Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A New Beginning For Somerset Place?

Exciting news from Joseph Trendl, President of the Carmen Winona Block Club:

"I wanted to share with you that Somerset has been sold. While we don’t yet know the intention of the buyer, it bears out the importance of the re-zoning of the property to the more restrictive RS-3 (which only allows for a single family home or 2 flat) from the current expansive Neighborhood Commercial zoning.

In essence, nothing can truly be done with the property without re-zoning and that means that the owners will need to come to the [48th] Ward office and the community for our input. It was a strategic maneuver and keeps us as part of the future dialog.

The re-zoning was approved by the city’s zoning board last week Thursday and will come to a full City Council vote on either 6/8 or 6/9.  Alderman Osterman and his office will be in touch with the new owners in the upcoming weeks.

The purchaser information follows:

201 071-22046 Somerset House Zidan Management Group, Inc. $ 26,739,484.00 $ 2,699,998.01 10.09742%
201 071-22046 Somerset House Zidan Management Group, Inc. $ 26,739,484.00 $ 2,699,998.01 10.09742% Chicago IL

Company: Zidan Management Group, Inc. Loan Awarded:
Contact: Ayman Assaf 071-22046 Somerset House
Address: 6602 East 75th Street, Suite 505
Indianapolis, IN 46250"


  1. The re-zoning was huge and shows just how valuable it can be to have an alderman in your corner willing to use zoning to the communities benefit.

    As for the new owners (a rapidly growing property managment group from Indy), going by their mission statement, their intention is to turn Somerset into a residential rental property.

    That said, this looks like an odd move and possibly their first in Illinois, much less Chicago. Most of their buildings look like newer sprawling campus style suburban complexes. Managing an older mid rise in a somewhat rough city neighborhood might be more than they can handle.

    The companies missions strategy can be found here.

    I wish them luck and will hope for the best.

  2. This corner has so much potential! Close to the lake, Tweet, all vietnamese restaurants. Fingers crossed!

  3. wow, redevelopment in Uptown with no TIF money...and I do believe this is the second large apt building sold in the last two days... amazing what the free market can do without using taxpayer money...

  4. @MM82

    I agree, this corner of Uptown has seem some good things happen over the last year or so, the new Dominicks is a great fit, the Admiral is coming along and looks great in the renders and now it looks like Somerset is on the path to becoming a market rate rental building.

  5. I recall from earlier meetings and conversations about the Somerset that it can't be converted to condos because of the way the building was constructed. Something about a lot of pillars that are structural and can't be moved, making it unsuitable for condo life. Someone with a better memory will have to fill in the specifics.

    Remember that it was built as a hotel, with suites consisting of one to four rooms each. Maybe market rate rentals would work. Mary Ann Smith's office did a lot of research into the building and its its structural limitations. I'm sure Harry Osterman has those files and will know exactly what would constitute appropriate usage.

    Good to know that the community will have a voice there. Good news all around.

  6. I think this is great news, and I wish all new investors in Uptown the very best.

    I also think (and hope) this is the first in a wave of capital that is about to flood into Uptown.

    If handled responsibility and in a fair manner and transparent manner with community support, this wave of investment in Uptown (after years of secrecy, mismanagement, and poor urban planning) might just be the shot in the arm Uptown.

    I believe these investments, along with the changing of the guard all around, are signs that a safer and more prosperous Uptown are on the way.

  7. Let's think about this for a moment...the economy is still "shaky," unemployment/underemployment still at unacceptably high levels, individuals' purchasing power is going down even for reasonably affluent, employed people...

    ...and we need MORE "market rate" housing? For what "market?"

  8. Gayle - more and more people are deciding to rent instead of buy in this market. Rentals are hot property right now. Its been in the news. Turning this into market rate rentals is a great idea.

    Or would you rather it be used as a flop house or more low income housing?

  9. Uh, what happened to all the residents of somnerset? They let them out into the street??? You know, I've lived in this area for a long time now and Im seeing more and more of these people on the street AND on busses. I'm kinda getting sick an tired of looking at them. I really don't mean any harm but it seems they're just wandering around with no where to go.

  10. Yes un-bias,

    Many of them were discharged to much less structured settings like Lawerance house or neighborhood SRO's. The people the state brought in to "assess" what their needs were, often had no experience with the mentally ill. So in many cases they were discharged from a bad situation to a worse one. Now many of them have no supervision are not taking mediation and have even better access to drugs and alcohol. So my guess is yes, you will continue to see them wondering the neighborhood.

  11. Just wondering? Contemplating existance? Or maybe wondering while wandering?

  12. @Gayle - Number one rule of investing - Buy low and sell high. Real Estate prices are down, and Sommerset is a property in need of much tender loving care. Those that take the risks get the rewards. There is nothing impressive about someone who overpays in good times...

    My research is consistent with Miss Kitty's - Many signs are positive for the rental market, both locally and nationally.

    I have no idea what the buyer's strategy is for this property, but their focus seems to be to buy deeply troubled properties and turn them around quickly for sale.

    My guess is they won't rehab it the way I want to in my head, but the reality is that Economics will drive a lot of what they decide to do.

    The down zoning move was great. The community SHOULD be able to have a say in what happens here. Why the community at large would discourage market rate rental housing here is puzzling, unless the plan calls for too much subsidized housing.

    I have no idea what the rules are as far as private owners owners accepting Section 8 and other programs.

  13. FWIW more from Joe Trendle,

    "I was asked to join Alderman Osterman and the new owners of Somerset for a noon tour of the property today.

    The new owners were to be in court following the tour to ask permission from the judge to clean up the exterior of the property and the small garden area just to the north of the property....deletia...Small steps so far with a long way to go before any real work can start but they are committed to Somerset as a rental property with commercial at the street level."