CHICAGO (CBS) — Owners of a Lincoln Park condo board say they have been waking up with an intruder.
The CBS 2 Morning Insiders first told you about the tension last month with the ritzy Francis W. Parker private school buying up units in a nearby condo building.
CBS 2’s Chris Tye has now learned the school is playing landlord too.
“Parker is playing real estate like they’re playing Monopoly,” said condo owner Jerry Savoy.
The playing board has Francis Parker School landlocked in the middle. Lincoln Park Zoo sits right to its east, Clark Street to its west, and Webster Avenue to its south.
That leaves the area to the north of the school facing Belden Avenue quite attractive.
Savoy said Belden Avenue might as well be Park Place on the Monopoly board for the school.
Parker’s attempt to buy the condo buildings outright failed. So they have sped up efforts to buy individual condos – and condo voting rights – in Savoy’s building.
“They really are being bullies,” Savoy said. “I know that they are.”
Savoy said Parker controls six of 15 condos, 40 percent of building control. A “controlling interest” would require 85 percent.”
At a public meeting, a school representative said, “We bought those two units under the cover of night.” The school later apologized for that phrasing.
But indeed Parker has been buying up units.
“So Parker owns the first- and the third-floor of this tier of the building,” Savoy said.
And inside at least one unit on the first floor, there is new friction. Savoy said a renter was allowed in.
Condo rules prevent renting if the owner’s been in for “a period of less than one year.”
In a statement, Parker said “will follow all applicable legal and real estate transaction and occupancy guidelines.”
But Savoy said the school is not doing so.
“They knew what bylaws and rules they’re expected to abide by, and they’ve completely disregarded them,” he said.
In an effort that could not be ignored, Savoy and community activists have begun protesting Francis W. Parker open houses. They hope to open the eyes of the next generation of families living on the north end of the gaming board.
“This is not a real estate transaction to us,” Savoy said. “This is our home.”
CBS 2 offered Francis W. Parker School an option for an on-camera interview. They denied our request.