Portfolio Manager Brings Bucktown Condos Back Into Code

Posted on Wednesday January 26, 2022

Experienced financial leadership and compliant safety equipment saved this association money in the long run.

The Association

Decades of management by an inexperienced small company had left them with elevators and safety equipment out of compliance with the CIty of Chicago. HOA fee delinquencies were rampant and the association was facing financial difficulties.

The Solution

When FirstService Residential began management of the Bucktown Park Condominiums in 2019, the community needed elevator modernization and updates to sprinkler systems out of compliance with the City of Chicago. This equipment was all original from the 1995 conversion to condominiums from the previous factory use.

The first order of business for the new property manager was to organize a complete list of compliance issues and work out an agreement with the city. The manager was able to get the city to put a hold on fines while the plan of action was set in place. He worked relentlessly with one of our preferred vendors, VDA elevator consultants and after numerous meetings and calls with the Board was able to put together a modernization plan. The management team, along with assistance from First Service Financial, was able to secure a $500,000 line of credit with Inland Bank to fund the elevator modernization project.

The Modernization Project was successfully completed on time, and the City of Chicago dropped the case against the Association. The four-story, 48-unit community was also found to have an issue with greater than usual number of assessment delinquencies. This caused accounting issues that were exacerbated by accounting mistakes from the previous management company. The property manager, worked with FirstService Residential’s accounting experts to resolve the financial issues, collected past due assessments, audit the financial records and stabilize the association’s cash flow position.

The Results

FirstService Residential’s size, long-term business relationships and buying power allowed the association to obtain a loan with favorable conditions to fix their mechanicals. Their elevators were modernized and updated with the latest city requirements, and these projects are continuing successfully. The magnitude of work needed within the building was factored into the management agreement.

The level of attention the property manager needed to devote to changes was factored into the pricing. Cooperation and trust between the board and FirstService Residential led to an expedited project and satisfied residents.