About The Founder
STEVE VERTIN, MAI, MRICS
(Certificate No. 9614)
203 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois 60601
(Office) (312) 558-1478, (708)-265-0401
(Fax) (708) 524-8936
r.Vertin graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Finance with an emphasis on Real Estate Investments. Early on he became interested in commercial industrial real estate appraisals and over the last +30-years has been learning the business.He started his appraisal career working for Mr. Kuehnle, MAI. The Kuehnle brothers were authors of the first through fifth editions of The Appraisal of Real Estate published by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers (now the Appraisal Institute). These texts are the foundation for modern US appraisal theory. These pioneers in valuation theory are quoted and/or used in most every serious US research paper involving valuation issues even today.
Thereafter, he went to work for one of the oldest national appraisal companies in the United States (RERC) and traveled throughout the country solving appraisal problems for Wall Street pension fund advisory groups. Most projects involved grade “A” high quality real estate investments. Thereafter, he worked on and developed Lotus 1,2,3 spread sheet DCF analysis before Argus or other such pre-developed software existed. At that time most programming was done in Basic, FORTRAN and COBOL computer language which he was well versed in all.
During the first Savings and Loan Crises (around 1988) he accepted a position in Dallas Texas completing numerous appraisals and appraisal reviews for the RTC and FDIC. The appraisals ran the gamut of most every type commercial real estate known. The diversity was substantial. However, while in Dallas one of his highlight appraisals was of Centre-Point Business Park located south of the DFW airport midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. It was a 1,300-acre, master-planned, mixed-use business park that was located at the southern entrance of the Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport at state highways 183 and 360. Centre-Port was owned by General Motors Asset Management, and was home to American Airline’s world headquarters, as well as Southwestern Bell, Uniden America, Travelocity.com, Office Max, Keebler, Whirlpool, and other Fortune 500 companies. Centre-Port boasted a daytime population of more than 25,000, with more than 100 businesses in operation. The project was financed partially by Richard E. Rainwater (at that time one of the top 100 richest men in the world).
After the first savings and loan crises came to its closing he returned to Chicago and became a Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) and a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). Further he obtained Certified General Appraisal Licenses in three US States.
In 1993 he started his company and has worked on a number of exceptional projects. He appraised the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant located in Warren, Michigan. It was established 1940 on 341 acres at Warren, 17 miles northeast of Detroit. It had a staff of 400 military and 5,700 civilians. The mammoth structure measured over a million square feet and was five city blocks deep and two blocks wide. The building was designed by master industrial architect, Albert Kahn, in today’s Modern style. Few know when it was first opened the only way the building could be heated was with a locomotive steam engine. He also appraised the Regal Theater. When it opened August 29th, 1927 its Middle Eastern, Moorish design was reportedly inspired by a Persian incense burner that the architect (John Eberson) found in an antique market. The most celebrated black entertainers in America such as Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, and Duke Ellington performed frequently at the Regal, and a few native Chicagoans like Nat “King” Cole got their professional start there. One of the lesser known facts about the Regal Theater is Stevie Wonder or (Little) Stevie Wonder as he was known in 1963 (since he was only 13-years old) recorded the live version of Finger Tips here. It was Motown’s second hit record and stay on the Billboard for months.
He also appraised Granot Loma, located outside Marquette, Michigan. When it was constructed it was billed as the largest log residence in the world. It was a fifty-room facility on 5,000 acres of woodland. The home features, his-and-hers wine cellars, a nine-car garage and a “gentleman’s farm and barns”. The rustic private lodge of banker Louis Kaufman rivaled any Adirondack camp in its expense (an estimated $2 million spent over four years from 1919 to 1923 which in today’s dollars would be just under $27,550,000), its size (the L-shaped main building is 215′ by 300′), with explicated attention to detail. There are 60 fireplaces, one resembling a birch bark tipi. Concrete and steel attach the house to a granite outcrop at Lake Superior’s edge, but the surface materials are natural – primitive and hand finished: rubbed spruce logs, bark wall coverings of birch and cedar, local fieldstone, and slate from the Arvon slate quarry in the Huron Mountains near L’Anse. Shortly after, he appraised Michael Reese Hospital. This project was a +1,620,000 square foot, 450-bed facility on approximately 37 acres near downtown Chicago. It was selected as a possible site for Chicago’s bid for the Olympics.
He appraised Concordia Campus located in Springfield, Illinois, the main training center for all Illinois correctional and police officers. The campus has 28 buildings including a full gymnasium, dining halls, living quarter and various other office and administrative facilities in +630,784 square feet of building area. The buildings were situated on over 5 acres. The structures were constructed between 1860 and 1990 and many are strictly special use. Further security appraisals involved a state-of-the-art canine training facility located outside Leland, Illinois which provides canine protection for; The President of the United States, The US Department of Defense, The Pentagon, Government Services Agency (GSA), The United Nations, The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), The Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (CPA), Ministry of the Interior, Iraq, National Mine Action Authority in Iraq (de-mining) The South African National Police Force, The Public Security Directorate of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Department of Homeland Security- Customs and Border Protection and Ministry of Interior United Arab Emirates.
Further he apprised a number of parcels within Argonne National Laboratory’s located outside Chicago. Argonne was the first science and engineering research facility constructed for the United States Department of Energy. It is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest. Argonne was initially formed to carry out Enrico Fermi’s work on nuclear reactors. Today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and national security. Argonne began in 1942 as the “Metallurgical Laboratory” at the University of Chicago, which was part of the Manhattan Project. The Met Lab built Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor, under the stands of a University of Chicago sports stadium. Considered unsafe, in 1943, CP-1 was reconstructed as CP-2, in what is today known as Red Gate Woods but was then the Argonne Forest of the Cook County Forest Preserve District near Palos Hills. The lab was named after the surrounding Argonne Forest, which in turn was named after the Forest of Argonne in France where U.S. troops fought in World War I.
