ChicagoWest / Southwest

‘Gold Coast amenities’ at 2620 W Washington St? That IS Bold.

by Joseph Askins on 12/9/10

Bold L&H Lofts, Chicago

“The building, which was built in 1926, is located directly in the path of progress,” says the website for Bold L&H Lofts. In the path? No wonder East Garfield Park is suffering! Get out of the way, and let that progress through!

I kid.

Sometime in the past couple of years, LK Growth and Bold Development adapted the six-story Lindemann & Hoverson warehouse at 2620 W Washington St into 68 lofts and retail space. The developers restored the building’s entrance and terra cotta-clad showroom, created new storefronts, installed new windows to match its old steel-sash windows, and repaired the brick and terra cotta exterior. They built a green roof and applied for LEED Silver certification (something the development has yet to receive, according to the US Green Building Council), had the building declared a Chicago Landmark in early 2009, and pulled in an award for preservation excellence from the city this year.

The developers describe the homes as “true industrial lofts” with new lighting, exposed brick, minimalist kitchens with maple cabinetry, custom-designed aluminum shelving, and granite countertops, and new white-tiled bathrooms. The building itself “offer(s) a multitude of Gold Coast amenities at a fraction of the cost,” including free Wi-Fi, two new elevators, a roof deck with community grill, private garden areas, and a dog run.

Rent started at $950, with in-unit laundry running an additional $55 and parking an additional $110. The last time Bold Development updated the project’s website, all but one of the units were under lease.

In our search for more information about the building, we came across a Facebook group created “to provide a central, accessible place for residents…to meet one another, and to voice concerns regarding the building, as well as the community.” Its wall reveals plenty about life in and around the lofts, from a laundry list of maintenance problems, to the realities of neighborhood crime. Some of the choice comments and questions are:

Hey, who stole my pumpkin? There were 4 outside my door on Saturday morning, but only 3 on Sunday night. They aren’t meant for taking.

Someone tried to steal my tire overnight, on Talman – just watch out. Check your tires before you drive!

Is it me or are the elevators getting darker as each light slowly goes out?

I haven’t been able to get a decent wireless connection in weeks.

My car was broken into last night on Campbell. I know there’s not a lot anyone can do about it, I mean that’s what you get for living in a crappy neighborhood…but just fyi.

Are people allowed to use their apartments for carpentry businesses or building boats? Just asking because that’s sure as hell what it sounds like the person who lives above me is doing every day, and if you can’t tell by the sarcasm on here, it’s REALLY annoying.

word is that Cory was robbed at gunpoint right outside the buidling in broad daylight! Another good reason to get the Hell out of that place.

Funny story; a cabbie once asked me “Are you SURE you want me to let you out here?” when he drove me to our building.

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Google Buzz
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Live
  • Posterous
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • email

No related posts.

{ 34 comments }

Jordan December 9, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I made the terribly unwise decision to move into this place when it first opened back at the end of May in 2009. The developers and management continually lied about building details in order to convince people to sign leases. What was supposed to be an enclosed, grassy rooftop dog run turned out to be some astroturf thrown over one side of the wooden deck, and secured by some extra cinderblocks. It smelled just fantastic in the summer, as you can imagine. The tile floors in the elevators were done so cheaply, that the tiles kept popping out every day. Developers solution? Why a piece of plywood placed overtop for months works just as well!

We were promised to have a divider installed separating the bed area from the rest of the loft, and after several promises and ignored requests, that never happened either. The pipes in the garage also leaked rusty water onto the cars, causing paint damage that the management refused to address.

All of that without getting into the personal safety issues of the surrounding area. Residents who parked their cars on the street habitually had them broken into, people were robbed in front of the building at gun point, and the empty lot east of the building was frequented by drug dealers and prostitutes.

The place was a hellish nightmare, and after 4 months there I gave up, broke my lease, and moved out. I implore anyone else that considers moving to Bold L&H because of what appears to be a good deal, to strongly reconsider. Lying and unresponsive management is bad enough, but the risk of bodily harm is not worth any discounts you might be given to live here.

Scott December 16, 2010 at 11:04 PM

I agree with Jordan. Many broken promises and maintenance that was lacking big time for nearly 8 months. Cars were broken into every week, smashed in windshields and yet with the “security system” in place there were never any arrests. Everything was sugar coated with BS. The developer believed so much in the building and neighborhood that he moved in. NOT! Thanks for posting, the place is a nightmare for anyone with pets. The area around the building is littered with trash and often street lights are out. Not a place to walk outside at dark alone…ever. Stay away from this building and Kass Management!

