MAC emerges as top realtor with K&G deal

By Chris Ross

Students and Hyde Park residents bearing rent checks and leasing questions swarmed the new MAC Property Management office Monday afternoon, having just been informed that the company had assumed their leases after acquiring K&G Management, one of the largest property owners in the neighborhood.

The sale of K&G buildings and apartments has raised questions among tenants about the transfer of property, as well as reflections on K&G’s previous management.

A letter sent out to all K&G apartments on March 29 informed residents of MAC’s purchase of the properties and directed further inquiries and service requests to MAC Property Management. K&G had no comment on the sale of its properties.

Most letters also included a small sum, ranging from $20 to $50, for interest on rent and cleaning deposits held by K&G.

Residents’ opinions about K&G’s former management are mixed, though most agree that the apartments themselves are in bad physical condition.

“They’re pretty crappy apartments, but I was satisfied with the service,” said Lindsey Mann, a graduate student at the U of C and resident of an apartment formerly managed by K&G. “When the ceiling in the bathroom collapsed, they fixed it quickly. Actually, the bathroom ceiling collapsed twice, but they were fast to fix it both times.”

Other residents used the occasion to voice frustration with their previous landlords.

“K&G has been very unsatisfactory,” said Ilana Tabby, a second-year in the College. “We sent a list of complaints about disrepairs in the apartment—the plumbing wasn’t working, some of the molding had fallen down. They hadn’t even inspected it before we moved in. The first response we got was at the beginning of winter quarter.”

Tabby and her roommates will be unaffected by MAC’s purchase. They plan on moving out. “We were so fed up with K&G,” she said.

In the new MAC office, leasing agents answered questions and explained MAC policies. “They seem nice and on top of it,” said Mary Fee, a fourth-year in the College. “Things are a little disorganized, but they were helpful. They are picking up 30 years of problems from K&G.”

“MAC seems legitimate,” said Tabby, who visited the office to inquire about transferring her lease. “It was busy, but everything was very easy. We didn’t have to ask many questions.”

Fee and Mann both said MAC promised to honor the rent they had been paying under K&G management. However, some residents wonder if MAC plans to renovate the K&G buildings, which could lead to increased rent charges.

“Clearly, they remake the buildings and charge higher rents,” said Gary Ossewaarde, secretary for the Hyde Park—Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC), in an e-mail. HPKCC is a community organization that tracks development in the Hyde Park neighborhood. “On the one hand, it renews the stock; on the other hand, it narrows the affordability in those buildings and the neighborhood.”