A California real estate investor bought a 268-unit apartment building in Streeterville at a deep discount.

Irvine, Calif.-based Trinity Property Consultants purchased the Seneca, a 17-story building at 200 East Chestnut Street, for $55 million under a Cook County assignment of deed.

The building is being sold by the New York-based Vanbarton Group, a real estate investor that owns residential, retail, office and hotel properties. In December 2014, Vanbarton paid $74.9 million for the property, which marked a 26 percent drop in the property’s value. The property is transacting for about $205,000 per unit, making it one of the best values ​​buyers have gotten for Chicago multifamily in recent years in the prime downtown submarket of the Near North Side.

The Vanbarton Group originally listed the 1924-completed building with Cushman & Wakefield in the fall of 2019, but it never attracted buyers until the pandemic hit Illinois. The company handed over the listing to Newmark’s multifamily team last year.

We tried contacting the Vanbarton Group, Trinity Property Consultants, and the broker who managed the Newmarket property, but were unsuccessful.

Trinity already owns seven properties in the Chicago area, including Arrive Streeterville, Arrive North Loop and Arrive South Loop. The new owner has taken out a $38.5 million mortgage from Berkadia to finance the Seneca acquisition.

The Seneca was originally built in the 1920s as one of the city’s residential hotels, According to previous reports. The building was owned by the Waterton Corporation of Chicago and converted into condominiums prior to Van Batten’s purchase.

Van Batten’s massive losses are another indicator of the challenges Chicago’s multifamily housing market is currently facing. While rents are hitting record highs, especially in downtown areas, investors are becoming less bullish on the area amid concerns about property tax hikes and rising interest rates.

In another recent loss of value at a Streeterville apartment complex, Crescent Heights in Miami Paid $173 million for the 400-unit apartment building at 340 East North Water Street, leaving the seller, Invesco, with a huge loss when it bought the asset for $240 million in 2016.

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