Mark December 20, 2010 at 9:32 AM

I live on the same block as this building. While I don’t have trouble believing the building itself isn’t as luxurious as described, I think the comments above vilifying the neighborhood are not completely accurate. No this is not Lincoln or Wicker Park; it’s not even East Humbolt Park level yet. But the amount of crime and the state of general safety in the area as described by comments above are overblown.

First of all, being right near Dodge Elementary school the area is very well lit and very well patrolled by the police.

Second, living in the area I monitor Chicago Crime website weekly and never once have I seen any robbery at gunpoint take place near this building. I haven’t seen robbery at gunpoint take place near Washington Blvd between Western and California EVER! Do car break-ins occur in the area? Yes, but not weekly as described above. But guess what — car theft/break-ins happen in every neighborhood. It comes with the risk of parking on the street. I’ve been parking my car on the street — sometimes on Talman even — for 2 years and have yet to see my car vandalized. This is anecdotal, yes, but with the proper precautions like keeping any valuables out of sight you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Don’t get me wrong — EGP has a lot of development to go to become a desirable neighborhood to live for any reason other than a central location within the city. But most of the bad crime stays west of Kedzie. And EGP is literally a walk in the park compared to West GP and parts of Lawndale.

Heather December 21, 2010 at 6:18 PM

I read this article last week when it was originally published and it hasn’t set well with me. While I do not live in the Bold L & H Lofts building, I am very familiar with it and live somewhat in the area—just over by the United Center. I have been very active in trying to improve the neighborhood—for instance, my husband and I, along with a core group of other community members lead the petition drive that got us the Pete’s Fresh Market full service grocery store that is coming to the corner of Madison and Western in 2011. I have frequently walked the 2620 Bold L&H Lofts building distributing flyers for various neighborhood events to encourage involvement. The owner has been gracious enough to host a couple of social mixers that brought other people from the neighborhood to the 2620 building to meet residents and mingle. He also personally connected me with some residents in the building that he knew were interested in gardening so that they could participate in some community gardens we developed just east of Western Ave. In my opinion, the owner cares very much about the building, its tenants, and is always looking to foster a sense of community with the residents of the building.

Having been both a renter and a landlord in the city for years, there’s no better deal out there price-wise for what you get—the amenities listed in this article are true—a true concrete loft building, a heated parking garage, free WIFI and killer views—plus the rooftop deck with a bar-b-que, café tables and a dog run. And from what I understand, the utilities are very low, as the building is built according to LEED specifications and is waiting certification.

It’s not a hidden fact that the neighborhood is going through redevelopment. That’s why the pricing is much better than the Gold Coast or other established areas. Parking in the Gold Coast is over $200 and Bold L&H is $110—and street parking is free. Is there crime? Yes—there is everywhere in the city. When I lived in a very nice area of Wrigleyville, I was mugged at gunpoint, had my apartment broken into and had my car broken into— so it’s everywhere. Like one of the other commenters mentioned—you have to be smart—don’t leave stuff in your car out in the open—don’t walk home by yourself from the EL at 2am— and if people in the building want the neighborhood to improve, then they need to get active and attend their local CAPS meetings if they don’t already. The cops need to hear your stories and complaints—you are the constant eyes and ears of what is happening around your building. They can put together a special sting operation if you want to end the prostitution that you are witnessing, drugs, etc. There is also a very tight Block Club on Maypole — I’ve bumped into the gentleman that organizes it when I was passing out flyers one day and I believe they have monthly events like game night or a dance. Getting to know neighbors cuts your risks for being a victim of crime significantly. People can also get involved with the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance that heads up the East Garfield Park New Communities Program and Quality of Life Plan: http://www.garfieldconservatory.org/new_communities.htm
Over here by the United Center we are constantly faced with similar safety and quality of life issues—but as we’ve learned, sticking to yourself and just complaining about it doesn’t get anything accomplished. Once we became active in our community and got to know people, the area GREATLY improved. Regarding trash around the building— make sure the area gets on the next clean and green for the ward—call the alderman’s office and complain. Request that L & H or Kass gets some permanent garbage cans from the city for in front of/ around the building (the kind that are bolted to the sidewalk).

