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Suburban Office Building
Property Type: Suburban office building
Savings: Over $380,000 in tax savings and refunds
Location: Northwest suburban Cook County, Illinois
Description: 43,000 square foot office building
- Reduced underlying assessed market value of office building
- Caused assessing officials to apply a vacancy factor to reduced building valuation
- Taxes reduced by 40% over level prior to our engagement
- Obtained over $380,000 in tax savings and refunds
Elliott & Associates was contacted by the owner of a two-story, class C, office building in northwest suburban Cook County. The building exhibited substantial vacancy and functional obsolescence. The roof, glass curtain wall (windows) and HVAC system required replacement. The common areas and tenant spaces required substantial and costly renovations. Given low rents and high vacancy exhibited in the local office market, it was questionable whether it would be cost-effective to renovate this building and make all repairs required to modernize it. These facts suggested that the residual value of the building was quite low.
The owner had been represented by a few different law firms over the years. These firms managed to obtain customary vacancy reductions for the owner; however, taxes remained high, consumed a disproportionately high share of cash flow, and the owner simply could not afford to pay them. The owner contacted us and asked us to provide meaningful assessment and tax reductions.
The Elliott team interviewed the owner and inspected the building in order to understand the full nature and extent of the renovations required to put the building in rentable condition so that it could effectively compete in the market. After reviewing the Assessor’s underlying valuation, our firm concluded that it was grossly excessive given the poor condition of the building, the required renovations and the low rents achievable following renovation. Our firm then obtained data on recent sales of comparable office buildings that confirmed our value conclusion.
Elliott filed a two-count assessment complaint. Our team argued that the Assessor’s underlying opinion of market value should be reduced and that a vacancy factor should then be applied to reflect the high vacancy experienced in the building.
Elliott & Associates obtained substantial assessment reductions from the Assessor and Board of Review. The assessing officials reduced the underlying market value substantially and applied vacancy factors that reduced assessments even further. Tax bills were reduced dramatically. We saved the client over $380,000 during the first two years of our engagement and the assessments and taxes were reduced by over 40% from the level in place prior to our engagement.