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CHICAGO-Larger multifamily sales here may shatter a record of $422.5 million set in 2000, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, which has major deals since 1996. With $156.1 million already closed, another $550 million in pending deals could be wrapped up before year-end, according to the appraisal company’s most recent “Downtown Chicago Residential Benchmark Report.”

Among the deals may be a reported $107-million purchase by Nicholas Gouletas of American Invsco of Plaza 440. The 457-unit building could change hands in December or early 2005, Appraisal Research Counselors reports.

Two other $100-million deals in the works, according to the firm, are BJB Partners’ acquisition of Doral Plaza at Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street and the 356-unit Printers Square in the South Loop, which is being marketed by a CB Richard Ellis team.

Also, Cohen Financial is marketing a 389-unit building at 1400 N. Lake Shore Dr. “Brokers report that private investors still dominate the market, with pre-emptive bids on buildings before they officially hit the market,” according to the benchmark report. “Condo converters are also playing a dominant role in the market with pension funds coming in a distant third.”

So far, the larger deals have been at capitalization rates of 6.78%, a full point lower than 2003 but nearly equal to 2002, according to Appraisal Research Counselors data. “There continues to be plenty of cash chasing apartments,” according to the report.

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