As far as the quality issues inside the building, again, I don’t live in the building, but I would assume that a lot of those kinks have been worked out. After all, the building is BRAND NEW and with new construction it takes time to make corrections. I noticed on the Facebook page that mostly all of the complaints were posted in 2009 regarding quality issues about the building. For instance… the elevator floors situation— apparently, the elevators’ floor tiles had very expensive glass tile that was installed incorrectly and since then, new porcelain tiles were installed. Wood was put on the floor due to move-ins and due to construction to finish the project. The dog run situation that Jordan describes is not the dog run that I’ve seen– it is now a fenced off area on the roof and it has been totally improved. The fact the building stays full says many residents like the building.

From what I know of my interactions with the owner and Kass Management, they care very much about the residents—even the owner walks the building and asks if residents are happy and what can be done to make the building an even better place to live. If the owner ever found out a resident was this unhappy he would correct it right away. Kass tries to provide great service, and things do happen sometimes— residents can always reach the owner at info@2620lofts.com. Believe me, Bold L&H management and ownership want residents to be happy!!!! Otherwise, they’d be sitting with empty units and losing valuable rent!

Joe Zekas December 21, 2010 at 8:38 PM

For a purported outsider, Heather, you do a great job of coming across as someone who works for the owner or manager of this building.

Heather December 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Joe, I assure you– I do not work for the owner of this building, or the management company—nor do I work in the real estate industry period— the only real estate interest I have is the roof over my head. As I clearly stated in my comment, I am friendly with the owner after I initially approached him (literally cold-called him) to host a community social mixer. I have been on multiple tours of the building over the past two years and have seen improvements with my own eyes–i.e. the elevator floors, the rooftop garden and the dog run. Not only have I toured the building with the owner and heard his ideas for plans, improvements and the sheer pride he has in the building, but I have also experienced his commitment to make sure that tenants are happy and feel a sense of community. He did not have to open up his building to host events in which all of his tenants were invited (we also distributed flyers in the building to invite tenants to other events taking place in the neighborhood, upon the owner’s request to keep them involved). I also attended a social event for the tenants in which the owner was encouraging feedback from tenants and he even got Alderman Fioretti to come and listen to tenants’ concerns, answer questions and provide neighborhood updates. Very rarely do building owners of rental properties show this much interest.

Therefore, Joe, when I read the article, I felt the need to stick up for this owner and the building, and I found it to be pretty irresponsible that the author of this article chose to focus on comments from a FaceBook page that are outdated, rather than taking the time to actually interview any of the current tenants.

One more thing— if you notice, majority of my comment was focused on improving the neighborhood and concrete resources/ ideas for people as to how to do so. Speaking as a resident of a simliar “developing” area that is plagued by many of the same issues, it frustrates me when people sit around and belly ache about it, but never do anything. No owner of any building is going to wave a magic wand and make all of the social ills of the neighborhood disappear. It is up to the residents of the community and there’s power in numbers. When I moved over to the United Center area in 2007, I would hear gunshots at night when I took my dog out, had drug dealers and gang members CONSTANTLY camping out on my corner and across the street and hookers turning tricks in a vacant piece land two doors down. Guess what? While things aren’t all peachy, I don’t have drug dealers setting up camp on my corner anymore–got the vacant lot fenced in so that it isn’t a hang out for hookers, and by doing other things to keep the neighborhood clean, building a community garden, etc. it’s not as fun for the gun wielding gang bangers to hang out in droves in the local park. And this all happened by joining forces with other neighbors and getting our voices heard by the police, our Alderman and showing our commitment so that they had to follow through on our complaints/ requests. People have to show up!

Just as, if residents of 2620 are not happy with something about the building, then they need to contact the owner to get resolution.

Joe Zekas December 22, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Heather,

I’m curious as to why you use one name / e-mail address here, and another in the Facebook Group?

Heather December 22, 2010 at 11:42 PM

Umm, Joe, not that I owe you an explanation, but I do not go under my real name online due to safety issues. Why do you care? Please don’t answer that, because I don’t really care what you think. Forgive me for concentrating on the real issues regarding this article, rather than your concern about what “handle” I’m using. I’m certainly not the first person on the Internet to use multiple aliases to protect my identity for safety reasons.Good Bye.

Joe Zekas December 23, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Heather,

My concern over your identity is obvious.

When someone violates Facebook’s Terms of Service and lies about their identity, as you’ve just said you do, and has multiple online identities, there’s good cause to question their motives.

My guess is that your “safety” concerns revolve around being safe from FTC fines for fraudulent endorsements.

Tanya February 19, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I think that the developers did a GREAT job with this buliding from what I have seen on the pictures I would’nt mine moving into one of these unit these is an up and coming area that will grow rapidly GOOD JOB!!!!!

