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Bisnow Exclusive: Irmco All Spoken For

Bisnow Exclusive: Irmco All Spoken For
Bisnow has learned that the last property in the six-asset Irmco portfolio, the North Shore Hotel independent-living community, is under contract and moving toward closing (time for all other suitors to regroup, maybe try a new cologne). Also, Waterton Residential has closed on its acquisition of Irmco's Seneca Hotel and will convert it to apartments.
David Schwartz
Waterton co-founder David Schwartz tells us his firm's sister company Ultima Hospitality scoped out The Seneca (200 E Chestnut) first and deemed it too expensive to return to major hotel brand standards (especially with FF&E and safety regs). Hotels are simply harder to finance and cap rates still too high, he says. So Ultima passed the baton to Waterton, which is throwing in $10k/unit to upgrade the units (how convenient they already all have kitchens) and transform them into 10 two-bedrooms, 159 one-bedrooms, and 91 studios, all Class-A. He says some are already ready. It's a return to the property's roots in the Roaring '20s, when famed architect Daniel Burnham's two sons developed the building as apartments.
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The Seneca Hotel, 200 E Chestnut
David says all The Seneca's amenities will be upgraded: a fitness center, a sundeck, and dry cleaning, and Waterton would like to hold on to Francesca’s Restaurant, Davanti Enoteca, Saloon Steakhouse, and Chesnut Street Cafe. It's a block from the Magnificent Mile in the condo-centric Gold Coast, though Waterton also owns the apartments at 1 E Delaware there.
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Matthew Lawton
HFF's Matthew Lawton (speaking at our Bisnow Multifamily Summit earlier this year) led the team that marketed the portfolio for Irmco (the asset manager for the Richman family, whose patriarch, Leonard Richman, passed away two years ago). He tells us the 185-unit North Shore retirement hotel in Evanston and the 283-unit Sovereign apartments in Edgewater are under contract, and when those close, the Irmco portfolio will be wrapped up. (The buyer of The Sovereign has been reported as Loyola.) A reminder of the other three properties' fates: Lamar Group bought Lincoln Park's Belden-Stratford hotel in November and converted it to apartments, and TLC Management bought Hyde Park's Flamingo on the Lake and The Versailles apartments last month.