Dec 21

Industry Luminaries Tell It Like It Is Annual MF Conference

December 14, 2021, Chicago, IL

The Annual Midwest Real Estate Conference hosted by Bisnow was held at Loews Hotel in Chicago. Investors and industry players who wished to gain insight into the current and future state of the multifamily real estate industry were in attendance. Industry luminaries such as AMLI’s Gregory Mutz , Waterton’s Steve Schwartz, ZOM Living’s Greg West, Marquette Companies’ Darrin Sloniger, First Western Properties’ Paul Tsakiris III, and a dozen other seasoned professionals took part as speakers or moderators.

Paul Tsakiris, President of First Western Properties, Inc., spoke about workforce housing and development. He highlighted that Chicago is a world-class city with many advantages and discussed that there is a housing shortage that needs to be addressed as 1 out 4 renter are currently paying over 50% of their income towards rent. “This is clearly not acceptable. Unfortunately, it will only get worse as new construction is not keeping up with growth in demand and operating expenses continue to increase at a rapid rate. Many landlords are experiencing average tax increases of 180%. As such, rents will only go up. Who do you think will end up paying all these tax increases?”, said Mr. Tsakiris.

“Developers and landlords are eager to help but leadership has to be much more realistic on what it can expect and demand from investors and operators. Capital is not loyal to any city, market, or even country. We need to be much more aware of how other markets are treating investors and do the same. Much of the development in the US is being conducted by Chicago¬based firms that are now looking elsewhere. We need to make sure they continue to build in Chicago. Let’s not kill the Golden Goose.”, said Mr. Tsakiris, who has expanded to Southern Florida and Southern Europe but still operates primarily out of Chicago.

Compared to other world-class cities, Chicago is still a relatively affordable market that continues to attract the best and brightest from the Midwest and nearby universities. With some improvements and leadership, Chicago’s potential is limitless.