C March 4, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Now let’s get an update for someone who lives in the building- I do not know “Heather” but she is right and I can tell she has met Larry by what she is saying. Yes, there have been a few things wrong, but it is a NEW renovated building like someone said and there are always going to be issues. If you have concerns, express it to Larry and he will try to improve what you ask. I can tell his heart and his soul goes into this building to the point where he is even having an office built for him just so he can spend a couple of hours a day during the week in the building incase anybody wants to talk to him and express concerns. 68 units in the building…how often can you say most renters have a relationship with the owner, let alone see him/meet him on a regular basis. Not very often. There is not one safe place in a city. I am a female and have to take my dog outside when not using the dog run and I feel safe, but you always need to watch your back no matter where you are. I am on my A-game when I go out there, but it does make me feel better knowing there are schools surrounding. I always see neighborhood kids outside playing. Everyone is really friendly and kind in and around the building. Only crime I saw were a few guys trying to break in to the trains sitting on the tracks. Cops were called immediately and I saw them show up in a few minutes and search the area. There are always cops rolling around here. Saw a car parked in front of the train tracks one night too and a cop pulled up behind them within a few minutes, searched them and told them to leave the area. There are always cops sitting by the train tracks above as well. I feel renters are always going to have something to complain about. Go buy a house than and pay to have someone constantly fix the shit that goes wrong. I think Kass Management and Larry are very nice and understanding people. They will try to accommodate any needs you have. I enjoy living in L&H Bold. I think it’s a great building and is constantly improving.

Joe Zekas March 4, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Why do so many of the commenters on this post sound inauthentic?

Since you’re such a booster, C, I’m inviting you to show me around the building on a video tour, and ask directions to the building.

Correct me if I’m wrong by taking me up on my offer.

The skeptic in me says you’d have to borrow a dog or the occasion.

M. March 13, 2011 at 4:27 AM

I’ve been here since the opening of the building and besides having my spare tire stolen the first 6 months I was here, I haven’t had a problem at all. Like some of the posts say you have to be smart living in the city, no matter where you live. Its new and it will take time for things to happen here (and it has). Yes, there are a few locals who are threatened and may have a problem with the people in the building but if you speak to some of them when you see them instead of ignore or stick your nose up like your better than them, then yes, you will have problems no matter where you live. Some people are not comfortable living around certain people (Joe) so they automatically say negative things about neighborhoods. There is crime everywhere and people need to understand that. If you make yourself a target, then you will be one. this is the price of city living and no I haven’t lived my whole life in the city. I’m from the ‘burbs. Is that authentic enough Joe?

Joe Zekas March 13, 2011 at 9:57 AM

M. and C have the same IP address, and I’ll give odds that they’re the same liar.

Do you people not realize that what you’re apparently doing is illegal – and that it is a big honking warning flag that scares people away from your building even more than the neighborhood does?

M. March 13, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Hey dumbass. Same IP address is because we live in this building. We use the same free wifi service that the building provides. If you spent less time checking IP addresses and more time on actually getting facts on whats going on over here then maybe you might be a more credible person. Come over and I will give you that tour you asked C for.

M. March 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Joe,
You’re trying to tear down the good someone (besides you) is trying to do for the city of Chicago. Turn your attention to something more positive and from what I gather, you don’t live in the building or in the area. If you are not helping, then you are the problem.

Joe Zekas March 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Well, M., I’m always up for meeting classy folk like you.

You can leave me a voice mail at 312-280-9780 x 100 with your correct name and return number to make arrangements to meet me at the building.

Anyone taking bets on whether M. will follow through and prove to be an actua resident of the building unrelated to ownership?

M. March 13, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Joe,
I’m in 405. I’m here til 2p Monday-Friday and I can show you how classy we are. Let’s see if you’re up to it. Better yet, you can come today. I will be here all day. Take time out of my off day to show you around. Let’s see if your talk is real. 708-432-6718 and leave a message. Peace.

Joe Zekas March 13, 2011 at 3:50 PM

M.,

Per our phone conversation I’m looking forward to meeting you at the building Wednesday at 10.

Danielle March 20, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Any updates in your visit?

Joe Zekas March 20, 2011 at 5:51 PM

M. left a voice mail cancelling our scheduled visit.

dby April 9, 2011 at 4:43 AM

lol, you people are HILARIOUS!!! this is better than reality tv, probably because it’s reality! i, too, am moving into the united center area in a few weeks, and am looking forward to the funny & lively debates between joe, m, c, etc – let’s keep one thing in mind – we have to work together to build the neighborhood up by working together, not by discouraging other from joining and helping buildup a neighborhood you’ve already invested in; it’s counter productive, and will only have a negative impact on all our property values. less threatening posts, more neighborhood involvement (you know who you are…).

