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Top 100: Alter Group Branches Out

Top 100:  Alter Group Branches Out
Just like Alter Group prez Michael Alter needed a change from a brief law career 20 years ago, his company also evolves. While it has a history of planned developments and suburban business parks, recent years brought a taste for something new.
Alter Group president Michael Alter

Pleased with the development of Fornelli Hall  on 55 E. Washington St, Michael is looking at other student housing projects. Also in the mix: office space in the city's Gold Coast at 111 W. Illinois (completed in '08) and healthcare projects in Ohio and Texas. A new asset recovery initiative, Alter Asset Recovery, has been launched this year. Michael says Alter's 80 Chicago employees are looking for opportunities for investment during the recession.

Alter Group president Michael Alter

Alter Group might get the award for most diverse assets: Beyond its 88% leased portfolio, it owns the WNBA's Chicago Sky (moving from the UIC Pavilion to the AllState Arena, fyi) and holds minority stake in The New Republic, the long-running political magazine. Michael and his brother Harvey are the only family members involved in the business, but he says the company feels like family since most of its five principals have been there longer than 20 years. Alter was also instrumental in bringing in City Year Chicago, an AmeriCorps division that aligns young adult tutors with inner-city children.