Friday, September 19, 2014

Taste 20 Lincoln Square Restaurants, bid in LIVE auction at "Friend's of the Grape" Sunday October 5th, 2014

Enjoy an awesome variety of local restaurants, wine, beer, and auctions at Friends of the Grape!  All for $45-$50!
Eat from 20 great Lincoln Square area restaurants. Each table features wine pairings!
 The 15th Annual Friends of the Grape food and wine fest benefiting St. Matthias Parish and School is Sunday October 5th at 12:30pm.  The event takes place under the tents and main level of St. Matthias School 4910 N Claremont in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The location is easily accessible by CTA Western Brown Line stop, bus or park in the school/church parking lots.

The terrific value allows you to sample approximately 20 local restaurants while sipping dozens of wine choices. Cheese plates, Lauganitas beer, coffee and desserts round out the once a year opportunity!

Eat at the many banquet tables or stand-up tables throughout the tent areas.

Cheese, fruit and desserts from Lincoln Square's favorites!
Last year's silent auction items featured a Harbor Country vacation cabin, fine wine packages, Pro Team sports packages, original artwork, restaurant certificates, progressive dinners and more!

Our professional auctioneer made the Live Auction and other raffle games fun and exciting! Live auction items featured private dining parties, lobster boils, a Cape Cod vacation cabin, hotel and golf get-a-ways and a Chicago Blackhawks meet and greet experience.
So much to choose from.
Getting a good spot for the auction.
Ready to raise those paddles!

Friends of Amundsen High School come out in droves in Ravenswood

Alderman O'Connor addresses 130 registered guests at Dolce Casa Cafe, 4947 N Damen Avenue in the Ravenswood neighborhood. Later Amundsen High School Principal Anna Pavichevich highlighted programs and the improved metrics at Amundsen High School.
 I had a great time supporting the Friends of Amundsen High School with neighbors last night in Ravenswood.  Local leaders including the the Mayor's floor leader 40th Ward Alderman Patrick O'Connor, 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar and Dr. Maureen Gillette, NEIU's Dean of the prolific College of Education spoke on the ongoing efforts helping to improve our neighborhood attendance high school on the Winnemac Park campus.

Me and da future Mayor?  Alderman Pawar looks thrilled to be in my company!
Teachers, politicians, Local School Council members from several schools, neighbors and administrators were educated on the path to a strong welcoming high school that promises to prepare our kids for college.  There was much emphasis on a caring environment coupled with laser sharp focus on instruction.  Bottom line: Don't stress out!  Make this your school for your kids.

Smart guys! Amundsen LSC members (from left) Michael Cohen and Jeffrey Newman. McPherson Elementary LSC Chair Bob Farster on the right.
The packed house enjoyed the hospitality of Dolce Casa Cafe and beverages donated by Friends of Amundsen President Stephen Reynolds.
Seasoned schools contributor Wendy Vasquez outlines an action plan to take part in now!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A visit to Chicago Sailing in Belmont Harbor

This is what I call an office!  Chicago Sailing HQ in Belmont Harbor is easily accessible by car from the Recreation Drive entrance off LSD... or ride/ walk over!
I stopped by to visit with my friends at Chicago Sailing last week at Belmont Harbor.  Despite the gloomy, rainy September morning it still felt good to be out on the lakefront.  I discussed a couple projects with Director of Fun, Rose Freeman.  I've taken out clients a few times with Chicago Sailing over the years.  They make it easy!

Rose helps me pick out a vessel for an upcoming sailing trip.  I get this look from a lot of people!

Chicago Sailing is hosting their 2nd Annual trip to the British Virgin Islands in February (remember last February in Chicago?!).  Check out the recap from last year's BVI sailing trip.  Check out some photos below!