Joe Zekas April 9, 2011 at 11:29 AM

dby,

Not very many renters who expected the great neighborhood a Web site promised want to spend their time building up the neighborhood their landlord actually delivered. It’s HILARIOUS to think that many of them will.

Why do you sound so much like the same promoter we’ve seen above?

Marco December 6, 2012 at 3:25 AM

I know that this is a rather old thread but I came across it because I’ve been researching 2620 Lofts since my girlfriend and I are looking to move into a new place in Jan 2013.

After reading all of this, we are ruling this place out. We have been trying to set up a showing for the past week after seeing a listing on Craigslist. In our experience, setting up a showing for a place has usually been an almost effortless experience but our contact here has continually traded emails with us and promised to call us and has not followed through.

Our contacts name….Heather. Just saying…

nerak January 1, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I am looking for an apartment in this price range (1-2 bdrms). If anyone does’t like the area ,I’ll take over the lease in early 2013. Heather , if you have any thing available around United Cntr., please let me know . I grew up on the westside. This is a legitimate request.

Alisa April 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I have left at least 5 messages for both Heather (email AND phone) and also the building management with no communication back. I would have loved to have rented one of these units for June, but it’s been 2 weeks without a peep. That doesn’t bode well for what it would be like if you actually needed maintenance or assistance once in the building. After reading these reviews, I am not surprised. Just a warning that the customer service seems to be pretty bad. A shame, because I really did want to rent a unit.

Christine September 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Nobody should live in this building if Larry is still running it and do not let Heather fool you.

Although the units are plain and awesome, Larry himself is a nightmare and so is the neighborhood. Everyone that lived in the building was wonderful and chill, however everyone lurking outside the building was a bit questionable. It was a diamond in the ruff until Larry fired Kass Management, built himself an office and practically moved into the building. There he was was…every night, sitting in his office right next to the entrance and mailroom. Always wanting to chat and “improve” the building.

Larry your ideas suck. Putting that huge 50 foot piece of junk art up was one of your biggest. Than going to iKea and purchasing every ugly painting they sell and hanging them up on each floor. The signs you type up and tape everywhere that are misspelled. The dog run that still has not been executed. It was painted one summer and than that it started peeling off into chunks like glue on skin.

Cameras are EVERYWHERE and Larry creepily watches them in his office and sitting at home from his iPad. Yet nothing happens when all your christmas gifts keep disappearing from the mailroom or when your packages are left outside for the man rolling a grocery card filled with wood gets to take them. Many people who park outside get their windows popped on a weekly basis. Every year he jacks up the parking or says “he is giving you a deal”.

Everyone living in the building has their own jacked up price they pay. Many people and their dogs have been held a gunpoint for their bags in which Larry does not mention to anyone for their safety.

He has created the tackiest “JAM ROOM” in what use to be a very nice lobby. Beautiful windows are now draped with oversized ugly red curtains that were probably left behind from a previous tenant. Oh wait.. .everything located in the JAM ROOM IS LEFT FROM PREVIOUS OWNERS!

Even the people that work for him do not have good things to say about Larry. Owning/Managing and being a landlord just isn’t Larry’s thing and so for that do not move into this building.

Units do not start at $950 and if they do, you are in a shittier loft facing the West side with no views but broken down buildings and a parking lot. Occasionally… the ice cream truck man is there. Facing the city…what a gorgeous view! Not if you’re on the third floor…all you get to see is the choo choo train that passes your window 50 times a day. And just wait for night time…you will actually feel like the train is in your loft.

The windows open are a joke if that train is coming by. They will lie to you and tell you it only comes by every so often. I have counted 35 times in a night. It keeps you up at night but at least you will get to hear a few gunshots with cars speeding off, or people breaking thru the brand new barbwire chainlink fence the city put up to keep people from breaking into the trains. Yea, didn’t work.

Jeff October 16, 2013 at 10:37 PM

I can’t say much about the building other than tenants I have met while walking my dog have been very friendly.

As for complaints of the neighborhood I have lived just a few houses down for 12 years. I have never had anything happen to me, friends or visitors.

Unlike most people in the city I have lived in 35 of the cities neighborhoods. I can say this area looks rough but statistically isn’t any worse off for crime compared to most of the city. I lived in Lakeview for 3 years a block from Wrigley. I literally had someone break into my moving truck which was locked in broad day light. I’ve never had that happen anywhere else. My wife has had 2 cars stolen. One in Lakeview and the other in Roscoe Village. No where else has she had this happen.

