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CHICAGO-Michael Reschke, a 52-year-old developer who grew up in Arlington Heights, IL, told the Chicago RealShare audience Tuesday that though he’s suffered losses, including the Prime Group Realty Trust REIT he formed, he’s still out there and kicking, with large development plans in the city. He sat down as a key speaker with Michael Desiato, VP of Real Estate Media, the sponsor of the event. “It was not so long ago that this local boy made good,” Desiato says.

However, about 10 years ago, Reschke lost Prime Group Realty Trust, a REIT he formed, in a series of events that began with an ill-fated partnership with Blackstone. “We turned to Blackstone as a capital partner,” he says. “We thought it was a good idea at the time.” A possible partnership with Vornado turned out to be the “perfect storm,” and was followed with a failed attempt by Prime-Mansur Investment Partners, headed by Reschke and local real estate investor E. Barry Mansur, to acquire the REIT.

Down, but not out, Reschke has several developments in the works, including a $393.6 million renovation of 208 S. LaSalle, to turn the lower floors into a Marriott Hotel, as previously reported by GlobeSt.com. The JW Marriott Hotel-Chicago will have 610 rooms, a 50,000-sf ballroom and meeting space, Reschke says.

A joint venture between Reschke Chicago Partners LLC, an affiliate of Chicago-based Prime Group Inc., and an affiliate of Orlando-based Estein & Associates USA Ltd. thought they would have to have $40 million to $50 million in equity for the project. But, in today’s market, “we ended up having to do $125 million of equity to get financing,” he says. “If you are trying to get a project off the ground today, you are going to need a lot of equity and a lot of perseverance.” His work appears to be paying off and, even with the trials and tribulations, there is nothing else Reschke would rather do, he says. “I would do the same thing all over,” Reschke says.

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