Antheus Capital, the parent company of Mac Properties, sold the East Park Tower to a New Jersey investor for $23.5 million in February, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The East Park Tower is a hotel apartment building located on the corner of South Hyde Park Boulevard and East 53rd Street.
Antheus Capital is a private real estate company that works on acquiring and redeveloping apartment buildings across the United States, specializing in historic renovation of such properties. It is one of the biggest landlords in Hyde Park, owning a 43-property, 951-unit apartment portfolio. According to the same Crain’s Business article, Antheus bought the property of East Park Tower for $11.4 million in 2008.
Antheus founder and executive Eli Ungar is a New Jersey investor who started purchasing properties in Hyde Park around 15 years ago. Antheus’s huge portfolio in Hyde Park was acquired with a mortgage of around $112 million that will be due on April 1.
According to Crain’s, when Antheus took out the $112 million loan from LaSalle Bank in 2007, the Hyde Park apartment portfolio was expected to generate around $11.9 million net cash flow each year. However, the highest cash flow the property ever achieved was only $6.1 million in 2015.
Morningstar Credit Ratings estimates that Antheus could at most acquire a loan of about $70 million on the buildings currently, with an over $40 million gap from the total amount needed for loan refinancing. Crain’s Business says that Ungar dismissed the estimate, calling it “much ado about nothing” and claiming that he would acquire an even larger new mortgage to refinance the current debt.
The East Park Tower was purchased with a $10 million mortgage that was paid off when it was sold recently.
Several months ago, Antheus transferred the $112 million loan to CWCapital Asset Management, a Maryland-based company that calls itself a “boutique special servicer” and handles problem loans. CWCapital works on debt restructuring, which is re-negotiation of debt for companies in financial difficulties, with the goal of avoiding default on existing debt and improving liquidity. If restructuring is not attainable, the company could also work on asset disposition, including modifications, foreclosure, and asset sales.
The investor that bought the East Park Tower is Blumberg & Freilich Equities, a firm usually active in the New York City market. The East Park Tower is the first piece of property that the firm purchased in Chicago. A partner at Blumberg & Freilich Equities, Ted Silverman, told Crain’s that “so many investors are bidding things up into the stratosphere” in New York, making the prices in Chicago much more attractive.
Crain’s reports that Silverman expects to make more purchases in Chicago, especially Hyde Park, because the University of Chicago and its medical center increase the neighborhood’s demand for apartments. "It's a great formula," Silverman told Crain’s.