As for fear of the area, I can’t help but think what makes people around here appear sketchy has more to do with skin color than actual threats.

Brad January 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Yes, the neighborhood is rough but there are other, more important reasons to stay away from this place.
Unfortunately I think people see the lofts and are impressed to the point where they don’t think about what they’re really signing up for. Dealing with Larry is an absolute nightmare. His greed and malevolence are simply unmatched, and really come to light when you choose to leave. We lived at the building for 2 years and paid all 24 rent payments on time, did our best to follow all of Larry’s rules posted throughout the building, and left our unit in excellent shape. We were even described by members of his staff as being “perfect tenants.” And now, 7 months after moving out, without any contact from Larry, we are receiving collection notices.

Please, PLEASE reconsider living here. The problems with the horrendous management on the part of Larry more than outweigh any safety issues with the neighborhood.

Kevin January 25, 2014 at 7:02 PM

I have to say that Brad’s post (above) is almost identical to what my girlfriend and I experienced.

I saw the listing on Craigslist back in 2011. Getting a showing wasn’t difficult, but during the initial meeting I noticed differences between what the website said and what I was being told. For example, the cost of parking in the garage was grossly misrepresented, but I chalked it up to a typo and moved on.

The first night after I moved in I realized how much sound carried in the building. My next door neighbor’s bass blasted until almost 3am and became a semi-regular occurrence until the guy moved out about 8 months later.

Larry’s typo-ridden postings that appeared around the building were funny for the most part–the man’s grammar and spelling are almost inconceivably awful. In retrospect it’s frightening how someone who can’t comprehend basic sentence structure be allowed to manage a building and tenants.

I never had a late payment, I followed the building’s myriad rules, even allowed myself to get pulled into conversations with Larry in his office. He liked to frequent the first floor office and watch people come and go. It’s impossible to get past the door without him seeing you…though most of the time I tried to hurry past and would pray he wouldn’t have time to call out and lasso me in. It didn’t always work :(

I didn’t hate Larry at the time. I just found him, his arbitrary rules, and his nickel-and-dime tactics obnoxious. He charged for almost anything he could (storage units, bike racks, excessive trash disposal), but never followed through on his promises to refund people when the dryers were broken or when the WiFi was constantly going out.

After two years, it was time to move on (he was increasing the rent for the second time). He asked us to move out five days before the lease ended so that he could have time to turn it over for the next person to move in before the end of the month. We agreed but asked to be credited for the days after we moved out. He never responded to our e-mail and made himself scarce. We were never compensated. We moved out at the end of May 2013.

In JANUARY 2014, both my girlfriend and I received separate collection notices. We hadn’t so much as heard from Larry in the last 8 months, and suddenly he was charging us over $2,000 for “damages”, “excessive cleaning”, and having left a “very messy unit.” We sent him an e-mail asking for an explanation and he sent back an invoice listing things like “lightbulb replacement” and “management oversight.” His e-mail also stated that he wouldn’t report us if we agreed to pay up by the end of the month. Suffice to say, we’re really upset.

The lofts themselves are very cool. The neighborhood is not bad (although my car had its catalytic converter stolen one night while parked outside the building. In retrospect, I half suspect Larry, who was always trying to convince me to pay for garage privileges as opposed to free street parking). Heather, his sales associate, is a total space cadet and no help. Larry himself is everything he’s already been described: creepy, greedy, and malevolent. I’ve never in my life had an issue with a landlord before or since him.

I’d like to second Brad’s sentiment. PLEASE reconsider living here. It’s not worth it.

jim ruggerio February 9, 2014 at 9:09 AM

2620 is an absolute nightmare!! Stay away. The last straw was having my car stolen under the street light smack dab at the intersection of Talman and Maypole. 2620 ground zero. Oh, the police did find it, stripped and gutted 4 blocks away. The neighborhood is NOT SAFE by any means. Parcels left outside the building are routinely stolen, purported security cameras surrounding the building are non existent, and having beer bottles thrown at me as I walked to my car isn’t my idea of a good time. Stroll the neighborhood on a summer night..FORGET IT unless you consider yourself Charles Bronson in Death Wish. Even he’d be scared.

now concerned April 16, 2014 at 3:59 PM

I currently live in this building, and this is amazing to read so many people have this in common after moving out. We also got a letter from a former tenant warning us. I wanted to thank whoever sent that and the people here who have shared their story.