Photo Chicago Sailing in the BVIs
Photo Chicago Sailing in the BVIs
Chicago Sailing is a proud sponsor of St. Matthias " 15th Annual Friends of The Grape"  fest coming up this Sunday, October 5th, 2014.  Buy your tickets now and bid on a great Chicago Sailing package out of Belmont Harbor!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hamlin Park area house and condo prices up in western Lakeview

A coveted dog run park at Hamlin Park adjacent to lighted tennis courts.
I spent a gloomy morning last Thursday checking evaluating a client's condo near Hamlin Park in western Lakeview.  Parks are great identifiers for Chicagoans when considering a home purchase.  Hamlin Park offers lighted tennis courts, a field house with outdoor pool, a dog park (!), and plenty of baseball diamonds for league sports. 

For our purposes, we'll use the boundaries of West Belmot to West Diversey and North Ravenswood to North Western Avenue.  The area west of the river is certainly separated, but there is a cluster of housing there nonetheless.
House Sales around Hamlin Park January 1st to September 12th, 2014

Newer construction and modestly renovated houses stand side by side directly across from Hamlin Park.
43 detached homes have closed this year in the the Hamlin Park sales area.  The median price of a house is about $900,000 (up $100,000 from last year's median).  Several higher end new construction homes helped lead the pricing surge.  Two newly built homes on 31.5' wide lots at 1905 and 1909 W Fletcher sold for $1,774,000 and $1,740,000 respectively. Homes closer to the park and east of Damen are relatively more expensive than homes closer to Western Ave and south of Clybourn.

60 detached homes sold same period 2013 in a hot market with a median price of $800,000. The lower median price in 2013 reflects more dated or small homes bought for development. 

There were several sales in the Picardy Place community of single family homes southeast of Hamlin Park.  These small homes are close to Chi Che Wang Park as well but benefit from the many established leagues and amenities of Hamlin Park.  The median price for one of these homes currently is about $475,000.

Condo Sales around Hamlin Park January 1st to September 12th, 2014
Attached condo sales around Hamlin Park tend to be in buildings built over the last 15 years.  However, large vintage buildings like Alcott Prep keep the architecture around the park interesting.
103 attached condo units (including town houses) sold from January 1st to September 12th this year.  The median price is about $372,000. 108 units sold with a median price of about $347,000 over the same period last year.

The most expensive sale was 3203 N Oakley #304, a duplex penthouse unit in a newer construction elevator building.  The 2900 sq/ft unit sold for $749,000.  Several duplex-down condos along Damen sold in the high $400s to $500s near the park. As one would imagine the lower priced condos in this sales area reside mostly on busy Western, Clybourn and Diversey Avenues.

Over 146 houses and condos switched hands. 5 (two-four flat) multi-unit buildings sold and a couple land deals went down.  That's a lot of action around a roughly 3 square block radius around the park!

Lincoln Park's curious blue cottage meets its maker, torn down yesterday

625 W Armitage before.  I took this photo a couple weeks ago.  The photo below of the empty lot was taken today.
All Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.  We just posted an update on 625 W Armitage last week.  The cute as a button time capsule in the tony Lincoln Park location had survived circa 1886 until yesterday.   


It's a shame the tiny home could not have been preserved as a little history museum for Chicago tourists and citizen alike.  The diminutive cottage was an eye catcher - a curiosity as I've called it - down a not so super attractive strip of West Armitage.  That said, I understand the reality and economics of trying to preserve this home rather than build a new property.  Without any real historical cache it's a miracle we were able to take it in for so long.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lincoln Park condo sales 2014: One, two, three bedrooms prices generally UP year to year

858 W Diversey Unit 3W (building pictured) is the first resale to hit the market for this newer construction build from 2010. Unit 3W is being offered for sale or rent, $949,900 or $7,250, respectively (not our listing). The highly upgraded duplex penthouse was originally purchased for $750K. Photo Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty

Lincoln Park Condo Sales 2014 Jan 1st-Sept 12th

One Bedroom Condos:  152 one bedroom condos sold on the MLS from January 1st thru September 12th of this year.  The median price for a one bedroom this year is about $228,500.  167 one bedroom units were sold same period in 2013 for a median price of $200,000.

