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Property tax bills will jump the most in these Chicago neighborhoods - 11/24/2015
Homeowners' assessments went up more than 48 percent in this neighborhood, which stretches from Chicago Avenue to North Avenue on the east side of the Chicago River's North Branch.

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel's property tax increase kicks in next year, the epicenter will be the intersection of Halsted and Division streets, in the middle of a neighborhood where the average tax assessment rose by more than 48 percent this year.


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A double whammy on property taxes - 10/18/2015
Chicago business owners bracing for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's giant property tax hike are simultaneously getting hit with reassessments that will inject steroids into thousands of tax bills.

Emanuel intends to begin phasing in his $588 million tax increase next year, just as new valuations by the Cook County assessor are used to calculate tax bills. Based on current assessment levels, the tax hike, the largest in city history, could jack up total tax bills by as much as 18 percent over four years, his administration has said.
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Case of the Vanishing Worker Unemployment rate is falling in industrial Midwest as residents move away, retire or give up on finding a job. - 5/13/2015
By
Mark Peters and
Ben Leubsdorf

DECATUR, Ill.—By one key gauge of economic health, this industrial city three hours south of Chicago is well on the way to recovery.

Hit hard by the recession, when its unemployment rate topped 14%, Decatur over the past year has seen one of the swiftest declines in joblessness in the country, with the rate dropping to 7% in March from 10.2% a year earlier.

But look closer, and this city of 75,000 resembles many communities across the industrial Midwest, where the unemployment rate is falling fast in part because workers are disappearing: moving away, retiring or no longer looking for a job.
"In cases like that, the unemployment rate makes things look better than they really are," said Karl Kuykendall, U.S. regional economist at IHS Global Insight. In terms of overall economic growth, he said, "a decline in population and workforce is devastating."

In many parts of the country, and at the national level, falling unemployment appears to truly reflect recent improvement. The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. jobless rate ticked down in April to 5.4%, its lowest level in nearly seven years.
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New Zoning Compliance Requirement for Cook County Property - 4/9/2015
Cook County is now requiring zoning certificates for transfers of property located in unincorporated Cook County. The Commissioner of Building and Zoning announced that effective March 21, 2015, any transfer of property in unincorporated Cook County will require a zoning certificate to verify current zoning and to disclose any outstanding building permits, violations, or judgments. Instructions for applications for zoning certificates and application forms may be found at www.cookcountyil.gov/building-and-zoning. The County will charge $100 per applica
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Emanuel to file 400 lawsuits against older high-rises - 1/12/2015
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is headed to court to force owners of 400 of Chicago’s pre-1975 residential high-rises to make fire safety improvements they have ignored for nine years, a top mayoral aide disclosed Monday.

Three months after warning that the Jan. 1 deadline was "not moving," Buildings Commissioner Felicia Davis is making good on her threat to throw the book at recalcitrant building owners.


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November 26, 2014 Developers plan Loop hotel, then squabble over $200,000 - 11/26/2014
By Micah Maidenberg

A group of developers wants to jump into the Loop hotel building boom, but they are already squabbling about money.

A joint venture between Las Vegas-based Bighorn Capital and Steven Gouletas, an executive at Chicago real estate firm American Invsco, wants to demolish Garvey Court, a 25,000-square-foot restaurant property at 201 N. Clark St., and replace it with a new hotel, according to Cook County records. In August, the group signed a 20-year agreement under which New York-based Hampshire Hotels Management would run the hotel, county records show.

Now the two sides are fighting in court over $200,000—pocket change in the context of a hotel development that could cost tens of millions of dollars to build. The dispute doesn't bode well for their hotel plans.