Danielle June 4, 2014 at 6:47 AM

Wow. I live in the neighborhood and continue to hear terrible things about this building. That is too bad because it could be a wonderful place. Let me say this about the neighborhood. there was one robbery at gunpoint on California and several car break ins. I walk my dog and ride my bike all the time and have not had the problems that many mention above. It is not the best place but no the worst. I have heard people repeat crimes with a little extra thrown in among neighborhood gossip. My car was broken into and my apartment more times when I lived in Lincoln Park and Wicker Park. All that being said, this dude Larry and the management company need to be reported. I will NEVER recommend this place to anyone.

2620 Lofts Management July 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM

This is the ownership/management at 2620 Lofts. For a long while now, we have sat back and not commented on what people have said here on the Yo! Chicago website about our building. In our effort to not have an online battle with a few previous disgruntled residents, we’ve kept quiet. That kind of online dialogue never bodes well for a productive discussion between what is fact, and what is either hearsay, or just plain negative perception on a few peoples’ parts. Perhaps this was not the best PR choice on our part, as this article has resurfaced and we feel that the few out of the entirety of residents should not be the voice and reflection of what the reality is at this 68 unit building.

We have been open since May 2009 and there have been a few hundred people that have lived in the building and almost all people are happy to be living in this Green, Official, LEED Certified Building. This is represented in the amount of people that have renewed their leases for the past 3, 4 and 5 years. We also have numerous people in the building that have swapped units— moving internally from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom and visa versa. We also have people in the building that were relocated to another city for a job transfer, wound up moving back to Chicago and came back to living at 2620 Lofts instead of seeking out residency elsewhere. We recently invited Joe Zekas (the author of this blog) to come for an onsite visit and see for himself what is happening in the building— and at his suggestion, we are writing this response to address some of these negative comments.

First, let’s start out with the obvious—people can write negative comments online and make false accusations without having to prove anything or having any real repercussions. The identities of the majority of these negative commenters is not a mystery. A few actually used their real names, but most used aliases. Specifics mentioned in their individual entries identified them right away— and the truth is that most, if not all of these people renewed their lease for at least one year—some even more, when they had the opportunity to not renew and move on if they were so unhappy. So what went wrong to spark the negativity? Each of these folks fall into at least one or a few of these categories: 1) They did not do an adequate job of cleaning their apartment and/or left damages upon exiting the building, and thus were sent a bill; 2) During their residency, they were issued a notice or fine for disrespectful behavior to their fellow neighbors for either not cleaning up after their dog, creating noise disturbances or other negative behavior that we needed to address in order to keep the other residents happy; or 3) They were late with rent payments, or stopped paying altogether and thus were subject to fines and fees.

Let’s talk about fines/ fees for not cleaning and/or damages upon exiting the building. We do not take a security deposit upon move-in. We charge a one-time non-refundable move-in fee. This is becoming more and more the standard in Chicago— especially in larger buildings, like ours. Therefore, when tenants are moving out, they are not at risk of losing a security deposit, since there is none to recoup. As a result, they feel it’s not necessary to return the unit to the condition it was in when they moved in— there’s not the incentive, or “carrot” so-to-speak dangling for doing a good job in hopes of getting that security deposit. Obviously, these folks did not take our Move-Out Procedures document seriously regarding charges that will be incurred for not cleaning or damages left. That is all we ask— that the unit be returned to move-in condition. It’s pretty simple— we take into account the normal wear and tear as set forth in the lease, and the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance. When someone leaves an oven FILTHY dirty and it takes our contractor two hours and multiple trips to the building to clean it due to multiple cleaning sprays and waiting periods in between times to allow the product to work— that tenant is going to receive a bill for the extraordinary amount of time it took that contractor to complete the work. Another example would be “Kevin” who was charged for damages and cleaning upon move-out. He left a very large Chicago City skyline sticker (about 4-5′ tall by 10′ wide) that damaged the wall. We had to remove, sand down the drywall and repaint the entire wall. He failed to mention that part.

It is not in our best interest or time efficient to be sending invoices to past residents and trying to recoup expenses. This is not our goal. To help residents understand how not to get charged, we are very forthcoming with the Move-out guidelines that they sign, when signing the lease and again, we issue the guidelines before they move out (they are available on our website to view here: http://www.2620lofts.com/pdf/2620_Move-Out.pdf). Each resident is also given a “Move-In” Checklist at lease signing in which we ask them to complete and return within a week of getting their keys. This gives them an opportunity to report anything that needs to be resolved right away, or any potential damage issues that they could get charged for upon their exit if not noted that we simply didn’t catch—like a missing window screen. This is definitely not a revenue stream for the building— on the contrary, a loss– so in some cases, we feel that it’s right to ask those folks to pay for their cost to the building.

