BEMT Invests in 24-Story Mixed-Use Luxury Rental Community

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Bluerock Enhanced Multifamily Trust has recently announced its investment in MDA City Apartments, a mixed-use luxury rental community in downtown Chicago. The New York-based non-traded real estate investment trust has partnered with Village Green, the owner of the 24-story building. Village Green is an owner/operator with a portfolio of around 40,000 units in 13 states.

“MDA presented a unique, off-market opportunity to purchase an interest in a stable, well-occupied, core urban infill project in a primary market with a top partner,” said James Babb, Bluerock senior managing director and chief investment officer. “By recapitalizing and streamlining what had been a fairly complex capital structure, we were able to seize on a valuable opportunity at below-market cost.”

MDA City Apartments features 190 residential dwellings and 8,238 square feet of storefront retail space. The property was completed by designer Daniel Burnham Jr. in 1927 and underwent a major $45 million conversion in 2006. The historic Medical and Dental Arts Building was transformed into a Class A, LEED-certified mixed-use development.

Residents at MDA City Aparments have access to various amenities including a rooftop Sky Club, 24/7 concierge, business/conference center, fitness facility and free wireless internet in the common areas.

The property’s downtown Chicago submarket has seen vacancy rates fall since 2008 and, based on research from REIS, the rates are forecast to remain at the current level of 5 percent for the near-to-mid-term. Additionally, another important factor in BEMT’s decision to invest in MDA City Apartments was the submarket’s effective rents, which have been growing since 2010.

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