Thursday, April 09, 2020

New construction starts on Planet Granite in Lincoln Park / Old Town... also listed for sale $22.4 million

Construction of the new Planet Granite Lincoln Park/ Old Town at 1450 N Dayton.  The property is being marketed for sale as well for $22,460,000 on  All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

We've had several appointments in the Lurie Children's Hospital offices at 1440 N Dayton in southern Lincoln Park/ Old Town area. A new Planet Granite climbing gym is being built next door at 1450 North Dayton Street as part of a larger Shops at Big Deahl mixed use development. The general location is home to several office buildings, condos/ apartment buildings, services, entertainment establishments, community centers and retail shopping (New City shops/ apartments).  The British International School is across the street, REI building is just west along the river and Whole Foods steps away at 1550 N Kingsbury.

The vacant lot at 1450 N Dayton  (West Blackhawk and North Dayton) before the construction ramp up. SoNo East Apartments and condos are in the background to the north. A parking facility and The British School are directly east.
We've wondered about progress on the large vacant lot while visiting this location for some time. In addition to the Lurie Children's offices we've frequented the former Pump it Up and Menomonee Club Drucker Center within the block. It's a unique spot with a crazy array of work places, amenities, fitness options, schools and entertainment for kids and adults... packed into a two square block with even more coming!

Photos taken from the 2nd floor at 1440 North Dayton
According to public records a special warranty deed was recorded at 1450 N Dayton with an amount of $16,000,000 in 2015. I found a for sale advertisement on for the Planet Granite single tenancy building asking $22,460,000.  The Real Deal had a story when the property was first listed a year ago.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

A look at new construction, 1st quarter home sales in Bowmanville (up 200%!)

New construction on three contiguous houses continues yesterday on the 5300 Block of North Bowmanville Avenue in the Bowmanville neighborhood of Lincoln Square. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Since the late 1990's Bowmanville has seen many new construction single family homes replace the smaller frame cottages known for the area. It's rare however to see three contiguous new homes built.
5349-51 N Bowmanville Avenue closed last October for $765,000 by Bowmnaville Development LLC. A loan of about $1.73M was taken out on the property.  The property consisted of three contiguous lots measuring 75 feet across (they are shorter than standard lots). An old frame two-flat was torn down.

5349-51 N Bowmanville Ave house construction early this year.
Bowmanville neighborhood of Lincoln Square.  I base the sales stats on the above area.
Bowmanville single family home sales
Three houses sold 1st quarter 2020. That's a 200% unit sale increase over the same period of 2019! How about that!? Only one house sold 1st quarter 2019.
In 2018, ten homes sold in the 1st quarter with a median price of about $775,000.
In 2017, three homes sold 1st quarter.
In 2016, five homes sold in 1st quarter.
In 2015, seven homes sold 1st quarter with a median price of $830,000.

Only two houses are currently under contract in the neighborhood. Eight homes are currently listed for sale on the MLS (I've seen about three or so more houses listed in Private Listing Network of the MLS and Top Agent Network that is only open to Top 10% of Brokers who subscribe). Going to be a slow year for unit sales 😐

Early this year, anecdotally speaking, I noticed single family home new construction and complete gut renovation activity was greater than in the past couple years around Bowmanville/ Lincoln Square. It will be interesting to see how sales shake out after the outbreak quiets down later this year. 

Monday, April 06, 2020

Lakeview Treasure Island site cleared for 208 rental apartments

The former Treasure Island grocery store at 3460 N Broadway has been cleared to make way for a large rental apartment complex. Photo taken last week - Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
I passed the site of the Optima Lakeview apartment development at 3460 N Lakeview, Chicago IL 60657. The former Lakeview Treasure Island property was sold for about $12,850,000 according to public records (I looked it up).  Anybody miss the Treasure Island?  A Jewel-Osco and Whole Foods are also nearby in this heavy grocery store area. 

The development is approved for 208 units and 97 parking spaces.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Old Town Triangle has a message for you (sales stats too)

In case you forgot...  wash your damn hands!       (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
There have been a bevy of inspirational messages posted in windows and on front gates around Chicago. These homeowners in Old Town Triangle neighborhood of Lincoln Park care about your safety.  Message heard loud and clear.  I also love the red door.

