Alderman Reilly’s Condominium Deconversion Ordinance Passes City Council!

Earlier this week, Alderman Reilly secured City Council approval for his Condominium Deconversion Ordinance, co-sponsored by Alderman Osterman, Alderman Hopkins, and Alderman Smith.

Deconversion is the process of dissolving a condominium association and selling the entire condominium property to a third party who will turn the building into an apartment complex. The deconversion process is governed by Section 15 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act.

Under State Law, a deconversion will be approved if 75% of all unit owners vote in favor of the deconversion. That said, nearly ¼ of building owners would be forced to sell their condo units against their will if a deconversion vote passes at 75% approval.

During the deconversion process residents are often not fairly compensated for their properties. Purchase price is based on percentage of ownership instead of true market value of individual units. Therefore, residents who have significantly improved or renovated their units are not rewarded financially, and often suffer a loss.

Deconversions negatively affect the elderly and long-time unit owners the most. After being forced from their houses, many elderly residents and long-time unit owners are unable to purchase units in the same neighborhoods where they have lived for decades. Many of the hardest-hit individuals are retired, living on a fixed income.

Alderman Reilly’s Condominium Deconversion Ordinance invokes Chicago’s “Home Rule Authority” to overrule Section 15 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, to raise that threshold to 85%thus protecting unit owners who don’t want to sell their homes.

Over the last two years, deconverting condominium buildings into apartment complexes has become a popular practice among real estate companies throughout Chicago.

Alderman Reilly sponsored the ordinance after receiving correspondence from numerous constituents and residents throughout Chicago who have shared the devastating impact that deconversions have had on their lives.

When real estate companies approach financially insolvent associations or buildings that need substantial structural repairs, deconversions can have a positive impact. However, real estate companies have been targeting condominium buildings with solvent associations and using dishonest tactics to force unit owners to agree to sell the building.

When a building is being targeted for deconversion, development companies will purchase units within the building until they own a majority of the property – leaving other unit owners who do not want to sell at a significant disadvantage.

Alderman Reilly’s ordinance increases the vote threshold required for a building to sell itself – requiring a higher bar for affirmative votes to deconvert, thus reducing the percentage of unit owners that would be forced to sell against their will. This means that any entity seeking to purchase the building must present a proposal that is approved by a larger percentage of the unit owners.

Although the Alderman can’t intervene on private contractual issues, including property ownership (meaning who buys / sells units in a  building), there are steps a Condominium Board can take to prevent unscrupulous developers from positioning themselves in a position of power in a building.

Many 42nd Ward condo associations have implemented, or are implementing, rental caps to reduce the number of absentee / investor owners of a building, and / or ownership caps to ensure that no single entity can control an outsized portion of the building.

When buildings implement rental or ownership caps, it can make their buildings less attractive to unscrupulous developers and would encourage any developers to prepare deconversion proposals to appeal to a higher number of owners.

Although the Alderman’s ordinance will increase the vote threshold required to sell a building, it is only one part of the solution to safeguard unit owners from being forced to sell their homes.

Alderman Reilly strongly encourages condominium associations to evaluate their options to protect unit owners from predatory real estate companies seeking to gain a foothold in their buildings.

The Alderman’s ordinance takes effect on October 16, 2019.

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 9/20/19

City Council News – Cannabis Zoning

This week at City Council, Mayor Lightfoot introduced an ordinance establishing cannabis zoning requirements, creating clear guidelines for zoning of recreational dispensaries and ensuring new, equitable business growth across the city.

The new ordinance establishes seven cannabis zones citywide that include the entire geography of the city. The zones will initially cap the number of dispensaries to ensure equal distribution of dispensaries across the city.

The ordinance establishes that all new cannabis zoning applications will be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals, which ensures that local residents near an applicant will have a voice in where new sites are approved to operate.

The ordinance will also include an exclusion zone in the Central Business District in which no cannabis sales will be permitted. In accordance with state law, the use of cannabis products will be prohibited in all public places citywide and by youth under 21-years-of-age.

Alderman Reilly was on WGN Radio to discuss his take on the Mayor’s new ordinance.

