Owner/President Michael S. MaRous
graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1976 with a B. S. in Urban Land Economics, began his career working with a Chicago real estate appraisal and consulting firm, and founded MaRous & Company in 1980. During his career, he has appraised primarily investment-grade real estate located in more than 25 states and reflecting a total value in excess of $15 billion. Properties appraised have included general industrial, commercial, and residential properties and vacant land and also specialized properties and interests, including air/development rights, billboards, cemeteries, easements, golf courses, gambling facilities, schools, streets, tank farms, waste transfer stations, and utility and railroad rights-of-way.
In addition to the documented appraisals prepared by Mr. MaRous and associates of his company, Mr. MaRous is well recognized as an expert witness in the area of real estate; has received the recommendations of judges and lawyers; and has been retained to act as an expert witness by many law firms; financial institutions and corporations; builders, developers, and architects; school districts; and an array of local, county, state, and federal governments and agencies. Read More
Mr. MaRous has been involved with many major redevelopment projects in the Chicago metropolitan area, such as the extension of Interstate 355; the expansion of McCormick Place; and the expansions of O’Hare International, Midway International, and DuPage airports. He also has gained extensive valuation experience regarding various types of properties related to partial interest; damage impact analyses; easements, including permanent, temporary, aerial, and subsurface; marital dissolutions; title insurance litigation; bankruptcy proceedings; and condemnation.
With significant experience in the area of eminent domain, Mr. MaRous has consulted with municipal and taxing bodies and also with property owners to determine the highest and best use of particular properties and the just compensations due the respective property owners. On several occasions, Mr. MaRous has consulted with government entities in regard to multiple acquisitions related to major redevelopment and roadway construction projects.
Since 2000, Mr. MaRous has been deposed on more than 135 occasions and has testified at more than 50 trials in circuit courts located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Boone counties and also in federal court. Additionally, he has provided testimony in more than 100 hearings before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) and has testified on numerous occasions before the Boards of Review of various counties, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Mr. MaRous also has testified in more than 50 matters regarding the rezoning of certain properties and has been involved in several arbitration and mediation proceedings as a witness and also as an arbitrator or mediator.
An award-winning leader in his profession, Mr. MaRous has authored a number of articles and has reviewed and/or has been cited in numerous books published by the Appraisal Institute. He also has been a speaker at more than 20 seminars and continuing education programs related to real estate appraisal and consulting matters and actively participates in several professional organizations.
Professional Licenses & Affiliations
- Appraisal Institute, MAI designation, #6159
- The Counselors of Real Estate, CRE designation
- Real Estate Counseling Group of America (RECGA), Member
- Illinois Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #553.000141
- Illinois Licensed Real Estate Broker
- “Low-income Housing in Our Backyards”, The Appraisal Journal, 1/96
- “The Appraisal Institute Moves Forward,” Illinois Real Estate Magazine, 12/93
- “Chicago Chapter, Appraisal Institute,” Northern Illinois Real Estate Magazine, 2/93
- “Chicago Chapter, Appraisal Institute,” Northern Illinois Real Estate Magazine, 2/93
- “Independent Appraisals Can Help Protect Your Financial Base,” Illinois School Board Journal, 11-12/90
- “What Real Estate Appraisals Can Do for School Districts,” School Business Affairs, 10/90
|April 2013||Panelist, 9th Annual Collegiate Real Estate Conference
DePaul University, Dreihaus College of Business, Real Estate Center
|April 2012||Panelist, 8th Annual Collegiate Real Estate Conference
DePaul University, Dreihaus College of Business, Real Estate Center
|April 2012||Lecturer, “Real Estate Appraisals”
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE).