Brick sidewalk and a red door, messages in the window... charm for days.

Old Town Triangle sales area I use to compare stats over time. If choosing a house apples to apples in size for my family this is probably my top location in Chicago. Not going to happen (and Lincoln Square is just fine too). 
Only one single family home has sold in Old Town Triangle first quarter of 2020 (January 1st to March 31st). 438 West Eugenie Street sold for $4,100,000 cash before being listed on the MLS. Do yourself a favor and flip through the photos. I feel it's one of the more attractive home renovations I've seen in awhile. Five single family home properties sold over the same time frame in 2019 with prices ranging from $665,000 to $1,900,000.

A typical frame house in Old Town Triangle proper. The buildings and lots tend to be smaller in the true historical potion of the neighborhood.

A good handful of single family homes will be available at any time in the greater Old Town Triangle luxury market of Chicago. However one sold (closed) home in any three months period is a rare low number.  Five homes are currently under contract with asking prices ranging from $1,250,000 to $1,875,000. 17 homes are listed for sale. Most have high market times (they've been on for awhile). Only one home was listed NEW in the last two weeks. Three homes have been put on temporary status which means they are unavailable for showings. 
A pretty condo building in the middle of Old Town Triangle
Thirty-three condo units (attached units) have closed from January 1st to March 31st, 2020.  The median price of a closed condo is about $431,000. Only 26 condo units sold last year over the same period with a median price of about $257,500 (the median price suggests high-rise units on North Clark and small vintage condos made up the bulk of sales first quarter 2019).

Twenty-six attached units sold in 2018 with a median price of $338,000
Twenty units sold same period 2017 with a median price of $323,000
Twenty-five units sold in 2016 with a median price of about $390,000

Friday, April 03, 2020

Owner cashes out on three Lincoln Park properties for $2,685,000, new construction "two-unit" condo buildings on the way

Three contiguous detached properties at 2768-2672 N Burling in Lincoln Park sold last year to two separate owners. Two small frame cottages are being redeveloped while the three-flat to the right remains for now. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I've been a fan of North Burling Street in Lincoln Park since waaaayyy back. Like 1998! I especially like the 2400 Block of North Burling (it was between my old office and the old Children's Memorial Hospital campus where my wife worked). The 2400-2800 blocks of Burling in Lincoln Park offer an eclectic mix of old and new residential housing. The blocks have also maintained several rental multi-units in what has become a very expensive area in the city.

Bob came across a couple new construction projects on the 2600 Block of North Burling yesterday. The small frame cottage at 2668 N Burling was closed on 9/20/19 for $875,000 and the cottage  at 2670 N Burling on 9/27 for $875,000. The lots measure 25'x109' ($321.00 per sq/ft for the dirt). A few months 2672 N Burling (three unit building to the far right in the above photo) was also sold on 12/13/19 for $935K. The three contiguous properties were offered up by the same owner.  The three-unit building at 2672 N Burling looks like it will remain an owner occupied three-flat.

As far as the development goes make way for 4 new construction condos in what looks like two single family homes. Two unit condo buildings are not that common and it is an interesting choice for developers. Only one new unit is presently being marketed as "coming soon" at 2668 N Burling, Unit 2...a 3 Beds, 2.1 Baths penthouse for $1,375,000. No mention whether parking was included at that price?

Times have changed! Back in 2011 I wrote about these single family home foreclosures on the same 2600 Block of North Burling.  Read the post HERE

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Chicago TIF policy gets retool but reforms don't go far enough for many

The Lincoln Yards development became the poster child of all that was wrong with the Tax Increment Financing Program. In many citizen's eyes a huge successful developer received precious tax funding for an area that would be developed privately anyway.  Photos taken March 30th last week. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Most resources are currently directed at fighting the corona-virus outbreak. That said the City Council still needs to govern and we'll need good policy going forward more than ever. New construction development was a top policy debate prior to the outbreak. Some Alderman in Logan Square even pushed for a development moratorium for properties along the 606 Trail. 