"If they can't compromise over $200,000, why would someone give them more money" to finance a hotel development, said Donald Shapiro, president and CEO of Rosemont-based real estate firm Foresite Realty Partners.
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Cook County, IL Board of Commissioners recently passed ordinance 14-1930 amending real estate tax assessment classifications to include a class 7 (c). This incentive is entitled Commercial Urban Relief Eligibility (CURE) - 7/23/2014
To reduce your commercial real estate taxes in Cook County is to find yourself an incentive to apply. The Cook County Board of Commissioners recently passed ordinance 14-1930 amending assessment classifications to include a class 7 (c). This incentive is entitled Commercial Urban Relief Eligibility (CURE).
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State of Michigan Supreme Court New Court Appointed Receiver Rules as of 3/26/14 - 6/27/2014
Amendments of Rule 2.621 and
Rule 2.622 of the
Michigan Court Rules
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Ohio Supreme Court ruling sets standard for when a property's sale price serves as appraised value - 4/18/2014
By Robert Higgs, Northeast Ohio Media Group The Plain Dealer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A ruling this week by the Ohio Supreme Court establishes a guide for counties on when the sale price for a property should be used when setting the appraisal value for taxes.

The case involved property in Akron that is site of an Arby’s restaurant, according to the court. The property was sold in August 2005 for $1.4 million. The Summit County fiscal officer reappraised the property for tax year 2008 and set its true value at $902,320.

Akron city schools fought that appraisal and won a ruling at the state’s Board of Tax Appeals that said under state law and case law, the higher sale price should have prevailed.

But in its ruling this week, the Supreme Court set a 24-month limit for defining "recent." Sales occurring within two years of the reappraisal would be considered recent, unless some rebuttal evidence is presented.

Justice Paul Pfeifer, in his majority opinion, wrote that state law allows a sale price to be used as the property’s value if sale occurs "‘within a reasonable length of time’" of the tax lien date, but did not set a specific time frame. That could hinder county officers who must conduct a reappraisal once every six years, he noted.
"Were we to impose a presumption of recency that had no boundaries, the fiscal officer’s duty to conduct an accurate reappraisal every six years would be impaired by sales too remote to be relevant," Pfeifer wrote. "A sale as old as five or even ten years could potentially cast a deep shadow over the tax assessor’s performance of his legal duty to adopt and maintain a current valuation of the property."

Pfeifer was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Terrence O’Donnell, Judith Ann Lanzinger, Sharon L. Kennedy and William M. O’Neill.

Justice Judith L. French dissented, writing that the concept of a recent sale involves more than just a time factor.

"The majority overreaches today by creating — unprompted — an arbitrary 24-month-rule for determining when a sale is presumed to be recent," she wrote.
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Emanuel's pension fix costly, but pain is likely to double - 4/7/2014
The $250 million annual property tax increase that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to shore up two of Chicago's dangerously underfunded pension funds could almost double if he reaches similar deals to restructure other equally troubled retirement plans, according to a Crain's estimate.
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Illinois Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Condominium Associations Collecting Delinquent Assessments - 3/25/2014
By: Howard Dakoff | Jennifer O'Reilly of
Levenfeld Pearlstein

The Illinois Supreme Court published its court ruling in Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Lisa Carlson , 2014 IL 115342, which reversed a lower court's opinion that a unit owner may raise as a legal defense to a collection of delinquent condominium assessments lawsuit an association's alleged failure to repair and maintain the common elements.

The Supreme Court has now correctly ruled that a condominium association's alleged failure to repair and maintain the common elements is not a "germane," or viable, defense in a forcible entry and detainer proceeding (a.k.a. , eviction lawsuit). Distinguishing the difference between a landlord-tenant relationship that is contractual and an association-unit owner relationship which is largely a creature of statute, the Court held that a "unit owner's liability for unpaid assessments is not contingent on the association's performance."

The Court recognized that allowing unit owners to avoid paying assessments because of extraneous matters such as an alleged failure to repair and maintain common elements defeats the very purpose of including condominium associations in the forcible entry and detainer statute, which is meant to provide a "quick method" for collection of past due assessments.

Acknowledging that the "association's ability to administer the property is dependent upon the timely payment of assessments, and any delinquency in unit owner's payment of their proportionate share of common expenses may result in the default of the association on its obligations," the Court held that a unit owner shall not be permitted to avoid their duty to pay assessments by raising a defense of failure to repair or maintain the common elements.

