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CHICAGO-The site of the former Columbus Hospital, 2520 N. Lakeview Ave., which closed in 2001, has been sold to a partnership that includes a group of entities active in local real estate investment and development market. The site, which totals three acres and faces Lincoln Park, is considered a prime location in which a number of firms expressed interest. The seller of the site is 2520 Lakeview LLC, an affiliate of American Invsco, which now has been retained to perform the sales aspect of the project. A 325-unit high-rise condominium development has already been approved by the city.

The purchasing partnership is led by RMI, a venture of Peter E. Ricker, chairman and CEO, and John T. Murphy, executive vice president with MB Real Estate. In addition to Ricker and Murphy, the team includes an affiliate of GE Pension Trust, advised by GE Asset Management, as well as Charles R. Reiss, former executive vice president and managing director of the Trump Organization. Reiss left Trump in August 2004 after 11 years, and presently has a consulting practice focusing on luxury residential and hospitality properties.

Both Rick and Murphy have been known for their involvement in the local office market, although each has prior residential development experience. Murphy tells GlobeSt.com that “this particular site has been on every developer’s radar screen. The views owners will have of the park, lake and skyline will be outstanding.” In addition, Murphy says the goal here is to plan a project that can take advantage of the amenities the neighborhood has to offer. As of yet, no dollar value for the project or the units have been announced.

Murphy says the there have been no selections made on the project architect or general contractor. “Other than the guidelines set forth by the city, we’re starting with a clean slate,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Preparation of the site for demolition of the hospital buildings will begin almost immediately. The actual demolition will get under way late this summer.” The developers would like the project to include both the condominium units and some townhomes. Murphy adds that a pre-sale program for potential buyers will start at the same time demolition concludes.

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