Lincoln Yards development site is situated between the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods along the Chicago River.. Many of the residential and commercial spaces will afford spectacular skyline views.

The Tax Increment Financing Program (TIF) was a big mayoral campaign issue. Back in February WTTW did a story on Mayor Lightfoot's plans to reform how TIFs are utilized in Chicago. The Daily Line revisited the subject late last month.  We went out and took a few photos of the Lincoln Yards development site on March 30th. Lincoln Yards became Ground Zero for the TIF dispute during the last Mayoral election.

From my reading Lightfoot is promising more oversight and transparency into the actual process of determining which projects should be eligible for TIFs. The changes do not appear to rule out more prosperous areas of the city or large developers from benefiting from TIF funds to build private residential and commercial units. 

At West Dickens 

On West Cortland

Looking West

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Chase Bank, Sears redevelopments moving ahead along Lawrence Avenue, Lincoln Square

The large Chase branch at 1825 West Lawrence is closed for re-development.  The 166 unit residential development was approved back in 2017. The 47th Wrad Aldeman Matt Martin suggested construction will start in the fall. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
West Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square has seen a resurgence of development since the "road diet" changes reduced it to a manageable two lanes from a frenzied four lanes. Over the past five years many residential units have been completed along West Lawrence between Ashland and Western and many more are in the works. Newer businesses over the past five years like Roots, The Sixth, Iris and Steven Poldosky Family Center, Borellis Pizza, Marianos, El Dorado #2 and L.A. Fitness have prospered.

As a nearby resident and home owner I love the Lawrence Avenue road diet and the subsequent development. Density has made Lawrence Ave more lively and infrastructure improvements more pedestrian friendly. Prior to the corona-virus shutdown I attended a Greater Ravneswood Chamber of Commerce panel with 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin.  Among many things the Alderman addressed a few of the developments along Lawrence Avenue.

The Chase Bank branch at 1825 West Lawrence is now empty. A smaller branch was built adjacent to the east.

Chase Bank redevelopment:  Alderman Martin suggested the Chase Bank property development at 1825 W Lawrence (pictured above) is schedule to break ground in earnest this fall. That will bring 166 new residential housing units to the strip nearly adjacent to the Ravenswood Metra station.

The old Sears building at 1900 West Lawrence Avenue. Photo taken during this March.
Sears/ DeVry development: Construction at the old Sears building had stopped some time after the New Year.  The developer basically "ran out of money". However new financing was attained and construction continued in March. The building will house DeVry University and add 59 new residential apartments.

The play-lot at McPherson Elementary in Lincoln Square. A new turf field addition is planned for the school.
McPherson Elementary: McPherson is a neighborhood Chicago Public School serving Lincoln Square. The school is to build a new turf field as part of $1.4 million in state funds coming it way. McPherson is working hard to achieve 1+ status among several nearby top ranked schools. A 1+ rated school district is a boon to local real estate prices.

Friday, March 27, 2020

West Ridge condo median price dips a little 1st Quarter 2020

Our most recent West Ridge listing is at 6015 N Mozart Unit 102, Chicago IL 60659 in the West Ridge neighborhood.
We have a listing back on the market in the West Ridge Community Area of the North Side. The first time we listed the unit we had lots of showings and multiple offers in the first week. Unluckily those buyers backed out due to the current virus outbreak situation.  The market has been climbing in West Ridge and the demand for nice condos in stable buildings is strong. Those priced out of Lincoln Square and/or Edgewater are turning to West Ridge to be close to amenities like parks, grocery stores, restaurants and services for less money.

West Ridge attached unit sales (condo/ townhouse)
Sixty attached units have sold from January 1st to March 26th, 2020. The median price of a sold condo is about $126,000. Median price is down about $10,000 from same period in 2019. Condos in the southeastern portion of the West Ridge Community Area tend to sell for more than in the northwest portion of the area. Since 2016 median price is up over the same period about $20,000.

Over the same period of 2019 sixty-four attached units sold with a median price of about $138,500.
Over same period of 2018 sixty-five attached units sold with a median price of about $135,000.
Going back to 2016 sixty-six units sold for a median price of only $105,000.

