Residents Fight Plans to Convert Condos Into Apartments

Residents of an Illinois village are up in arms about a plan to convert condos into apartments. But, a proposal may just derail those plans.

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Residents of an Illinois village are up in arms about a plan to convert condos into apartments. But, a proposal may just derail those plans.

 

An Investor’s Plans

There are three towers in the Optima Old Orchard condo complex in the village of Skokie. One investor, Trilogy Real Estate, intends to buy up all the units in one of the towers. After buying the units, Trilogy plans to convert them into apartments. Residents understandably feel upset over the plans.

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Even if not all residents want to sell their units to the investor, they may be forced to do so. According to state law, owners controlling 75 percent of a building’s value can vote to approve the bulk sale of a property.

 

Residents Taking Action

Residents have not met the plan to convert condos into apartments with open arms. In fact, the condo’s residents are attempting to influence local officials to vote on a proposal that would make it harder for investors to proceed with this plan.

The residents have approached the Skokie Village Board and asked them to raise the minimum threshold of the area to 85 percent instead of 75 percent. This is similar to what happened in Chicago, a city that increased the requirement for deconversions to 85 percent about 3 years ago.

Condo resident Rabbi Ruebner is particularly against the conversion because it would force people out of their homes. The tower consists of many residents, including the elderly.

As of now, Trilogy Real Estate owns 172 units out of the 277 units in Maple Tower. Those 172 units remained unsold following the completion of the condo complex. The investor poured $44 million into the units. Their intent was to either rent them or sell them after the market got better.

But, Trilogy got tired of waiting for the market to recover and now wants to turn all the units into rentals. The company maintains that another investor would swoop in to eventually do the same.

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