I am looking to buy an apartment building (eventually convert to condos) zoned to allow additional square

Asked by Adam Bisig, Chicago, IL Sat Nov 17, 2007

footage to be built, enabling me to build on the rooftop my own small private residence(lstick-built or possibly prefab). I would only consider apartment building that already had adequate/legal rooftop access. Would this construction project be prohibitively difficult/expensive?

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Ken Dooley, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Nov 19, 2007
Hi Adam,

Two flats are sometimes located in neighborhoods that are zoned for taller buildings and allow for an additional residential unit to be constructed above. Any construction done would need to meet city code. I would contact an architect to determine if a prefab structure is allowed and if not, what the alternatives might be.
A cost benefit analysis would need to be done. There may well be a building available that meets your needs without having to build above. Unless you're experienced at doing this I would stay away from such an undertaking.

Good luck.

Web Reference:  http://www.KDRchicago.com
1 vote
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Sat Nov 17, 2007
Your idea is being done in a number of urban/metropolitan areas. There are modern prefab modules that can be basically craned/lifted onto your roof top for a penthouse. You might search http://www.fabprefab.com for some examples.
1 vote
Paula, , Lewis, KS
Tue Jan 13, 2009
Hello my name is Paula Lewis and the company i work with private investors that love apartment complex please let me know if you need some help with the financing part of the project.

plewis@virtuousfinancingandconsulting.com or 713 992 6539
0 votes
ICG, , Chicago, IL
Tue Dec 4, 2007
In this market, obtaining a condo conversion commercial loan would be very difficult-at best. I am a commercial loan broker and I can tell you that you will need large amounts of cash down to get a loan like this-at least 30%. On top of this, the construction costs plus the stagnant market would mean very long carry times. A big part of my business is short selling projects just like this where the developers finished and held too long-or didn't finish at all before running out of money. My advice-buy a multi family and hold it for the cashflow (just don't pay retail for it-there are plenty short sale multi families as well) maybe someday when the condo market heats back up you may consider a conversion, and then you can use the cash flow/equity in your property to secure the financing.
0 votes
Stacy Karel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 17, 2007
Yes it would be prohibitively expensive if you could even do it.. watch the bedroom sizes in most multi unit buildings- not suitable for condo conversion and the conversion process- legal documents etc would likely make the project unworkable.
0 votes
Mark Bartlett, Both Buyer And Seller, 33050
Sat Nov 17, 2007
Try this link for an example: http://www.firstpenthouse.co.uk/
0 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Sat Nov 17, 2007
Sorry, but this sounds like a really odd plan. I just can't imagine this being done. How about just using the top floor and converting it to a penthouse, or buying a building with a penthouse.

For example, Marina Towers originally had studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments/condos (possibly some 3 bedrooms). The larger units were on higher floors. A couple of people bought two neighboring two bedroom units and combined them into beautiful suites.

Again, I'm sorry, but this doesn't make sense to me. Wouldn't you want to buy an apartment building as investment property? You are putting your personal home criteria above a sound investment. Why wouldn't you look for a penthouse for yourself and a different apartment building for income property?

I'm sure there is more to the story.
Good luck,
0 votes
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