Marc Realty, Wolcott yank River City apartment building off market

The South Loop’s River City apartment complex that underwent a pricey condo deconversion is no longer up for grabs.

A venture of Chicago-based Marc Realty and Wolcott Group pulled the iconic 448-unit building at 800 South Wells Street off the market, roughly six months after the landlords listed it for sale, Crain’s reported.

The Marc-Wolcott venture decided to test the market for a sale after performing a $50 million renovation and upping the property’s occupancy rate to 95 percent earlier this year. An official asking price wasn’t revealed, but the owners will need to fetch a hefty sum in a sale given how much they’ve invested in the complex.

In 2016, Marc and Wolcott initiated negotiations with the property’s residents, who were then condo owners holding separate titles to each individual unit. The companies ultimately secured the site for $100 million through a bulk buyout of the condos in December 2017 after two previously unsuccessful offers.

The firms faced criticism for painting the original bare concrete interior walls white, a move that sparked discontent among preservationists. In the midst of Chicago’s condo deconversion craze, it was considered to be one the most ambitious condo-to-apartment projects at the time, and the deal became the subject of a contentious lawsuit between unit owners who didn’t want to sell their homes and the condo board.

The landlords since 2020 spent an additional $50 million towards renovations, such as new unit interiors, a lobby and fitness center, according to the now inactive JLL listing. They also took out a $93.8 million loan on the property in 2019.

While some of the former condo owners expressed frustration over the outcome, Wolcott principal Ari Golson defended the decision, contending that the acquisition saved it from failure, as the units “would have become unmarketable because there was this horrific deferred maintenance,” he told the outlet.

— Quinn Donoghue

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