Sam Zell Buys West Loop Apartment Building

January 28, 2011

A Chicago real estate guru is investing in homes closer to home.

Sam Zell, whose firm Equity International has put about $1.5 billion into international markets from Brazil to Chile to Eqypt, has now invested in an apartment development not far from his Chicago Loop offices.

According to Crain’s, Zell and his group has purchased Mod, a 56-unit apartment building at 1222 W. Madison Street in the West Loop, for more than $13 million.


Live in Mod? Meet Sam Zell, your new landlord.

That’s quite a steal, considering Chicago-based MB Financial, the project’s construction lender, filed a $19.1-million foreclosure suit on the property last February after refusing to refinance it.

The building was originally built as condos but was switched into apartment units when the housing market crashed.

They sound like pretty nice rentals, too, with high-end finishes, balconies or terraces, 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The pet-friendly building includes a fitness center and a green roof.

The one- to two-bedroom units were being sold from the upper $200,000s to the upper $400,000s and are now being rented for approximately $1,500 to $2,240 per month.

Zell, 69, who is nicknamed “Grave Dancer” because of his tendency to invest in distressed properties, recently told Forbes magazine that apartment buildings are a good investment due to declining homeownership.

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