This is a good legal decision for condominium associations reinforcing their right to collect delinquent assessments.


Judicuial Foreclosure Map - 3/25/2014
Twenty two states use judicial procedures as the primary way to foreclose. These include:
Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.
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6th Snowiest Winter on Record - 1/27/2014
Snowfall through January 19th.
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Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Illinois Mortgages May Not Be Avoided in Bankruptcy for Failure to State Interest Rate and Maturity Date - 12/31/2013
December 30, 2013

Nearly two years ago, a bankruptcy court in the Central District of Illinois caused considerable consternation in the lending community when it held that the provisions of Section 11 of the Illinois Conveyances Act (the "Act") (765 ILCS 5/11) were mandatory rather than permissive. Crane v. Richardson (In re Crane), 20121 WL 669595 (Bankr. C.D. Ill. Feb. 29, 2012). Section 11(a) of the Act provides a "form" of mortgage, which form specifically includes the interest rate on and the maturity date of the loan. The bankruptcy court determined that the omission of any of the provisions delineated in the form mortgage, including the interest rate and the maturity date, failed to provide constructive notice to a bankruptcy trustee or a third party purchaser, thereby allowing a bankruptcy trustee to avoid the mortgage.
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Court Ruling Slows Historic Tax Credit Projects - 12/6/2013
Court Ruling Slows Historic Tax Credit Projects

The Federal Rehabilitation Credit, also known as the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), has been a great source of funding for developers for the past 35 years. It is a means of acquiring funding without incurring high levels of debt. But a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling has erased much of the appeal of the credit, putting the brakes on some existing projects and leaving the future of new projects in limbo.

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Blockbuster to close U.S. stores - 11/6/2013
DISH Network Corp. today announced that its subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., will close its 300 retail stores across the United States, as well as its distribution centers.

The company will end its retail and by-mail DVD distribution operations by early January 2014.
The closures will include dozens of stores in Wisconsin.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph Clayton, president and chief executive officer of Englewood, Colo.-based DISH. "Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."

The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December and will serve existing customers until that time.

Over the past 18 months, Blockbuster has divested itself of assets in the United States, as well international assets, including operations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. DISH will continue to support Blockbuster's domestic and international franchise operations, relationships and agreements.

DISH will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand and key assets, including the company's significant video library. DISH will focus on delivering the Blockbuster @Home service to DISH customers, and on its transactional streaming service for the general market, Blockbuster On Demand.

The Blockbuster @Home service offers over 15 movie channels, including STARZ Cinema, EPIX, Sony Movie Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel, plus over 20,000 movies and TV shows streamed to televisions, computers or iPads.
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Safeway puts expiration date on unsold Dominick's stores - 10/31/2013
By Brigid Sweeney

Safeway Inc. plans to close all unsold Dominick's grocery stores on Dec. 28, according to a company memo.

In the memo to employees, Dewayne Howard, Dominick's director of human resources, said all employees will be "separated" and "the closures are expected to be permanent."

So far, only four of the 72 Dominick's stores in Illinois have been sold to Jewel-Osco owner New Albertsons Inc. Other grocery competitors are reportedly mulling additional purchases.
Dominick's employs about 6,600 people in Illinois.

"The communication is consistent with what we've publicly said about our efforts to find purchasers for as many of the stores as possible," Teena Massingill, Safeway's director of corporate public affairs, wrote in an email.

"While they will probably get some of the bigger deals done, buyers of individual stores will move much slower," said Neil Stern, a senior partner at Chicago retail consultancy McMillan Doolittle. "Expect a fair (number of stores) to go dark given the tight deadline."

Mr. Stern says Mariano's, a division of Milwaukee-based Roundy's Inc., will certainly snap up a number of stores, as Safeway's exit from Chicago provides a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.
New Albertsons, which is owned by an investment group led by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management, will also likely pick up a few more locations, he says, if only to block future competition.

Other major contenders include Kroger Inc. of Cincinnati and Highland, Ind.-based Strack & Van Til.

