Marina City residential manager resigns as financial investigation begins
Loop North News

MARINA TOWERS
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Photo by Diane Alexander White

7-Mar-13 – The day after the residential property manager at Marina City resigned, the president of the condo board has told unit owners of an investigation into renovation projects overseen by the manager that may have cost significantly more than amounts for which they were approved.

(Left) David Gantt (2011 photo by Diane Alexander White)

According to Donna Leonard, David Gantt’s last day as property manager was Monday. While Marina Towers Condominium Association searches for a replacement, Leonard says William O’Leary, an assistant vice president of DK Condo, a company owned by Draper & Kramer, will serve as interim property manager. O’Leary was brought in recently by DK Condo to oversee renovation of a lobby in Marina City’s west tower.

In a March 5 memo to unit owners, Leonard says the condo association has begun “an investigation into the actual costs of construction” of a “model floor” on the 53rd floor of the east tower. The floor, on which Leonard lives, was intended to preview proposed changes to the 79 other floors such as new carpet, doors, and lighting. After reviewing invoices and other documents, Leonard says, “it became apparent that the cost of the model floor exceeded what the association’s board had approved.”

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) Marina City’s model floor in November 2010, shortly after installation of new carpet, doors, lights, and other improvements.

Although $16,127 was budgeted by the condo board for a nine-month project initially completed in 2010, many suspect the actual cost was considerably higher. Mark Ulaszek, who was MTCA treasurer from 2002 to 2003, figures the actual cost will come in closer to $80,000 or more.

“Considering they worked on the model floor for over three years, painted and repainted, removed glass tile that was only installed for approximately a week – and the extensive modifications they made, including custom door knockers, a wall of custom mirrors, custom color paint,” says Ulaszek, “it is not surprising that the model floor cost in excess of $80,000. Had they hired or retained a professional designer, the cost probably could have been contained to one-fourth of what they actually spent.”

MTCA president Donna Leonard (right) says the condo association is meeting with Draper & Kramer and vendors to determine how much was actually spent on the model floor, how costs were allowed to exceed the approved amount, “and how best to compensate the association for the cost overages.” Photo by Diane Alexander White

“It may be that some of the excess costs were miscoded by DK Condo and in fact related to other projects that were underway at the same time as the model floor was being constructed in 2010.”

David Gantt had been property manager since October 2003. Before working at Marina City, he was the residential portfolio manager for The John Buck Company. Before that, he was a property manager for Sudler & Company.

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By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 7-Mar-13 11:45 PM

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