Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Breaking News: Lawrence House Sold For $7.5M, To Get $14M Rehab

By Abraham Tekippe
Chicago Real Estate Daily

Apartment investor Cedar Street Co. paid $7.5 million to buy Uptown's historic Lawrence House out of foreclosure, with plans to convert the dilapidated building into modern apartments, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

Chicago-based Cedar Street bought the 12-story building at 1020 W. Lawrence Ave. from a venture managed by Hodo and Sam Menetti that has owned the property since 2000, according to property records. Cedar Street, which has been scooping up distressed residential properties on Chicago's North Side, plans to spend an additional $14 million renovating the building, which will serve as the flagship location for the firm's Flats Chicago brand, said co-founders Jay Michael and Alex Samoylovich. Read more at Crain's Chicago Business


  1. So they are going to be kicking out the mental health crowd, so there will be cries of (anything)isms, but people are free to do with whatever property they purchase within the confines of the law. Expect lots of marches by O.N.E, LAC and everybody's favorite exiled trolls like FGFM.
    It was a very, very bad idea for Thresholds and their ilk to fill this place to the brim with their clients and most of the workers I know now (who have just been hired) are off-the-books disgusted with the whole affair.
    Dispersing them througout the city and having less high concentrations of them is the better alternative, though I wish they would just find a way to stop all this addiction and mental illness to begin with.

  2. Best news in the 5+ years I have lived in Uptown.

    My sincere hope is that the current residents are treated with dignigty and respect and given the assistance they need, but Lawrence House in its current form has not been working for residents or the surrounding community.

    This is a game changer, people.

  3. I'm rather shocked that people pay $600 to live in sub-human conditions. You can get a pretty decent place to live for $600. Yes, even in Uptown. I have a friend who lives in a carriage house for about that, and another friend who lives in a studio with a full kitchen for exactly $600 (near The Reservoir). I echo Stash's hope that the tenants are helped to find housing, and that they are treated with dignity in the process.

    Thanks, Menettis, for taking what was not too long ago a beautiful, elegant retirement building and running it into the ground. Slumlords are the real villains in most of these cases, as much as people would like to point fingers and scream "gentrifiers!" Jack Gore made the Chateau a hellhole and the Menettis did the same to Lawrence House. Too bad ONE can't get behind the walled community in Florida where Jack Gore lives and picket him. Maybe they can drive out to Park Ridge and picket the Menettis.

  4. I have spoken with many people who still live there and they are deeply unhappy.
    They have at least 8 months to find other accomodations (I think), so they should move on instead of fighting keep this building in its current dysfunctional state.
    Life isn't fair sometimes, I know this better than anybody.

  5. Interesting that someone would ever consider fighting to keep the building in its current situation or fighting to keep it from getting painted grey.

    I wonder how you fight someone who has every legal right to do what he sees fit with his own building? It doesn't make any sense.

    I remember reading about ONE fighting the new owner to try and force him to put in affordable units. That backfired with the new owner now refusing to talk with them. Yeah, that ONE really showed the new owner who's boss.

  6. ONE is more worried about their funding model and grants than the people they are supposed to serve in my opinion. The fewer people they can say they can reach, the less relevance they have in the real world and with philanthropic an grant writing agencies. For their own survival, they may want to revisit both their mission statement and their location....

  7. According to a Crain's Chicago Business report, the Menettis had the building up for sale in 2007. They never stopped wanting to sell it. Of course, they always wanted to sell the property for as high of a price as possible. The only problem is that the property was encumbered by long term social service agency contracts. Guess how they solved their problem.

    Hint #1: The Government met with the Menettis behind closed doors and agreed to assist them.

    Hint #2: How many cockroaches constitutes a "code violation"? Is it one, a bunch, or when an inspector says it is a code violation?

  8. joey, I didn't hear about cockroaches being the cause of the code violations. I wonder if some big cockroach turned off the utilities to cause the residents to complain?

  9. No, Joey, I think the problem was:
    The sexual assaults in the elevator
    The extensive water damage
    Mold from water damage
    Raw sewage in the basement
    Broken fire alarms
    People using the fire escape to rob other people's apartments, including groceries and medication
    Regular assaults in the elevator
    Staff smoking crack with tenants
    Drug deals in front of the building
    People selling property stolen from other tenants mere feet away from the front door
    Utilities being shut off
    Broken elevators with no way for the handicapped to leave their floor
    Broken fire escapes
    Shall I go on, Joey? Start looking for someplace new now, instead of whining until you're homeless. I had to leave a good place and I'm in someplace even WORSE than the Lawrence House right now, luckily I am almost ready to escape it.
    Maybe O.N.E. can spend their t-shirt budget on other things that are more useful.

  10. Recitation of old assertions, most of which contradict my own experiences, does not lend credibility to them.

    Logic, per se, is subject matter independent; "whining" tends to be narrowly focused on the personal experiences of the person who is doing the "whining."

    But you won't hear me complain. I have benefited considerably by the sale of LH, so I'm delighted it was finally sold.

  11. Peace out. You wont be missed.