Mr. Stern says possible deals with smaller, local entities including Angelo Caputo's Fresh Markets, Pete's Fresh Market, Sunset Foods and Treasure Island Foods will likely take longer and will occur after the closure date.


Local Governments Flying Under the Radar Reign in Illinois - 10/29/2013
While Illinois has shed state and local public-sector jobs since 2007, local taxing units have remained largely untouched. Illinois has the most local government units of any U.S. state, including 1,300 municipalities, 1,400 townships, 900 school districts and 3,200 special purpose districts.
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CHICAGO NEEDS TOOL TO FIGHT 'ZOMBIE' PROPERTIES - 8/5/2013
By: Dory Rand September 04, 2013

A federal court decision dealt a serious blow last week to Chicago's ability to revitalize communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin ruled that the city of Chicago cannot enforce its vacant buildings ordinance against banks that service mortgages for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee most home loans in the United States. This decision undermines a key tool that helps keep homes in the foreclosure process from becoming "zombie properties" that decrease quality of life.


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Cities that Promise to be the Healthiest Real Estate Markets - 3/25/2013
Cities that Promise to be the Healthiest Real Estate Markets
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Foreclosure fast-forward: New law could speed sales - 3/11/2013
Starting in June, banks will be able to zip foreclosures of abandoned homes through the courts, potentially allowing them to repossess properties in as little as 90 days. That's the idea, anyway, behind a measure Gov. Pat Quinn signed last month that is one of the most ambitious rewrites of the state's foreclosure law since the real estate crash in 2008.
Speeding up foreclosures of empty properties could boost the local residential market as lenders focus on finding new owners for deserted homes instead of slogging through court proceedings.
It took banks an average of 697 days to take back a home in Illinois in the fourth quarter, the fifth-longest time frame in the country, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc.
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Mole resurfaces in River North loan deal - 8/12/2009

Portland, Ore.-based Aspen Capital LLC in June acquired a $9.3-million loan on 363 W. Erie St. from Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp., which last year filed a foreclosure suit on the 112,600-square-foot building, public records show. Including unpaid interest, property taxes and other charges, Manulife's claim totaled $12.6 million.

Steve Rosenberg, an Aspen principal, confirmed the purchase but declined to comment on the price.

The Manulife note is one of the few loans have been sold this year on troubled Chicago-area commercial properties, says Donald Shapiro, CEO of Rosemont-based property management and leasing firm Foresite Realty Partners LLC, which wasn't involved in the deal.

But such deals are likely to accelerate over the next two years.

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Delinquency jumps on local commercial property loans - 5/26/2009

By Alby Gallun of Chicago's Crain's

(Crain's) — The delinquency rate for local commercial real estate loans surged in the first quarter and is likely to go higher as more landlords struggle with rising vacancies and a credit crunch that has choked off lending.


Delinquent loans in the quarter represented 5.6% of the outstanding balances on all commercial property loans in the Chicago area tracked by Foresight Analytics LLC, an Oakland, Calif.-based research firm. That's up from 4.0% in the fourth quarter and 3.7% a year earlier.

Chicago's delinquency rate is the third-highest among the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas and far exceeds the 3.6% national rate, according to Foresight, which compiles its data from bank regulatory filings.

The Chicago area has had a higher delinquency rate than the nation as a whole since at least 2001, the earliest year for which Foresight has data. Foresight Partner Matt Anderson says it's unclear why that is, but he's certain that the problem is only going to get worse both locally and nationally.

The U.S. delinquency rate could even go as high as 9%, its peak during the severe real estate downturn of the early 1990s.

"Given the pressures that we see in the market, I wouldn't be surprised at all if we got to those sorts of levels in 2010 or 2011," Mr. Anderson says.

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Mortgage Foreclosure Section General Order 2009-01 - 4/8/2009

Chancery division of Cook County suspends all new default calls and foreclosure cases for judgment 7/09 & 8/09. For more information on the Mortgage Foreclosure Section General Order 2009-01 please see the attachment.

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Foreclosure Suit Hits Small Suburban Office - 2/3/2009
By Samantha Sleevi, (Crain's)

Owners of older, lackluster properties like Deerpath Atrium may be particularly hard-pressed.