Two Bedrooms Condos: 392 Lincoln Park two bedrooms condos (this can include town houses) closed during the same period for a median price of $393,000.  The numbers were very close over the same period of 2013 with 382 units sold and a median of $385,000.

Three or more bedrooms (3+) condos:  333 attached units with three or more bedrooms closed from January 1st to September 12th.  The median price is a robust $660,000 (even 3 bedrooms only units had a median  $630,000).  354 attached units with three or more bedrooms sold over the same period in 2013 with a median price of $600,000

The lagoons in the Lincoln Park Community Area (Photo Eric Rojas, Kale Realty

We saw great demand for larger attached homes in great locations increase from 2012 to 2013 and again in early 2014 (as single family home prices went up and inventory shrank).  Buyers were also more readily willing to pay a higher premium (as a percentage of square footage) on newer finished attached homes with many luxuries than older single family homes that needed updating.

Sales stats gathered and interpreted by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty using To sell, but or rent property in the Lincoln Park area please contact us.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Still hanging on! Lincoln Park's curious cottage on Armitage yet to be developed

We last wrote about the house at 625 W Armitage last November.  Public notices were posted regarding a variance request by an active local developer. Almost one year later the house still remains.

Looking south down North Howe Street from 625 W Armitage
The area of Armitage and Howe is made up of mostly high-end homes, newer condo buildings and vintage condo conversion buildings.  2041 N Howe (just a half block from 625 W Armitage) sold this summer for $3,832,500.00

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Under Contract! Old Town extra wide condo with fantastic deck

The private deck at 1522 N Cleveland #2. Photos Eric Rojas, Kale Realty and
 We listed 1522 N Cleveland #2 in Old Town recently for $499,900 and our sellers accepted a great purchase offer in the first week. The two beds, two baths home features this near 400 sq/ft private deck and attached garage parking. The location near the lake and Wells Street entertainment is one of the more sought after spots in the city. 

Watch the video walk through:

Our clients had the home looking fantastic for showings. The wider than average floor-plan and over-sized deck were standout features.  The sellers made a very smart move upgrading the bedrooms to hardwood floors.  Believe or not most of the comparable homes had carpet in the bedrooms.

The wide living room with walk-out balcony allows for floating the furniture for a more spacious feel. 
The home sale is now contingent on financing (a buyer's clear to close from the lender). We hope the buyer enjoys the location as much as our clients have over the past 6 years.  Call or email us to discuss buying or selling property on the North Side of Chicago.  We take great care to work with your goals and manage the entire process accordingly.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Seen in Wrigleyville: Sweep!

You get a little less annoyed by street cleaning parking restrictions when this guy rolls by (photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty).

When we sweep a team... we REALLY SWEEP a team! 

The fate of Old Town's Noble Horse Theater: Keep on keeping on at Illinois Horse Park

That building you see from the Brown Line. The Noble Horse Theater building at 1410 N Orleans in Old Town looks to be run down and closed for good. The web site and Facebook page make no mention of the state of the theater company. 
I passed the quirky Noble Horse Theater property a few weeks ago on showings in Old Town. The riding company had been considered the oldest in North America and the building dates back to 1871. The building and theater are in bad shape and shut down. No horses are to be found.  Eight or so horse drawn carriages remained in the stables that day.

I called the number for Noble Horse today and a gentleman picked up right away.  I believe it was owner Dan Sampson. He told me they are closed and looking to open up next spring at the Illinois Horse Park near Starved Rock State Park.  He said the carriage company and theater "were done" and the City had no interest in preserving the historical property. He had several opinions about doing business in Chicago... but you'll have to ask him about those yourself.

Coat of Arms line the wall on Sedgwick side near the Antique Coach and Carriage Company mailbox.

One thing is for sure.  It will be interesting to see what will be developed and who will develop the good sized parcel.  The west side of the 1400 block of North Orleans faces the train.  It is home to a large condo building and loft conversion units. Condo units have sold from $218,000 to $675,000 on the block over the last two years.

Pretty good Old Town location.