Developer Warren Barr gives up on 830 S. Michigan high-rise
REAL ESTATE | Market put S. Michigan tower in limbo, Barr says
November 19, 2008
DAVID ROEDER firstname.lastname@example.org
Developer Warren Barr has sold property at 830 S. Michigan where he had proposed building this 80-story condo tower (left). Donald Trump is battling with lenders for a payment extension over his 401 N. Wabash building, likening the financial crisis to a natural disaster. (AP)
Condo developer Warren Barr is grievously disappointed that he can't pursue a project that was to be his mark on the skyline. But he can be thankful he is exiting the deal financially intact.
Barr has sold property at 830 S. Michigan where he planned an 80-story building. The financial crisis and overbuilt housing market have rendered those plans moot for probably at least three years, so Barr concluded now was the time to get out. "I really wanted to do this building, but the market today just makes it impossible," he said.
An insider said the property sold for around $18 million. Records show Barr acquired the piece in August 2007 for $13 million. Earlier this year, Barr fended off a foreclosure attempt. Counting costs for architectural work and navigating the project through the zoning process, Barr should have some cash left from the aborted venture.
Barr, president of Renaissant Development Group LLC in Oak Brook, declined to discuss terms of the sale. The buyer was Michigan 830 LLC, which lists in public records its registered agent as attorney Matthew Miller of the law firm Much Shelist. Miller did not return calls.
It's not known if the buyers plan to pursue the same project for which Barr got zoning approval. It called for a slender high-rise designed by Pappageorge/Haymes Ltd. to arise behind a 19th century YWCA that would have been preserved for the sake of the historic Michigan Avenue streetwall. The tower would have been the city's tallest building south of Van Buren.
Barr said he's still trying to hold together plans for a 40-story condo building at 1000 S. Michigan. It also went to foreclosure. "We're trying to work through a couple of options there," he said.