William J. Stephens
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President, GR8 Seas Holdings Inc

William J. Stephens

While operating as the Assistant Director of Operations, Maintenance, and Athletics for Northwestern University's downtown campus, William Stephens was given the challenge to devise a plan for the future of a twenty-one story high-rise commercial property located on the Gold-Coast in Chicago.  The properly was formerly the historic Lake Shore Athletic Club whose membership was made up of some of the most prominent business and civic minded people in the state, if not in the country.   

 

Business leaders like Charlie Walgreen of the Walgreen dynasty, the Daley's, Chicago Mayors, Political family, Arthur Anderson of the former well-known Anderson Consulting Firm, the Kennedy's, business, civic, political, and Presidential family, the Rockefeller, business owner, and a host of other well-known figures were regulars during the Club's rich history.  

 

Upon receiving the challenge, William began to research the history of the club and its members in an effort to familiarize himself with the club and its membership.  Over the course of 6 months William met with several key industry leaders to devise a strategy and plan for future of the property.  The group decided the highest and best use of the property would be a high-end hotel.  

 

William and the newly formed committee comprised of ex-bankers, entrepreneurs, real estate moguls, hoteliers pioneered and brokered a $200M real estate deal on behalf of the University. The committee believed the proposed plan would make better use of the underutilized commercial property while bringing increase benefit to the Streeterville, University communities, and the City of Chicago. The above deal ended 30 years of under-utilization and financial problem for the University

Board of Directors @ King’s Gates Conference - Training Center and The Angel Projects of America, both are 501(c)3s