Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Lake Meadows was the biggest privately financed urban renewal project in the country when it was built in the 1950s on a former slum razed by the city. With modern high-rises and generous green space, it was considered pioneering at the time, but urban renewal projects like Lake Meadows have drawn criticism in the decades since for displacing vulnerable Black residents who lived in the buildings that were torn down.
The 70-acre complex stretches from 31st to 35th streets between Lake Shore and Martin Luther King drives and includes nine residential buildings, the tallest rising 22 stories. At one point about 15 years ago, Draper & Kramer proposed a massive redevelopment of Lake Meadows that would have more than tripled the number of homes there, but it never followed through with the plan.
It’s unclear what Antheus is paying for the property, but the price could easily exceed $150 million. In 2019, Draper & Kramer sold Prairie Shores, with 1,675 apartments, for $168.4 million, or $100,000 per unit, according to Real Capital Analytics, a real estate data provider.
A Draper & Kramer spokesman declined to comment. An executive at Antheus, which has not completed the transaction, did not respond to a request for comment.
With 1,869 units, Lake Meadows would be the largest, though not most expensive, multifamily property in the Chicago area to trade since the 2007 sale of Presidential Towers, a 2,346-unit project in the West Loop.
The acquisition would add to an already large Chicago portfolio for Antheus. The firm has acquired nearly 5,000 units on the South Side since 2007, operating them through its better-known property-management arm, Mac Properties. Its portfolio includes dozens of buildings in Hyde Park, including Regents Park, a 1,031-unit lakefront property; the Shoreland Apartments, with 330 units; and Solstice on the Park, a 250-unit high-rise designed by Jeanne Gang.
In its most recent acquisition, Antheus paid $23.5 million for the Cloisters, an 86-unit building in Hyde Park, in August 2021.
Antheus is expanding its footprint at a good time. Amid high interest rates and a tight lending climate, multifamily prices have generally declined over the past year, creating attractive buying opportunities for investors with capital.
Demand for rental housing, meanwhile, remains strong, lifting occupancies and rents. Lake Meadows is 96.9% occupied, according to CoStar Group, a real estate data provider. The average apartment rented for $2.22 per square foot in the first quarter, up nearly 9% from a year earlier. Rents there range from $998 per month for a studio to $3,624 for a four-bedroom unit, according to CoStar.
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May 5, 2023 at 10:57PM