Why the secrecy, Whiteco?
Updated: August 27, 2012 11:02AM
OAK PARK — Am I crazy…or does there seem to be a shroud of secrecy regarding the sale of the Whiteco building, aka the Oak Park Place Apartments, at 479 Harlem Ave.?
It’s been reported that Whiteco is on the market.
As you may recall, the 14-story, 204-unit building, completed in 2009, was controversial at the time of its planning due to its size and density, aesthetics, etc.
It currently offers a unit mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom rental apartments, plus it houses four townhomes along Ontario Street and a 10,242-square-foot Trader Joe’s.
But it’s really weird, because that’s all the info it seems we’re going to get.
The property is owned by the Merrillville, Ind.-based Whiteco Residential LLC., hence the nickname, “Whiteco.” On their website, you can link to oakparkplaceapts.com, which allows you to chat with someone live with any questions on the property. I chatted with a gal named Natalie Swindal, who told me, “We don’t have any information at this time.”
She referred me to the Whiteco corporate office, which has not called me back yet.
I also tried the selling agent, Moran & Company, a real estate investment firm based in Chicago. I shot them an e-mail, and heard back from partner Pete Evans. Here’s his response: “We are bound by Confidentiality Agreements and cannot discuss any of our assignments. Thank you for your understanding. Warm regards, Pete.”
I then pushed Pete a little further, asking if there was anything at all he could tell me, including the asking price or if they’d had any nibbles thus far. His next response was no better than the first: “I am sorry but I really can’t. It is a licensing and legal issue for me.”
I always thought that when you had a place listed, it was part of the job to give out pertinent information, including the most important factor, the asking price.
I also thought it was pretty obvious that if you want to sell a property, you give people information. And it’s not so bad to get the basic dirt on that property into a newspaper’s real estate column either when you’re looking for a buyer. It’s called free advertising.
That’s why I’m more than just a little flabbergasted that neither Moran & Company nor Whiteco will part with the scoop on this property. Why the secrecy, guys?
People are still losing their homes. Rentals are more and more in demand. So it makes sense that Whiteco wants to dump their debatable-looking building, and hopefully for a good price.
But wouldn’t you at least like to know what that price might be, in case you’re in the market for an ugly duckling building that maybe you can somehow turn into a beautiful swan?