Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One Less Distressed Property

The 48-unit building at 5054 N Winthrop (near Winona) was built in 1910, but its fortunes have waned since then. As recently as 2005, it was a fully occupied rental building, but by January 2009, it was empty, gutted, and the lender had ordered it to be sold.

According to Chicago Real Estate Daily, it recently sold for $1.8 million to an affiliate of Chicago-based real estate firm Miller Group after the bank had filed a foreclosure suit on it and it was put into receivership.

We're not sure what's next for this once-beautiful building, but it's got to be a step up from its current blighted, boarded-up condition. We wish the new owners well in reversing its fortunes.


  1. This ought to be interesting to watch. The previous owner was developer Venter & Associates who developed our building on Kenmore, but did not finish it. Looks like Venter barely started this building, but gutting had begun.

    Interestingly enough, the new buyer, Miller Realty, is also known as Foster-Broadway LLC. Both firms are listed to realtor Stuart Miller. This firm has been sitting on 5208-5244 N. Broadway and 1310 W. Foster for many years. They currently have the property up for sale for a combined $18.5 million for several parcels.

    I hope that this firm's business plan is not to buy up property, sit on it, then "flip it" once the value goes up. If this is the case, the building could sit for years.

  2. Ventner is a disaster. He bought 5411 N. Winthrop for condo's 5 years ago. To "evict" his tenants he let the drug dealers take over. The drug dealers broke the garage door and operated a 24 hour drive thru drug house. Neighbors complained to Mary Ann Smith. She did nothing. That was until on drug dealer blasted another drug dealer with a 357 magnum blowing the bloody body out in the middle of the street.

    Venter commenced to "rehab" the building with replace and repair permits. You know the kind you get when your doing over a kitchen or a bath. Only this time they were gutting the entire building.

    Stop work orders? Yeah, but that didn't stop them. No sooner were they posted, but Venters people took them down. Go to court? Oh Yeah, the neighbors went to court. Response from the city's attorney, "we just want to get them into compliance." What a joke.

    Ventner is as sleezy as they come. He's almost finished with the building now. He's taken a standard 1 bedroom apt in a 4 + 1 and miraculously turned it into a 2 bedroom apratment by making the shoebox sized dining a "bedroom".

    Walk around back and the building is being held up by floor jacks. They building is sinking.

    Its a stinking mess.

  3. OMG! Thank God we don't have a story like that. Our building was actually the last building he did a good job with, structurally. The units are large and we have been in here for 5 years now. He did not put on a new roof as he stated, and the residential hot water heaters we not enough for 23 units so we put in a high availability system. We have special assessed to finish what Venter did not complete -- about $200,000 worth of projects. Luckily we got him to pay $90K in back taxes which he would have stuck us with. However we got a great attorney and Venter paid it before the market downturned. Our building a real gem now....

    Venter filed for bankruptcy and sold his $4 million home in Lincolnwood. He has defaulted on about $5million in mortgages on his "gut rehabs." Now he is just trying to stay afloat and I am sure by now he has been dragged into court. Stay far away from purchasing anything from him!!!

  4. https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/Finddock.asp?DocketKey=CAAH0CH0DEBBE0CH


  5. That guy (Venter) is a joke. He's the poster child of your fears that you're buying a property from a dishonest developer, who's only concerned about selling this property to move to the next one. Yeah, this story is for an article on a property he doesn't have anymore, but this guy is pretty evil...

    If he emerges from bankruptcy and goes at it again here in Chicago, who's to say that he's not going to build another house of cards with all of his properties? Sorry, I can't wish this guy well in his pursuit of the American dream, since his route was at the expense of so many homeowners (especially first-time homeowners, who are often gullible and/or easily impressionable) that trusted him. Good riddance from the Chicago scene, Ilie.