"These properties are a commodity without any real qualitative differentiation," Mr. Sullivan says.

Allstate Insurance Co. recently moved out of 536 Atrium, a 77,646-square-foot building constructed in 1990. The building’s vacancy rate could not be determined, but Northbrook-based Allstate had leased about 26,000 square feet, according to real estate research firm CoStar Group Inc.

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Survey Says: Capital Markets Outlook Dim - 9/29/2008
By: Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor of CPN News

News has been coming fast and thick about the volatile capital markets landscape, but mostly it features overall trends and large abstractions. But what about the observations of those working in the trenches of the capital markets or those in real estate directly affected by it?

The 2008 Capital Markets Survey, orchestrated by the Chicago chapter of CREW--Commercial Real Estate Executive Women--gives some insight into what's going happening on the ground in commercial real estate finance. CREW Chicago surveyed the nationwide membership of senior-level executive women across all real estate-related sectors to set the framework for a luncheon discussion it hosted last week in Chicago. The organization has about 8,000 members.

"Recent events are magnifying the challenges of the investment markets," Jamie L. Hadac, vice president of Foresite Realty Partners L.L.C. and CREW member, told CPN this morning. "Lack of debt liquidity requires the experience of seasoned professionals who have been through down cycles before and understand that patience and consistency are valuable tools. One needs to apply unemotional standards to highly volatile situations."

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Brookdale owner hires turnaround firm, Welsh - 7/18/2008
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal - by John Vomhof Jr. Staff Writer

Brookdale Center's Florida-based owner is bringing in outside help to reposition the struggling mall.

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Brooks Mall Properties has hired Chicago-based turnaround firm Foresite Realty Partners and Bloomington-based Welsh Cos. to co-manage the mall and help improve the value and perception of the property. Foresite will focus on asset management while Welsh handles the day-to-day operations.

The new management team took over July 1 and has not yet laid out a plan for the malls future, but retail observers said Brookdale should consider adding nontraditional mall tenants to help draw more traffic. The mall already has deals in place for a Wal-Mart store and an L.A. Fitness health club, although it's not clear those deals will move forward.


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Defaults May Rise Until 2010 in Markets - 7/7/2008
by: Gina Kenny of Globe St.

CHICAGO-Defaults are at an all-time high; particularly in the Chicago area and Midwest. Residential has led the way, but a few sectors of commercial real estate have not seen dramatic increases in defaults. Local experts are not expecting to see an end in sight until late 2009 or early 2010.

"Whether it is single-family residential (or) condominium residential, some form of residential clearly was kind of the first domino that fell in the path," says Donald Shapiro, president and CEO of Foresite Realty Partners LLC. "Since then, I think the number of defaults have escalated into a significantly greater portfolio of commercial properties."


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Financial Storm Pounding Real Estate Sentiment - 3/20/2008
Written by Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar Group

Industry Fears Financial Instability, Lack of Financing Will Drive Values Way Down

Meltdown?

E. William Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Bank, likened the fear in the markets to the fear in the late 1970s of a nuclear reactor meltdown.

"With the seemingly endless stream of negative news from the economy, credit markets, and financial institutions, there has been talk in some circles of a meltdown of the U.S. financial system," Stone wrote in a post this week. "In complex systems, like a nuclear reactor or an economic system, risk analysis is inherently difficult. The U.S. economy is suffering from serious financial stress as a result of a combination of complex and financially engineered products and inadequate risk analysis. How serious the damage will be to the U.S. financial system in addition to the U.S. and world economies has yet to be determined."

But Stone said the federal government seems aggressively intent on providing enough liquidity to the banking system to avoid a financial meltdown and is optimistic that it will eventually regain control of the markets.

However, the collective reaction of the commercial real estate industry to this volatility and instability and need for federal buttresses to support it is fear and dread.

