Monday, January 14, 2019

Density for the few: Median asking price for new Old Town condos about $2.5 million

The pricey condo development at the corner of North and Clark in Old Town. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

We took some construction pictures of Old Town's new high-end condo before and after the holiday season.  Fifteen Fifty on the Park is a 32 unit new construction condo building  just steps from historic landmark Germania Club buildingChicago History MuseumLatin School and Second City. Not to mention all the great Wells Street restaurants and the lakefront. has photos and info of the old structures and preservation on the site.

Germania Club building (with a lively Starbucks) in the foreground.  The 1550 N Clark Street construction crane looms high over the busy corner. 

There are presently 6 units listed on MLS starting at $1,625,000 for a 2 bed/2.1 bath 2300 SF to $5,650,000 for a 4 bedroom/4.1 bath 4518 SF penthouse unit. Heated garage parking is an additional $66,000 per spot. Check out the listings at

The desirable Latin School of Chicago is across the street from the new condos.  Our kids have played some basketball at the school over the past year.
Enjoy cultural events across the street at the Chicago History Museum
Check out just a few of our property sale videos nearby in Sandburg Village, Old Town and Old Town Triangle over the years. 

Lincoln Park high-rise condo sales 2018

Wow, finally a sunny day. We had some business around the Lakeview / Deming area of Lincoln Park just prior to the holiday. Looking north from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. We recently sold a unit at 330 West Diversey Parkway pictured in the middle. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker Kale Realty.
North Pond Restaurant and the park serenity is steps away from several Lincoln Park high rise buildings.

We've spent more and more time with clients riding in high-rise elevators around Lincoln Park! Lincoln Park high-rise living is pretty good. My wife and I consider the area a top contender for our empty nest apartment one day as we both love our careers here (I'll probably croak on the job).  Let's take a look at high-rise sales around the neighborhood (buildings 7 stories or taller).

Lincoln Park high-rise condo sales 2018
188 high-rise condo units sold in 2018.  The median price of a Lincoln Park high-rise condo over this time was about $289,000. The vast majority of condos sold under $289K were one bedroom units. Only two units recorded as closed on the MLS ( under $289,000 were two bedroom units.

Views from Diversey Harbor.  The lakefront amenities are extremely accessible from many Lincoln Park high-rise buildings.  
The highest priced high-rise condo sale was at 2550 N Lakeview, Unit 1001S, Chicago IL 60614 for $3,900,000.  The luxury high-rise development Lincoln Park 2550 tops the sales charts since it's completion in 2012. The lowest priced high-rise condo sale is 2626 N Lakeview Unit 1410 for $132,000. The updated studio apartment makes a great in-town or just live simple and cheap in
a fantastic location!

We love helping our clients find their first, trade-up or in-town condo! We also love showcasing your unit for sale with great preparation, photography and video.  Contact us today!

The Bel apartments in Lakeview rise up (is that a pigeon?)

The Bel is a 37 apartment transit orientated development (TOD) at 941 West Belmont, Chicago IL 60657 adjacent to Belmont Red Line station. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We got a up close and personal look of The Bel apartment development in Lakeview. It could not be closer to the CTA Belmont Red Line station.  Is that a pigeon staring at us? A pigeon? The bane of all apartment dwellers??

The median price of a rental on the block is about $2,000 per month. Around $2,000 a month you can expect a two bedroom, one or two baths renovated apartment. Some exceptions include more vintage 3 bedroom apartments and dedicated parking availability varies at $2,000/ per month.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Edgewater two-flat sales (and small multi-units)

Our client lives near one of the coolest restaurant, bar and retail strips in the city.  She aims to stay here trading in her condo for a two-flat. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Stumble home from Hopleaf? Yes please! Many of us remember the small, smokey front room with the great jukebox of one of Andersonville's finest institutions. Hopleaf has grown in size with the mega popularity of this Edgewater neighborhood and real estate prices have followed. Our client is looking to upgrade to a two-flat in Edgewater.  Let's take a look at recent two-flat sales prices.

No matter how hard you squint (and dream) it's a dump! This grey-stone on the 1700 block of West Winona needs a gut renovation along with expensive exterior maintenance.
Edgewater two-flat sales in 2018

21 Edgewater two-flat buildings have closed over 2018.  The median sale price of  a two-flat over that time is $600,000. At $600,000 you get a nice conditioned building near the Andersonville strip. We're not talking luxury here.  The building will be serviceable with good location. In 2016, 28 two-flat buildings closed with a median price of $605K and in 2014 another 28 two-flat buildings sold with median price of  $515,000.

There is still a good stock of two, three and four-flats in Edgewater.  Not every sale is converted to a single family home (buildings on the 1400 block of West Winona).
18 three-flats closed over 2018 with a median price of about $790,000. The highest priced three-unit building to sell is the beautiful 5915 N Magnolia for $1,060,000.    One smallish four-unit building at 1752 West Catalpa sold in 2018 for $660,000. 

