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Shelbourn Development scales back its Chicago Spire sales center.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on May 19, 2010

Not too exciting or surprising news coming from Chicago Breaking News but at least Shelbourne’s doing the smart thing by downsizing their sales center operation to the Shelbourne Development offices at 111 S. Wacker Drive.  During the Spire’s peak in sales, their lease took up the entire 18th floor at NBC tower but for the past nine months, we have seen some legal drama going on when NBC Tower sued Shelbourne in order to evict them from the building.  I’m really curious to find out if anyone is buying in the building still.

Chicago Spire developer scales back on sales office

Published on May 17, 2010 9:52 AM | Submit a comment

Spire-Two-Web.jpg
The developer behind the Chicago Spire closed its posh sales office over the weekend, relocating the marketing arm for the long-stalled project to a much less grand office space nearby.

Shelbourne Development Group, which has been battling the owner of the NBC Tower for nine months, consolidated the sales function into its own office space at 111 S. Wacker. A spokeswoman for Spire developer Garrett Kelleher denied that the move signaled that the project was dead.

“He’s being smart,” the spokeswoman said. “If you’re in a situation where things are slowing down, you need to consolidate and you need to be smart. Clearly the economy has been tough and he’s had to focus on areas of his portfolio that are doing well.”

The sales office in the NBC building, which occupied the entire 18th floor, opened in early 2008 and included touches designed by Spire architect Santiago Calatrava and a built-out model of a Spire condominium.

The owner of the NBC Tower sued Shelbourne to evict the developer last August, charging that the company had not made a rent payment since April. In March, the case was dismissed by agreement, and a $55,082.06 judgment for NBC Tower was voided.

Instead of touring a model unit, potential buyers will see samples of materials and three-dimensional computer models, the spokeswoman said.

The sales office’s closing is likely to cast more doubt on whether the twisting, 2,000-foot-tall skyscraper will ever rise from the circular hole in the ground that now exists alongside 400 N. Lake Shore Drive. Shelbourne has been beset by financial problems since starting the skyline-defining project just as the financial and real estate markets were seizing up.

Shelbourne and Kelleher remain in litigation with Bank of America Corp., which filed suit last August, charging the developer with defaulting on a loan and said it was due $4.9 million. Bank of America said Kelleher personally guaranteed the loan. Kelleher and his company fired back in a countersuit, claiming the lender committed fraud and deception in arranging a loan used to start the building…

Check out the full article by clicking HERE!

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@properties opening a new office in Winnetka with 50 agents!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on April 24, 2010

@Properties follows customers as they head north

Mary Ellen Podmolik Local SceneApril 23, 2010

Ten years after co-founding @Properties in Chicago, Michael Golden and Thaddeus Wong are firming their commitment to the North Shore with a second office.

Last week, the duo bought a building along Green Bay Road in Winnetka near the Indian Hill Metra station and they plan to open an office there in August with 50 agents. That follows @Properties’ first step in suburbia last summer when it opened an Evanston office now staffed by 75 agents. And if all goes according to plan, they want a Highland Park office in 2011.

Moving into a north suburban market that is largely dominated by Coldwell Banker Residential is a challenge they say they’re up to, particularly because the Evanston office has done better than expected.

In one respect, @Properties is growing up with its client base. The firm made its mark selling condos and new developments within the city and a decade later, some of those clients have married, started families and begun moving to the suburbs.

Following customers as they move north, rather than in another direction, is a bit easier because of the consistent demographics of the North Shore. “We felt like we can get a lot of traction here quickly,” Golden said, with Wong adding “This is the most natural progression for us. It’s growth during a period of time when everyone tells you you shouldn’t be growing. There’s nothing that can be forced right now.”

Growing organically, rather than through acquisition in an industry where consolidation continues, will remain @Properties’ strategy, the pair agree. “When you buy a company, the agents that come with that company don’t have a choice. [Then] you’ve got agents who have changed their business card and the agents don’t love that,” Wong noted.

Last year, @Properties’ sales volume totaled $1.78 billion with 859 agents, compared with $1.88 billion and 738 agents at year-end 2008. Based on data reported to Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, Broker Metrics gave @Properties a leading 12.48 percent market share within Chicago last year….

Check out the full Chicago Tribune article by clicking HERE!  Feels good to be #1!  Feel free to contact me with any of your real estate needs:  jeffstewart@atproperties.com.

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