Next—the situation with residents getting fined for disrespectful behaviors: Unfortunately, sometimes a written warning or phone call to a resident who is perpetrating the behavior is not sufficient. A resident who REPEATEDLY has noise disturbances or lets their dog eliminate themselves in the building or on the rooftop and doesn’t clean up, is going to get monetarily fined. It is unfortunate, but when verbal requests are ignored and the behavior is repeated, a monetary fine seems to get the violator’s attention. We have to enforce rules and fines for disrespectful behavior to protect the living experience for the other residents in the building. That’s reality. We cannot ignore bothersome behaviors by an inconsiderate resident, only to infuriate another respectful resident and risk losing them as a tenant.

Late rent payments or no rent payments at all— this one goes without saying… but people do it and then are all upset when they receive late fines or interest charges.

We could go through most of the negative commenters’ entries and give specific responses to each false accusation— upon looking into some of them, we were glad to find things like—again— Kevin claimed that he never received a refund when the laundry card machine broke— when in fact, looking at his company file—we had noted the reimbursement made to him. We have ALWAYS provided FREE bike racks— we did temporarily have a fob-secured bike storage area as an option for folks with super-expensive bikes that were willing to pay a nominal monthly fee— but this never replaced free bike racks. Yes— we do have additional temperature-controlled storage units in the building that there is a nominal charge for— we built them at the request of residents and we keep the monthly fee to at or below what an equal-sized unit would cost at the storage facility down the block on Western Avenue— and they are conveniently located in the building—not down the block.

This building is not for everyone. And there are people that will be happier elsewhere. “Christine” and others complained about Larry being “in the office” and “watching” cameras. Others find having someone on staff in the building office to address needs or answer questions helpful. Many residents DO actually stop by and chit chat on their own volition– sometimes multiple residents at the same time and a happy hour results out of it. Most residents find security cameras & key FOB security system in the building to be a comfort. We do not have a 24-hour door security person. If no one is in the office or physically in the building, yes– cameras are looked at remotely—and randomly to make sure everything is running smoothly. There are not cameras on ANY of the living floors— only at building entrances, access points, loading dock, garages, etc.— they are where they should be so that we can adequately make sure everything is secure for the protection of residents in the building.

A few people commented on the choice of artwork in the building and choice of décor in the JAM Lounge— last time we checked, art is pretty subjective– we get a lot of compliments on the building and— many residents use the JAM Lounge to host friends for a party, hang out— as well as musicians in the building use it as practice space—whereas before, it was just an empty lobby that people would use to enter and exit the building. And all furniture in the JAM Lounge was bought and paid for—have the receipts to prove it– contrary to what “Christine” claimed– other than ONE piece, which was a former resident’s.

We cannot control the neighborhood experience. We do our best to try— have invited long time residents in the neighborhood to come to a rooftop party, we are in regular contact with the Aldermen and Police Sergeant regarding neighborhood activity— yet we cannot control everything. The neighborhood continually improves and will get even better with new retail and a brand new grocery store at the corner of Madison and Western. As one commenter mentioned— they have lived in far nicer neighborhoods and experienced multiple car break-ins. We ask that residents be smart about activities. It’s probably not the best idea to be wandering the neighborhood alone at 1am with your purse on your shoulder or Iphone out in front of you.

The bottom line is this– our goal is to run a really great building and create a positive living experience for everyone who lives here. Just as in any community, you can’t please everyone. Policies are created and enforced for the good of everyone in the community and to operate a smooth business. If we didn’t charge the people who leave damages, we would need to pass on those costs to the overall bottom line and instead of the lower 0-3% of rent increases each year, we might have to be more in line with the city average of 6-7%.

There is always money reinvested in keeping the building in very good shape and money is spent on improvements. This year we invested in rooftop deck improvements— including new Weber Grills, tons of flowers and new lounge chairs.

This is a great LEED Certified Building with very low utility bills for residents. It has beautiful architecture from 1926. Everything in the building is very reasonably priced with nice amenities. If you still have hesitation about some of the comments made on this forum, we encourage you to contact management directly, and ask to meet Larry and some longer-term tenants and judge for yourself. Please don’t let these few people ruin your opportunity to live in a great true industrial loft building with a great GREEN Roof. You may contact Larry at: management@2620Lofts.com

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous Post:

Next Post: