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CHICAGO-The Building Group has recently been selected to serve as property manager for the recently completed 112-unit 550 N. St. Clair. The firm will manage the 26-story condominium development, which is currently around 80% sold. The studio through three-bedroom units start around $200,000 at the Streeterville property, which was designed by Brininstool + Lynch Architects and developed by Sutherland Pearsall Development.

“It’s really cutting edge architecture and a neat building just steps off Michigan Avenue,” Jim Stoller, president of The Building Group, tells GlobeSt.com. “The reason we were hired is because our group is known for setting up and running new buildings correctly. It’s often a difficult time for associations with lots of issues going and we work with many new condo associations to make sure everything is run right.”

The units offer energy-efficient glass walls, 10-foot ceilings and balconies. The building provides each resident amenities including a fitness center, 24-hour door staff, outdoor deck and garden terrace, sauna, lap pool and heated garage. Stoller says the developers were fortunate to have seen strong presales at the building, insulating them to some extent from the crisis during which the units delivered.

“The economic downturn did have an impact, but because they had such a great amenity package and success for presales of units, they were in a much better financial position than many other buildings,” Stoller says. “The economy hit every building, but it was way over half sold before the downturn happened. People want to buy into a successful project that isn’t going to go under, and because the building was already so highly sold and occupied, other people felt comfortable buying into it.”

Since market problems heightened in recent months, Sutherland Pearsall cut prices on the remaining units 25%. Since that move was made, the building has seen 14 units sell in the course of three months. Stoller says the Streeterville neighborhood in which the building is located has not been hit as hard by economic woes as other submarkets in the area.

“It’s like everything else – the top end typically does better than the bottom end, and fringe areas do not do as well as the heart,” Stoller says. “The downturn is impacting everyone, but it’s impacting here less than other area. The best locations always command top prices, and Streeterville and the Gold Coast are the top locations in the Chicago area.”

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