9th Annual Family Law Conference
|May 2011||Panelist, “Discovery Issues and Challenges Facing Testifying Valuation Experts in Eminent Domain and Real Estate Tax Litigation”
The Counselors of Real Estate, Midyear Meeting
|October 2008||Panelist, Ethics-Working with Appraisers: Where is the Line and How Do You Know You’ve Crossed It?”
|February 2008||Lecturer, “Valuation of Real Estate and Landmarks”
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Graduate Program,
Department of Historic Preservation
|August 2007||Lecturer, “An Overview of the Appraiser’s Role”
|May 2006||Panelist, “Land Acquisition Processes/ Legal Issues/ Pitfalls”
Grand Avenue Railroad Relocation Authority (GARRA)
|February 2004||Lecturer, “Real Estate Valuation Issues”
Oak Brook Bank
|September 2003||Panelist, A Case Study Presentation- An Inside Look at a Complex Case”
|September 2002||Lecturer, “Negative Influences on Value”
|April 2002||Lecturer, “The Basics of Understanding and Analyzing Commercial and Residential Real Estate Valuation Reports”
The Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section
|July 2000||Lecturer, “Appraisal Process and the Appraiser as a Witness”
Lorman Education Services
|October 1996||Panelist, “Real Estate Valuation”
Kellogg/REIA Real Estate Summit 1996
|November 1994||Expert Witness, Mock Trial
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Books Reviewed by and/or Cited in
The Appraisal of Real Estate, 14th Ed., 2013. The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 5th Ed., 2010; Real Estate Damages, Applied Economics and Detrimental Conditions, 2nd Ed.; and many others
Professional Service & Awards
- Appraisal Institute: Past President, Chicago Chapter; Past Chair and Vice-Chair, National Publications Committee; Editorial Board, The Appraisal Journal
- The Counselors of Real Estate: Executive Board Member, Midwest Chapter, Past Chair, Midwest Chapter; Board Member; Editorial Board, Real Estate Issues
- Chair and/or member of more than 15 other committees of the Appraisal Institute, Society of Real Estate Appraisers, and American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers
- Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals, Past President
- Past member and committee member of National Association of Security Dealers, International Research Council, Chicago Real Estate Board, Northwest Suburban Real Estate Board, National Association of Real Estate Boards, and Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors
- Appraisal Institute: George L. Schmutz Memorial Award
- Appraisal Institute Chicago Heritage Award and Herman O. Walther (Distinguished Chapter Member) Award
City of Park Ridge: Past Mayor, Alderman, Liaison to Zoning Board of Appeals, Liaison to Planning and Zoning, Public Safety Committee Chair, Finance Committee Chair
- The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, Mentor and Speaker
- Avenues to Independence, Board Member
- The Center of Concern, Honorary Board Member
MaRous & Company is a prominent full-service real estate appraisal and consulting firm founded in 1980. Michael S. MaRous began his career as a real estate consultant in 1976 . Investment-grade property owners trust us for:
- Special expertise in valuation of unique and complex real estate
- Extensive experience in providing expert-witness testimony
- High-quality appraisals conducted by qualified and competent professionals
- The reliable valuation of industrial, commercial, residential, and special-use properties and vacant land
- Significant experience in valuation issues such as partial interests, condemnation, damage impact, bankruptcy, marital dissolutions, and easements (including aerial and subsurface)
- A solid reputation for success in litigation support
- Professional staff backed by skilled administrative, editorial, and production personnel
- A consistently high level of service and individual attention to each client
- Service tailored to the specific needs of law firms; financial institutions; corporations; builders, developers, and architects; school districts; and all levels of government and its agencies
- The personal review of every appraisal by Michael S. MaRous, MAI, CRE
Mr.Denovich has been active in real estate appraisal since 2005. He has appraised various types of property pursuant to financing, condemnation, estate planning, real estate tax appeal, and property acquisition and disposition. He is a General Associate Member of the Appraisal Institute, #491319 and a State of Illinois Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #553.001863. Read More
Nenad Denovich holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Kansas and has completed Appraisal Institute curriculum leading to the MAI designation.
Mr. Denovich’s appraisal experience includes commercial/residential and other mixed-use properties; restaurants, hotels, motels, and theaters; shopping centers, “big-box” (major chain) retail properties, and gasoline service stations; heavy industrial, light manufacturing, and warehouse-distribution buildings; low-density apartment buildings, single-family and multifamily residential properties; multitenant and flex space office buildings; and special purpose properties. He also has experience with appraisals involving vacant land, proposed construction, subdivision analysis, easements, and litigation support including testifying at Board of Review hearings.
