Its Web site is down, its listings have disappeared, and not a single tower unit has closed. Not the best way for Chieftain Group‘s Lexington Park Condominiums to enter the new year.
It’s easy to lose track of Lexington Park, all alone down there at the corner of Indiana and Cermak. It’s practically an afterthought, one of those projects you remember only when catching it out of the corner of your eye while driving down Lake Shore Drive or the Stevenson. But there it is, all but finished, with nary a soul inside. It’s a ghost town in the sky!
According to Cook County records, three soft lofts in an adjoining mid-rise closed this year. Another three lofts are under contract, as are at least 69 of the 300-plus units in the high-rise, or almost $25 million worth of inventory. (It’s not necessarily the bottom line for contracts, however — Crain’s, using Appraisal Research Counselors’ data, reported in June that Lexington Park was 53 percent pre-sold.)
So what’s the hold-up? It’s hard to tell, but I hear from reliable sources that it could be a three-fold situation. One, the tower is still waiting for certificates of occupancy from the city. We’ve heard that most of this year. Two, Chieftain may be trying to negotiate a loan modification in order to convert the tower’s condos to rentals, until which time the company isn’t any hurry to obtain said certificates. Three, the project’s lender, Corus Bank, was seized by the FDIC in September, thereby bogging down that loan modification process.
We’ll keep sniffing around to see what else we can find out. Call me curious…