398 total attached units sold over 2016 with a median price of about $110,000. Three years later in 2019 about 345 attached units sold overall with a median price of about $145,000. Median price climbed about 31%

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

South Loop townhouse sales: Up and down unit sales and median price

We viewed three bedrooms townhouses this morning in peaceful, well located Dearborn Park II development of the South Loop. This particular section is across from South Loop Elementary and conjoining park.
We're all dealing with the reality of the coronavirus outbreak. However some folks have the added complication of needing to move. They may have leases coming up, home sales under contract or moving to Chicago for a new job. Most of our business is on hold while folks wait this out. We currently have some essential business to take care of while taking appropriate precautions. Additionally I'll keep posting observations to my blog and Facebook site as much as possible (when I'm not homeschooling my kids). 
Stately town homes line Jones Park in South Loop. I think most people would be surprised by the tranquil life offered in the middle of South Loop.

We have clients looking to upgrade space from their South Loop two bedroom condo. They want to keep their small family in the immediate area. The convenience to work, shopping, the lakefront and cultural events are too great a draw to jump ship! It's a good time to take a look at South Loop townhouse sales numbers in the ever evolving lakefront neighborhood.
Greater South Loop neighborhood sales area we generally monitor.  All stats based on this footprint.

South Loop Townhouse Sales
In the first three months of 2020 (January 1st to March 20th) eleven townhouses closed in South Loop. The median price is about $600,000. 320 East 18th Street was the highest priced closing at $860,000. Over the same period of 2019 thirteen townhouses closed with a median price of about $500,000.  The highest priced closing reached $1.7M with another closing at $1.5M.

There have been interesting swings in units sales and median price over the last four years. If the $600,000 holds up this year we'll see another swing back up. What's interesting there were no new town homes built over the last four years that might have explained the over $100K median price spike in 2018. Unit sales jumped to ninety-one townhouses sold in 2017 over just fifty-nine sold in 2016.

2019: Sixty-one total townhouses closed with median price of  about $530,000.
2018: Eighty-three townhouses sold with a median price of a whopping $770,000!
2017: Ninety-one townhouses closed with a median price of about $635,000.
2016: Fifty-nine townhouses closed with a median price of about $565,000

One of my favorite South Loop sight-lines... driving northbound down South Indiana Avenue!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Quick Tempel Steel sales update in Bowmanville

A gated entry to the Tempel Steel manufacturing campus. The entire 21 acre property is for sale. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I attended a Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce meeting March 11th with 40th Ward and 47th Ward Aldermen just days before social distancing and the consequent "shelter in place orders progressed. Roots Pizza hosted. We were doing elbow bumps instead of handshakes. What innocent times! We received updates on legislation and services they were focusing on and participated in a Q/A session.

The Tempel Steel site is for sale in the Bowmanville neighborhood of the 40th Ward. This is a hot development topic for surrounding North Side neighbors and businesses. Any development can have an up or down effect on surrounding property values. It would be the largest property sale in the new 40th Ward alderman's early term (and maybe the entire term) and will surely impact housing in Bowmanville and western Edgewater in some way or another.

The building stock on the 1800 Block of West Balmoral (photo above) across from Tempel Steel remain largely original. There are a handful of converted two-flats to single family homes but much less renovation and new construction activity than you's see on other residential blocks around Bowmanville.  Properties across from the current plant sell for at least a 10% discount than similar properties on fully residential blocks. 
I jotted down some of 40th Ward Alderman Vasquez comments about the prospective development:
First, the alderman stated he'd been approached about residential development. He is adamant that a zoning change application for residential must include an affordable housing component - which is expected and required. However, I took it the affordable housing component must well exceed any minimum required by the City of Chicago Affordable Requirements Ordinance. 

It could stay and industrial/ manufacturing campus "as of right". It won't necessarily be converted to a residential development.

The bottom line is there is nothing close to getting done at the time of the meeting. Any re-development would have to go through the Community Zoning Process of the 40th Ward.  Here's a past statement from Alderman Vasquez and a Block Club story on the Tempel Steel sale offering.