Gale C. Jenkins
Mr. Jenkins has been active in real estate appraisal since 1997. He has appraised various types of property in seven states pursuant to financing, condemnation, estate planning, real estate tax appeal, and property acquisition and disposition. He is designated by the Appraisal Institute as an MAI, #12500 and is a State of Illinois Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #553.001474.
Gale C. Jenkins, MAI, holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Olivet Nazarene College and participates in continuing education through the Appraisal Institute. Prior to joining MaRous & Company, Mr. Jenkins was a real estate appraiser and associate with two independent real estate appraisal firms in the Chicago metro area.
Mr. Jenkins’s appraisal experience includes commercial/residential and other mixed-use properties; restaurants, hotels, motels, and theaters; shopping centers, “big-box” (major chain) retail properties, and gasoline service stations; heavy industrial, light manufacturing, and warehouse-distribution buildings; single-family and multifamily residential properties; multitenant and flex space office buildings; and special purpose properties. He also has experience with appraisals involving vacant land, proposed construction, subdivision analysis, easements, billboards, air-rights valuations, bilateral monopolies, matched-pairs analysis, government facilities, and litigation support including testifying at Board of Review hearings.
Debra S. Oswald
Ms. Oswald has been employed by MaRous & Company since 1991 providing appraisal and consulting services, primarily related to litigation and land use, for public bodies, law firms, developers, and private parties. A licensed attorney in the state of Illinois since 1982, she previously practiced law with William J. Harte, Ltd., concentrating in appellate law.
Debra S. Oswald holds a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago and a B.A. in Sociology from DePaul University, and has participated in continuing education through the Appraisal Institute in the areas of subdivision valuation, special-purpose properties, analyzing distressed real estate and others. She has also participated in continuing legal education in areas including eminent domain, land use, real estate taxation, and real estate practice. Her appraisal and consulting experience principally has surrounded litigation matters including condemnation, bankruptcy, martial dissolution, and title issues and has involved the valuation of vacant land; of industrial, commercial, and residential properties; of hotels and motels; of mixed-use properties; and of special-purpose properties. Ms. Oswald also provides litigation support.
Ms. Rifkind has been employed at MaRous & Company since 1986 specializing in matters related to urban planning. She provides consultation services on urban planning issues and assistance in preparation of written reports, and represents MaRous & Company at public hearings. Her prior experience includes work as an Urban Development Specialist in the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
At the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Ms. Rifkind’s work focused on neighborhood development, water and sewer issues, open space, and urban renewal. Previously, she was a research analyst at the Office of Urban Renewal for the City of Chicago. Ms. Rifkind has gained further perspective on government requirements and policy as an elected official. She has served as Trustee for Maine Township, Cook County, Illinois, and as Commissioner with the Park Ridge Park District. She previously served on the City of Park Ridge Planning & Zoning Commission. She holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has attended graduate school in urban studies at Loyola University, Chicago. Her experience in the appraisal and consulting areas includes market rent studies and market impact studies, zoning impact analyses, marketability and feasibility studies, highest-and-best-use analyses, and subdivision analyses.
The Appraisal Institute was organized in 1991, when the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers joined ranks. The largest professional organization of real estate appraisers in the United States, the Appraisal Institute has more than 23,000 members worldwide. The publisher of real estate appraisal books, journals, magazines, etc., the Appraisal Institute also lobbies on behalf of the interest of the real estate appraisal industry and the public. The Appraisal Institute also offers the MAI and SRA designated membership programs.
The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) is a professional organization, founded in 1953, whose membership is comprised of real estate advisors. Internationally, the organization includes 1,100 members, who have been invited to join the organization and who have been designated as CRE’s. Members are required to have a minimum of 10 years of real estate experience, including three years in counseling.
Real Estate Counseling Group of America (RECGA) was founded in 1970 by Dr. William Kinnard and consists of an elite group of no more than 30 individuals, each of whom is a principal of his own firm and is recognized to have expertise in the area of real estate valuation and consulting.
The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) represent the standards that are promulgated by the Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation and to which professional appraisers, including real estate appraisers, generally are required to adhere according to the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), to professional appraisal organizations, and to governmental agencies in the United States.