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Lake Shore Athletic Club going residential — not as senior housing

Lakeshore Athletic Club 850 N. Lake Shore (lobby)

Lakeshore Athletic Club, 850 N. Lake Shore (lobby)

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Updated: January 22, 2013 6:57PM

A Northbrook developer has scrapped plans to convert the landmark former Lake Shore Athletic Club into senior housing, a sector that has been difficult to finance.

Instead, the developer now wants to convert the 85-year-old building at 850 N. Lake Shore Drive into general residences, downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has advised constituents in an e-mail. He said the proposal calls for 200 market-rate units and 200 parking spaces built into the lower floors, which would be required by the zoning code.

Reilly did not say if the owner, Integrated Development Group LLC, wants the units to be rentals or for-sale, but rentals are far easier to finance in the current market conditions. Integrated’s president, Matthew Phillips, and Reilly could not be reached Tuesday.

Integrated has purged the project’s web site of all references to senior housing, and it admitted to a neighborhood group months ago that the project was in trouble. Last November, Phillips told the Sun-Times that he had taken deposits on only 26 of 145 independent living units.

He said that seniors balked at upfront fees of $800,000 or more, even if they were mostly refundable. Troubles in the broader housing market led many seniors to hold onto their cash, and some couldn’t sell their homes and move into a retirement facility.

GREEKTOWN TOWER: White Oak Realty Partners LLC, whose leaders earned their stripes in real estate working with developer Steven Fifield, are showing to community groups a 33-story, 350-unit apartment tower at 765 W. Adams, currently a parking lot serving Greektown.

Partner Richard Blum said the building will set aside lower floors to park 340 cars. About 40 percent will be for the renters, with the rest available for Greektown businesses. Blum said the project, the work of FitzGerald Associates Architects, also has 22,000-square-feet of ground-floor retail. That allotment was cut after local folks didn’t like his original plan to include an Aldi grocery store, which was deemed not in keeping with the local chic.

HANCOCK CARVE-UP: The Balkanization of the John Hancock Center continues. Last week, Paris-based Montparnasse 56 Group bought the observation deck, and now property records show that an affiliate of Prudential Real Estate Investors has paid $141.5 million for the building’s commercial space.

The deal covers more than 200,000 square feet, including the plaza-level space that includes Best Buy, and the 95th and 96th floors used by the Signature Room restaurant. Records show Prudential borrowed $74.1 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to finance the purchase from Deutsche Bank AG.

Montparnasse has big plans for improving the 94th floor observation deck, judging from property records. It paid $18.2 million for the real estate but borrowed $36 million in a mortgage, indicating it will spend heavily to change the space.

The parts of the 100-story Hancock that are still available are the office space and the roof. Yes, the roof, with its antennas, is a valuable asset. The Hancock’s condos remain with their owners.

OOPS: I was unclear last week in summarizing Northwestern University’s position on the old Prentice Women’s Hospital, which preservationists want to save. University spokesman Storer Rowley said it has no immediate plans for tearing it down or starting a replacement. But he said its long-term goal remains replacing Prentice with a high-rise containing medical research labs.

DOING THE DEALS: Golub & Co. LLC and a division of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. paid $44 million for the 15-story building at 311 W. Monroe, buying it from AREA Property Partners. The building is expected to see more vacancies soon. One tenant was the bankrupt Peregrine Financial Group Inc. … Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine signed a lease for 61,000 square feet at 633 N. St. Clair, among the largest deals in the central business district this year. It took space surrendered by ad agency Draftfcb. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. were the brokers. … Quantum Real Estate Advisors Inc. brokered the $2.23 million sale of a 5,900-square-foot retail plaza at 115 Rand Road, Arlington Heights. … Forum Studio, an architectural and planning division of Clayco Inc., said it has leased 30,000 square feet at 35 E. Wacker and plans to expand into another 22,000 square feet. … Reed Construction said it has finished a 23,000-square-foot build-out for the Chicago Community Trust at 225 N. Michigan. … MB Real Estate represented PPM America in its expansion of nearly 19,000 square feet at 225 W. Wacker, where it now occupies more than 90,000 square feet.

David Roeder reports on real estate at 6:22 p.m. Thursdays on Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM WBBM. The reports are repeated at 10:22 p.m. Thursday and 7:22 a.m. Sunday.

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