NEWS

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October 10, 2008

MAC parent company buys Shoreland

This coming June, as the last students leave Shoreland Hall, a familiar face will be moving in: MAC Property Management. In late August, Antheus Capital, MAC’s parent company, purchased the Shoreland, becoming the building’s third owner since the University sold it in 2004.

The Englewood, NJ–based company paid $16 million for the storied hotel, the Hyde Park Herald reported last month. That was far more than the $6 million the University received when it sold the building to Kernard Corporation in the original transaction. Upon the death of its owner, Kernard sold the Shoreland to R.D. Horner and Associates, the company with which it had competed to win the original contract in 2004.

According to Sherry Gutman, deputy dean for housing and dining services at the University, the University did not expect the Shoreland to be the subject of multiple transactions. The original contract made with Kernard included a provision that allowed the University to protect its interests in the building until the Shoreland was no longer needed, despite the changing ownership. Under the arrangement, the University will continue to hold its current lease on the building until the contract expires on June 30, at which point MAC will step in as the building’s sole manager.

Although the University’s interest in the future of the Shoreland has been primarily to ensure the continuation of the lease, Gutman said that she is familiar with MAC’s work and expects the building to continue as a valuable part of the University community in coming years. She said that although Antheus was not part of the original bidding process for the Shoreland, she has no reason to expect that their work will be of a lower quality than the two original bidders, who she said have outstanding reputations as rehabilitators of historic buildings.

While MAC has yet to announce plans for the building, MAC spokesperson Peter Cassel said that the guiding principal for its development would be the preservation of the building’s historic heritage. Opened in 1927, the Shoreland was at one time the most expensive hotel in Chicago, complete with riding stables and a three-story restaurant, and played host to a number of Chicago’s most famous and infamous residents, including Chicago gangster Al Capone in the 1920s and 1930s. The University purchased the building in the late 1970s and has operated it as a residence hall since that time.

Upon completion of the renovation, the building will likely include a sizable commercial component in addition to its residential capacity, but Cassel said that MAC will not go through with plans to partition the building into luxury condos, as was proposed by the building’s previous owners.

Whatever the final form of the building, Cassel said that it would likely be several years before residents could move into the Shoreland.

“The building needs a very significant renovation,” he said. “For a new use it will need a full rehabilitation of the entire structure.”

The Shoreland is the most recent in a series of purchases by Antheus of historic buildings within the East Hyde Park community, a number of which, like the Shoreland, are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

“We think that East Hyde Park can continue to grow as one of the great apartment communities in the entire city of Chicago,” Cassel said.

According to Shoreland resident master Lary Rothfield, the University decided to sell the building as a result of the rising costs of maintenance and the University Master Plan, which calls for a greater centralization of student housing around the campus.

Although Cassel would not reveal whether MAC intends to redevelop the building with the intention of creating student housing, he said that the building would house amenities that would be appealing and accessible to students.