"History has taught us that when the federal government begins to enter the financial markets in order to try and fend off material negative news, the economy and consumer confidence responds by consolidating its positions and retracting," said Donald A. Shapiro, president and CEO of Foresite Realty Partners in Rosemont, IL. "The confidence level falls further and the business approach tends to be very conservative in an almost bunker mentality waiting for the storm to pass. The Fed's attempts to lower interest rates, while welcomed by the economy, will be too late and not have the desired effects."




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New Money Pouring into Funds Targeting Distressed Deals - 2/6/2008

Written by Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar

Some in Industry Wonder Just How Smart This New Money Is

Everybody loves a bargain. And these days, just about everybody thinks they might be able to get one.

Since Aug. 1, just before the credit markets went into a tailspin, CoStar has reported on 28 funds that have raised or were in the process of raising more than $30 billion, with the bulk of the money targeted for distressed real estate and value-added opportunities.

That money is on top of more than $23 billion in private equity raised in the first half of 2007 according to Ernst & Young. The total for the year nearly doubles the total amount raised in 2006.

Not counted in that group are the existing funds that also have started to shift focus and resources. Funds that were originally looking for solid occupancy in Class A or B office and industrial assets or properties in solid or emerging markets are now buying properties to which they can add value through lease up or repositioning.

These opportunity funds have come to be called somewhat crudely vulture funds for the picture they conjure up of investors perched and poised to swoop in on troubled deals, mismanaged and/or underperforming assets. In many cases, though, it doesn't do the investors justice, because as every bargain hunter knows, one man's discards can be another man's gold - the trick is being able to turn trash into gold.

The flock that is now rapidly gathering is starting to raise, if not concerns, then at least a lot of questions about which ones have that ability and which ones can spot the diamond in the rough.
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U.S. Office Market Turns In Mixed Year - 1/11/2008

Written by Mark Heschmeyer of Costar

Absorption Off by Nearly 20%, But Rents Went Up and Vacancy Held Steady
While the U.S. housing market led the national economy closer to recession at the end of 2007, the well-documented housing woes appeared to have had only a modest impact on commercial real estate last year.

The national office market started its most recent up cycle late in 2003 following the bursting 'tech bubble' early this century. Since 2004, office absorption across all U.S. markets tracked by CoStar averaged 111.1 million square feet per year.

The U.S. office market finished 2007 with 90 million square feet of positive net absorption - about 19% less than the four-year average, according to CoStar's 2007 Office Market Report.

Th slowdown could indicate the office market is swinging back to a down cycle. The last time the market experienced that kind of decline in net absorption was in 2000 when net absorption fell about 27% in 2000 from 1999 totals. The country experienced negative net absorption the following year in 2001.

The Class C office product was the biggest loser last year, posting negative net absorption of 2.23 million square feet.

The Class B office product was off 29% from the four-year average.

The Class A office product fared the best, off just 8% from the four-year average.

Net absorption in the nation's central business districts held up in 2007, coming in nearly on par with the 4-year average.

That's not the case in the suburbs where net absorption last year was off 23% from the four-year average.

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Suburban market steady, but a recession could hit demand - 1/8/2008

The suburban office market held steady in the fourth quarter, but increasing talk of a recession could hamper demand for space.
The suburban vacancy rate was 15% in the fourth quarter, compared with 14.9% in the third quarter and 15.7% in the year-earlier period, according to the Chicago office of CB Richard Ellis Inc.

Though landlords are still able to hike rents, especially in the western and northern suburbs, it’s becoming less certain by the day that the strong market conditions will continue.

"Obviously, everyone is kind of waiting to see how this credit crisis and economic downturn are going to affect the market," says Christopher M. Connelly, managing director in CB Richard Ellis’ Schaumburg office.

The office market closely follows the job market, as growing businesses hire more employees, fueling demand for more space. Yet a weaker-than-expected jobs report released Friday suggests that demand for office space nationwide will slow in the coming months, especially if the economy tips into recession, as an increasing number of economists expect.


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Housing Industry Woes Ooze into Commercial Real Estate - 7/27/2007

To Donald A. Shapiro, president and CEO of Foresite Realty Partners in Chicago, too much liquidity in the market has been part of the problem because it could exacerbate conditions going forward.