VVS also appraised the Center for Research Libraries for the University of Chicago. The actual building is a uniquely constructed four-story, +175,000 square foot facility having no windows except on the east side’s first floor. The remainder is total concrete construction having no natural lighting (which deteriorates printed page). This two-module facility was construction in the 1980s with its large and modern addition finished in 1993. It provides excellent security and a preservation-quality environment for paper and microform collections – many of which are unique or irreplaceable. The facility also does much of the processing, cataloging, digitization, and service of Center for Research Libraries collections. The HVAC system is programmed to maintain preservation-quality conditions of 60 degrees (F) and 40% relative humidity on the upper three floors, where most collections are stored. We were told there were only two similar quality preservation facilities in the world. Archives from the United Kingdom in addition to many special collections of archival and primary source material such as the 100,000-plus-page archive of Cambodia’s notorious Khmer Rouge regime are housed here. Further there are 800,000 doctoral dissertations (including those of Albert Einstein, Bag Hammarskjold, and other Nobel laureates) from universities outside the U.S. and Canada.
VVS appraised the former Kellogg Sanitarium, now Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center. The Center is situated on +24 acres or +1,045,440 square feet of land and has +656,987 square feet of office. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg coined the term “Sanitarium”. The complex became Kellogg’s laboratory for developing and promulgating good health and fitness were the result of good diet, exercise, correct posture, fresh air and proper rest. It served as part of the Army’s Percy Jones General Hospital complex during the 1940s and 1950s and then became part of the Hart- Dole-Inouye Federal Center in the 1960s. The Sanitarium tower was built in 1927 and is fifteen stories high, with penthouses above each tower, and the exterior remains virtually unchanged since its construction. The building has been nominated to the National Historic Registry. Along with high numbers of patrons, there was a large number of staff at Battle Creek. Kellogg stated that “at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, the number of persons employed is never less than eight hundred, and often rises in the busiest season to more than one thousand”. The sanitarium became a destination for both prominent and middle-class American citizens. Celebrated American figures who visited the sanitarium (including Mary Todd Lincoln and Sojourner Truth) would influence and encourage enthusiasm for health and wellness among the general population.
It is reason at this point VVS has most likely appraised more Anaerobic Digestion systems then any company in the US. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the process by which organic materials in an enclosed vessel are broken down by micro-organisms, in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic digestion produces biogas (consisting primarily of methane and carbon dioxide). AD systems are also often referred to as “biogas systems.” Depending on the system design, biogas can be combusted to run a generator producing electricity and heat (called a co-generation system), burned as a fuel in a boiler or furnace, or cleaned and used as a natural gas replacement. The AD process also produces a liquid effluent (called digestate) that contains all the water, all the minerals and approximately half of the carbon from the incoming materials. Many agri-food AD systems are located on farms. Farm-based AD systems work well with liquid manure. AD systems provide a valuable manure treatment option, since most other economically effective manure treatment systems (such as composting) require solid materials with dry matter greater than 30%. We have apprised over a dozen of these systems in three states generating over 600,000 Kw/h of electricity.
The above are some of the firm’s highlighted project and there are many others shown on its website www.vertinvaluation.com However, you will also find hundreds of general commercial, retail, industrial, office, apartment, agricultural, finer living and mixed use buildings VVS has done in almost every county, city or township in the market areas they cover. These are everyday commercial industrial properties. If you own property in some of these areas possibly you will recognize some of them.
Some highlights over these years have been valuation analysis for:
- Foreign Governments, Wall Street investors and some of the largest lending institutions in the world.
- He has appraised properties in 15 states and two countries.
- He has appraised portfolio properties exceeding $1 billion in estimated value.
- He has served as expert witness in city, county, state and federal courts.
- He has specialized appraisal experience in landfills, historic districts, national landmarks; graveyards, crematoriums, methane digesters, waste water treatment facilities, water treatment facilities, mineral rights and mining operations, funeral homes, hospitals, nursing homes, partial interest appraising in condemnation proceedings, electric utility systems, right-of-ways, golf course operations, churches, schools, equestrian centers, power plants, green house operations, mobile home parks, hotels, mini storage warehouse facilities, gas station-convince store, carwash operations, auto dealerships and country clubs to name a few.
- He has also authored over 20 articles on the real estate industry and its trends.
As stated Mr. Vertin graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Finance with an emphasis on Real Estate Investments. He was on the Dean’s list twice and was Vice President of Beta Sigma Business Honor Society. There were a number of real estate related course and valuation theory classes taken while at the U of U. However, most direct class work was provided through the Appraisal Institute. At the time Mr. Vertin obtained his MAI, he was required to take 280 hours of appraisal course work, write a complete demonstration appraisal report and sit for the comprehensive examination. To obtain the MAI at that time it took approximately 5-years after undergraduate school. Further the Appraisal Institute requires Members to take 100 hours of continuing education every 5-year’s. Coupled with Mr. Vertin’s University training he has well over 700 hours of formal class room training in various appraisal theory classes.
Mr. Vertin is a Member of the Appraisal Institute, Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Illinois State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, Michigan General Certified Appraiser and an Indiana General Certified Appraiser. He was on the Appraisal Institute National General Demonstration Report Grading Committee and was on the Appraisal Institute regional Ethics Committee. He was also Past Chairman of the Public Relations Committee for the Appraisal Institute and a past Member of the Illinois Association of Mortgage Brokers.