"We feel it's a really strong location, and we like the factthat this was all already approved through the city," Anthony RossiSr., managing member of M&R, tells GlobeSt.com. "The plans werevery good. As a condo, it was a little on the smaller side, butit's right on the sweet spot for an upper-end rental."

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Lennar decided to sell its way out of the project after thecondo market turned so sharply, Rossi says. "The whole condominiummarket changed on them," Rossi says. "Lennar is a large companythat has other corporate considerations, and they have to consideron a national basis what their total sold units are. Lennar, likeany major condo developer and builder, is retrenching and trying tocoin up the balance sheet, and didn't want to jump into more newproduct."

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Despite switching the building to rental units, M&R willmaintain the higher-end condo finishes, and actually upgraded someof the amenities, Rossi says. "It's only 221 units, which I likebecause it's something you can get your hands around," Rossi says."It's not a monster 600-unit building, where you have to have astrong market to lease it up. We think this is going to do verywell and that 221 units will move pretty fast."

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The building is being constructed in the River North submarket."River North is a good location and one of the better areas," hesays. "The last new building to go up there was Kingsbury Plaza alittle to the southwest of us, and they had terrific results. Thisbuilding is going to be very unique and probably more of an upscalerental at the top of the rental market."

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Leasing of the space will begin in spring 2010, with askinglease rates around $2.50 per square foot. The building will offerone- through three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 614 squarefeet to 1,443 square feet. Shared building amenities will include asteam room, sauna, massage room, and spa pool, fitness center,cyber cafe, business center, conference room, media room andlounge. Residents will have access parking for 233 cars, to belocated on floors two through four, and there will be some retailspace on the ground level. The building will seek Silver LEEDCertification, a green roof will be located on the fifth floor, anda 14,000-square-foot park is planned on the site east of thebuilding.

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The tower was designed by locally based Hartshorne + PlunkardArchitecture, and the general contractor is Walsh Construction Co.The project is being financed by Charter One Bank and PrivateBank,while JP Morgan Asset Management and M&R Development areproviding the equity. Once completed, Parc Huron will be managed byRMK Management Corp., M&R's sister company, which alreadymanages more than 8,000 apartments in the Midwest.

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