Source:  Reilly Reports 9-20-19

Community Alert – Wanted for Fatal Hit & Run – 18th District

New Development Proposals in the 42nd Ward

The Ivy Hotel, 233 E. Ontario Street – (proposed rooftop addition pictured above)

The Ivy Boutique Hotel, located at 233 E. Ontario Street, is an upscale, independent property with 63 hotel rooms. The Ivy Sky Terrace is currently operating on the roof of the building as a seasonal open-air rooftop food and beverage operation.

The new owners of the Ivy, 233 E. Ontario Hotel Propco LLC, led by Andre Koren and Frank Anderson, would like to install a retractable enclosure for the rooftop, to make the Sky Terrace a year-round amenity for hotel guests and the community. This will also improve the aesthetics of the rooftop view since it encloses a portion of the existing mechanical equipment.

In order to construct the roof top enclosure, a rezoning to a Planned Development is required since the additional enclosed area will exceed the permitted floor area ratio (“FAR”) allowed for the building in the DX-12 Downtown Mixed-Use zoning district. The rooftop enclosure will be lower than the existing elevator penthouse and will be constructed with high quality materials.

The project development team will also be required to present their plans for approval to the Chicago Plan Commission, Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards, and City Council.

61 W. Erie Street
LG Development Group is proposing a new project for 61 W. Erie Street, which will rejuvenate the long dormant site. LG had formerly proposed a 12-story building, which required Planned Development approval. The new proposal would be built in compliance with the underlying zoning district, and would be 7 floors lower, at 5 stories.

The new proposal has been designed for a Sonder flagged boutique hotel with 29 hotel keys designed as luxury apartment rentals. The proposed 5-story brick building would be constructed with contemporary commercial glazing to anchor the site.

The ground floor is comprised of a boutique retail space, hotel lobby, loading and back of house spaces at the rear of the property. The 2nd through 5th floors each contain 7 apartment style hotel keys that range from studios to 3 bedroom units. The penthouse level contains 1 hotel key and a small rooftop deck.

Sonder maintains a large portfolio of hotel keys throughout the city of Chicago and boasts a high level of service and security for both its guests and neighbors alike. Sonder enforces house rules for all of its patrons and will employ on-site staffing at all times in order to provide the best service possible. Sonder maintains a staff 20+ Chicago-based team members to ensure the success and quality of their operations.

As part of Alderman Reilly’s transparent community process for new developments, your comments and observations are welcome for these projects.

Please forward any feedback to:

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 9/13/19

Art on theMart Fall Launch – Saturday September 21, 2019 6:30 p.m.

Art on theMART’s Fall program launches on Saturday, September 21 at 6:30pm! Learn more about the new artists, site-specific projections and a variety of food vendors by visiting their launch event page on Facebook: #artonthemart

6:30 PM – Party starts with DJ and Food Trucks on Wacker Dr.
7:30 PM – Projections Begin
8:10 PM – Fireworks

Community Alert – Robberies – 18th District (Near North)

Community Alert – Armed Robberies 18th District (Near North)

Gilda’s Night Out – September 28

Join Gilda’s Club Chicago For Gilda’s Night Out.  It’s a night filled with laughs, savory food, libations and fantastic sounds to bring you to the dance floor.     Dress your best in Gilda Red!    FOR MORE INFO and TO PURCHASE TICKETS CLICK HERE.



Community Alert- 18th District (Near North) – Wanted for Criminal Sexual Abuse/Attempt Kidnapping

Community Blood Drive hosted by Alderman Reilly – September 14 – 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Alderman Reilly is hosting a Blood Drive on Saturday, September 14 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The event will be held at the Ohio Place Dog Park, located at 360 West Ohio Street.

The Alderman’s goal is to collect 30 pints of blood at the event and all donations will go to local hospitals to help Chicagoans in need. Giving blood is a quick, simple way to give back to your community and the donation process from the time you arrive to the time you leave is about an hour.

Although walk-ins are welcome, we encourage you to schedule an appointment in advance by calling 1-800-786-4483 or by visiting their website.

A representative from Alderman Reilly’s Office will be present to address concerns or questions regarding city-related matters. Alderman Reilly looks forward to seeing you at the Blood Drive!