Even if they do your building will still have value. Value is determined by location, condition and what a buyer is willing to pay for a property. Given the sluggish real estate market and that builders are not building new housing in Chicago this issue would not be a top concern if you were planning to sell your unit.
If I can help you determine the value of your unit please contact me directly at 312-659-5431. Good luck. Sharon Curcio, SRES
On a case by case basis, (and I have seen and/or heard of many) some of those buildings were built poorly with the contractor not putting in all the proper flashings, expansion joints, capstones, lentils etc. Perhaps they were some of the same contractors now telling you the value is going to zero? During the peak 'bubble years of the past market (2000-2006) many fly-by-night so called 'developers' got into the business just to make a fast buck. The quality of the construction was not so hot. However, most of the buildings seem to have been built just fine..............based on my experience.........20+ years in the business.
It may be that they are looking to reduce or discourage the use of split faced concrete block, which has proven to be problematic in our climate. There are things you and the association need to be doing to maintain the masonry if your building is modern brick construction. Modern Brick is largely water permeable, which allows the absorption of water. With the freeze thaw cycles we experience, the brick tends to take in water, which freezes, expands, and well, makes the brick explode. Old brick was made with high quantities of clay which does not absorb water. The clay brick repelled water and hence did not suffer from the same problem. Split face complicates the problem because of the texture of the brick. The rough surface causes driven snow and rain to adhere better to the face, which when combined with a freeze thaw causes problems. Further complications are caused by poor installation, especially in relation to the cotton wicks which should be inserted every few courses and over lintels. These wicks draw water out of the brick and protect them from excess moisture which can complicate during a freeze thaw or maybe even trap moisture against the backside of the drywall and insulation. This can lead to mold and other water problems. Sealing, pointing and rewicking is necessary every few years to make sure the brick stays as dry as possible.
As far as a value of $0 goes, I would say this is likely hyperbole. Talk to a Realtor about value to determine where you are today if you are considering selling.
Best of Luck