Armour Boulevard group to buy dull but useful building

MAC Properties, renovator of terra-cotta bejeweled historic properties along Armour Boulevard, is buying a dowdy 1960s office structure.

The Gillham Plaza building at 301 E. Armour may lack glamour but it will provide parking and other amenities for the renters in their other buildings, said Peter Cassel, MAC director.

It will add 300 parking spaces and possibly things like a café, neighborhood grocery store and studio and office space, he said.

The 21 buildings they have renovated, most recently the Bellerive, have so far created about 1,500 apartments, he said.

The Bellerive, built for $2 million in 1922, is now 150 apartments with 80 of them occupied, Cassel said.

Work will start next year on the historic Newbern Hotel at 525 E. Armour, he said, and on the Ambassador Hotel at 3560 Broadway, he said.

The Newbern, built from 1921-23 is on the National Register of Historic Places. It consists of two nine-story towers with lush ornamentation.

They also recently bought the Richelieu, a 16-unit apartment building at 405 E. Armour.

MAC is the property management arm of three companies involved in the massive historic renovation work here and in Chicago. Silliman Group is the development arm and the financial arm is Antheus Capital, a New Jersey investment company.