After she invested 32 years in Chicago-based American Invsco, a condominium development firm she co-founded with her brother, Evangeline Gouletas has resigned as co-chairman of the company to pursue a new business venture, Skyline Equities Realty LLC, also based in Chicago. The firm, which opened for business early this year, will concentrate on the acquisition and development of high-quality commercial and residential properties in both domestic and international markets. But Skyline will begin regionally with the market with which it is most familiar — Chicago.
As chairman and CEO of the new company, Gouletas has assembled the following senior management team: David Lee, chief financial officer; Paul Zambrotta, chief investment and development officer; Robert DiCostanzo, president, design and construction; and Thomas Baggot, director of commercial leasing and sales. Skyline now has a staff of 12 employees, and more new hires are anticipated.
Gouletas has invested much capital in the new venture. “Skyline is not your typical start-up company. We are a professional real estate group, and we are well-funded to grow our business,” Gouletas said.
Currently Skyline is involved in the multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the commercial portion of Lake Point Tower, a 70-story residential building in Chicago. This development, which has been renamed Lake Point Tower Renaissance Plaza, includes retail and office space for lease on the first, second and 70th floors. The newly renovated round French restaurant, Cité Elegant Dining, owned by Gouletas, occupies the 70th floor.
In 1998, Gouletas became the first and only woman to be inducted into the Chicago Association of Realtors Hall of Fame. She has been involved in the commercial real estate industry since she was approximately 17 years old, when her father purchased a six-flat building in Chicago. She began making small monthly payments on one of the apartments. After she became a schoolteacher and was making more money, her payments became larger. Eventually she paid off the loan and owned the apartment free and clear, managing her one-sixth portion of the building.
Later she subdivided the apartment into two and began managing both apartments, because during those days it made more economic sense to live in a smaller space. Thus, a business of acquiring and developing commercial properties was born. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Gouletas' vision for Skyline is to pursue distinctive buildings of quality and that make economic sense, she said. “We're not going to go after owning a lot of buildings, but what we think is important is ‘quality vs. numbers.’”