A week ago Monday evening at the 19th Century Club, I attended what was advertised as the first public meeting by Golub & Co. to present the developer’s plan to build a 28-story luxury apartment building in the heart of Oak Park at 835 Lake St. Besides the power-point presentation by the architect, the main event was a Q&A conducted by Golub’s senior vice president, Michael Glazier.
Concerned citizens were invited to step up to one of two microphones with questions/comments for Mr. Glazier. One of the earliest comments came from an Oak Park resident who questioned the need at this time to build more luxury apartments while two other similar developments — the Albion (NW corner of Lake & Forest) and Eleven33 (South Blvd. & Harlem) — have yet to be finished. And then that same person asked Mr. Glazier what was the current occupancy rate at the Vantage building (NE corner of Lake & Forest), Golub’s most recent project in Oak Park. After just a second of hesitation (I was sitting in the second row observing body language), Mr. Glazier, with a straight face, clearly answered “100 percent.” I’m guessing his answer was meant to convince the audience of the importance of adding another 256 units into the mix, plus end that line of questioning, which it did.
But since I tracked the Vantage’s occupancy rate last year during the Albion hearings, my gut told me his answer was not “accurate.” And of course the next day, the website for the Vantage indicated that of its 270 units, 37 were available for rent, or an occupancy rate of 86%.
Simple question, straightforward lie. So here we go again. The same Golub & Co. that tried to extract $100,000 in TIF money through a false claim while building Vantage in 2016 is now back to its old tricks. Going forward, forget the real estate adage of location, location, location. Concerning 835 Lake St., it appears it will be deception, deception, deception.