residency. Great news for the building, as its repeated delays and lawsuits prolonged a move-in date.

Ritz-Carlton Residences – Move-In Ready!

Crain’s also reports that following the arbitrator’s decision, Prism Development Co., the developer of the residence, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, which owns the land, are in negotiations to end a nearly five-month standoff that has prohibited residents and retailers (most notably Tommy Bahama and Loft) from entering the premises.

However, Prism is not out of the woods yet. Though a settlement would allow it to resume selling the Ritz-Carlton’s units, it still has 53 percent of the condos to sell, and Jim Kinney, the vice president of luxury homes sales at Baird & Warner, said that may be a tall order to fulfill.

“These guys are going to be dealing with a tough market,” Kinney said. “Absorbing these final units, that may take years for them to get out of there 100 percent. They’re going to have to work with it.”

A Tough Sell

Kinney did add that luxury housing inventory is currently tight, though the Ritz-Carlton does face competition from the Trump Tower and Lincoln Park 2550; according to third quarter data from Appraisal Research, there were 1,478 downtown condos available, down from 1,828 at the end of 2011 and more than 6,000 in 2007.

Bruce Schultz, Prism’s managing principal, though, is unfazed by the market conditions, stating that with the Ritz-Carlton’s brand name, location and quality, it will still manage to find buyers, even if it takes a bit longer than previously expected.

“We’re just going to stick in there, and if it takes a year or two, so it (will) be,” he said. “We’re prepared for that.”

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