"The housing slump is a significant sign of the inherent problems throughout real estate: too much liquidity combined with the wrong incentives for the production people employed in the debt markets," Shapiro told CoStar this week. "And artificially low interest rates a few years ago have created pricing that is not consistently attainable. This combination has encompassed most commercially reasonable markets and property types throughout the United States and will result in a downward spiral."

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Suburban office vacancy lowest since 2001 - 7/10/2007

A vacancy rate of 12% is considered a traditional stabilization point between tenants and landlords, says Donald Shapiro, CEO of Rosemont-based Foresite Realty Partners LLC.

Significant differences in submarkets makes it too early for landlords to declare victory, he adds: ‘You have Lake County, which has been outstanding; O’Hare is still not very strong, and the Northwest Suburbs is doing nothing spectacular."

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DLC Buys 67,000-SF Center Near Top Mall - 4/27/2007

Donald Shapiro, president of Foresite Realty Partners, says that the shopping center "could easily have a cap rate of between 6% and 6.5%, maybe 6.5% and 7%." Shapiro's estimates put the sales price at between $15.1 million and nearly $16.8 million. "I would be shocked if the price is not somewhere between $225 and $250 per sf," he tells GlobeSt.com.

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Markets Blitzed By Withering Office Demand - 4/13/2007

Donald A. Shapiro, president and CEO of Foresite Realty Partners LLC in Rosemont, IL, said: "while there is some amount of post year-end slow down, this appears to be the beginning of the end."

The lack of consumer confidence, concerns overseas, and the gas running out of the most recent euphoric period in real estate are the cause.

"Pricing is starting to come down, leasing has scaled back and everyone is a seller," Shapiro said.

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Firm negotiating to buy 3 downtown buildings From the Crain's Chicago Business - 4/11/2007

"Investors are trying to pre-empt the process before a property goes to market, because when it goes to the market, the price gets driven up," says Donald Shapiro, CEO of Rosemont-based Foresite Realty Partners LLC, which isn’t involved in the deal. "But if the right group puts an amount of money in front of him that turns his head, (Mr. Chetrit) may be convinced to sell."

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250 S. Wacker to sell for a strong price - 3/14/2007

"This is a bet that rents will quickly spike," says Donald Shapiro, CEO of Rosemont-based Foresite Realty Partners LLC, which isn't involved in the current deal but did sell the property back in 2005.

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INVESTOR CONUNDRUM: (How Much) To Risk, or Not To Risk? - 3/14/2007

"In today's environment, investors need to find ways to deploy capital without having to meet the market's pricing scale," said Gregory J. Nieder, Principal/Executive Vice President of Foresite Realty Partners LLC. "Investing in opportunities through note purchases, taking subordinate debt positions or providing fresh equity in project recapitalizations can allow for strong returns while keeping one's basis low enough to justify the risks."

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Door to Deals Still Open for (Chicago) Suburban Office Tenants - 1/8/2007

Landlords also are anticipating they'll do better this year than they did in 2006, says Donald Shapiro, president of Foresite Realty Partners LLC, which bought a Rosemont office building in September 2005 and is currently shopping for more suburban buildings. "Landlords will gain back a little bit of ground this year," Mr. Shapiro says.

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Investment Sales, Suburban Market In Focus at RealShare CHICAGO - 5/31/2006

Don Shapiro of Foresite Realty Partners as the moderator with panelists John Coleman of The Alter Group, Fred Ishler of Transwestern Commercial Services, Jim Postweiler of Jones Lang LaSalle, Scott Lunine of SCI Real Estate Investments and Laurie Smith of Triton Pacific will discuss Chicago's suburban market and whether it's on a true road to recovery.

The investors will discuss how they source, and close, deals in their preferred target range, what kinds of opportunities, if any, exist in today's market, and what to look for over the year ahead and into 2007. The panel will also focus on the factors that could spell more growth for this oft-overlooked part of town, including investment activity, the industrial and office sectors and brisk leasing activity from smaller tenants and some large corporations.


 
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