Only five two-flats are currently available for sale in Edgewater with a median asking price of $500K (and $500K ain't getting you much).

Friday, December 21, 2018

Two small Lincoln Square vintage homes sold side by side (will they be demolished?)

4951 N Claremont on the right and 4955 N Claremont, side by side houses in Lincoln Square, both were for sale simultaneously and closed within two weeks of each other.
Two recent Lincoln Square home sales caught my eye (I live a couple blocks away and walk by all the time). Both houses were for sale at the same time.  I was certain the two relatively inexpensive adjacent single-family properties would be bought by a developer to build larger homes.

4951 N Claremont (to the right) sold for $460,000 and sits on a 33' wide and 125' long lot.  A small house sold in the $400s on such a wide lot in Lincoln Square is almost certain to be redeveloped! However, the new owners moved in after modest renovations.
4951 North Claremont sold for $460,000.  The wide lot home seemed ripe to build a larger single family home on the 33' wide lot.  The only caveat is the property is adjacent to a church parking lot.  However at the sale price and size of the lot a large single family redevelopment seemed inevitable.  No major permits were pulled and the new owner moved in with minor interior renovations.

4955 North Claremont sold for a bargain $410,000.  The small house sits on a desirable 33' wide by 125' long lot. The house is yet to be occupied and there are no demolition or construction permits pulled. If I were a betting man I'd put money on this being redeveloped into a larger home.  This was a great deal. This would also be a great spot for a three-flat considering many multi-units on this mixed use block. However, current zoning in this neighborhood does not allow new multi-unit construction on the residential blocks.

The single family home market in the immediate Lincoln Square area around Winnemac Park has pushed into the high-end territory. The median price of a sold home around Winnemac Park in 2018 is about $850,000.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Gold Coast hoop dreams

Squeezing in some hoops in Gold Coast.  Alley courts are as old as most bungalows but this one caught my eye. The basket is installed on a new garage next to the coach house of a vintage mansion at Burton and Dearborn.  The alley neighbor directly to the west is the Faulkner House high-rise that is part of Sandburg Village.  It is a little known fact that William Faulkner shot his free throws "granny style". I made that up.

Faulkner House at 70 West Burton Place, Chicago IL 60610 overlooks the hoop. 
The amazing vintage property at Burton and Dearborn and owner of the alley basketball hoop.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Streeterville condo sales this year

A mix of commercial and mixed use residential buildings fill the Streetrville landscape steps from the lake.
We often work with clients employed by the Northwestern hospital system and Lurie Children's located in Streeterville. The hospitals (with other medical and professional institutions) make for a bustling, high energy area with lots of amenities and services.  Occasionally our clients prefer to live right in the neighborhood close to work.  Let's take a look at Streeterville condo sales for 2018.

Streeterville condo sales January 1st to December 7th, 2018.  

585 condos (attached units) have closed in the Streeterville neighborhood thus far in 2018. The median price of a sold condo is about $420,000.  Of course, Streetrville can have some very high-priced, high powered units. The highest priced condo sale is 159 East Water Street Unit 23A, Chicago IL 60611 for $6,250,000.  21 units sold for over $2,000,000 this year.

The recently built Lurie Hospital facility is a boon to condo sales in Streetrville as another large, prestigious employer.
The lowest priced sold condo recorded on the MLS is an interesting case.  201 East Delaware Place Unit 908, Chicago IL 60611 at The Hotel Raffaello sold for $99,995 as a short sale.  The unit is a hotel-condo that may not be occupied full time by the owner! What an "interesting" ownership relationship with the hotel. The lowest non hotel-condo sale is a studio at 260 East Chestnut Unit 401, Chicago IL 60611 for $130,000.

2 beds, 2 baths
185 two, beds, two baths condos sold with a median price of $522,500. This price does not guarantee you parking and of course there are those expensive high-rise monthly assessments.  But... you have the world at your door!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Infamous Boomer's property in Lincoln Square nears redevelopment

The entire Boomer's property is up for redevelopment. I'm all for more density and residential at this site. However there has been little (open) opportunity for public scrutiny.  All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The elephant on North Lincoln Ave in Lincoln Square may finally leave the room.  The Boomers restaurant site located at 5015-5039 N Lincoln Avenue is up for redevelopment.  The site also includes the Pizza Hut take-out storefront and the long time MRI Center which my photos conveniently leave out... oy.

Inexplicably, there has been very little fanfare surrounding the potential development for this long vacant albatross.  Back on JUNE 5th, 40th ward Alderman's office posted an article on their site describing the private proposal process leading up to the final project. The Alderman asks for public comment BY JUNE 6th LOL.  The commercial lot would require subdivision and a zoning change.  No little thing and usually the stuff of public meetings.

Typically a zoning change for a relatively large development and dramatic change in height of an existing structure receives a public meeting. But whatevs!

Back in in 2015, local journalist Patty Wetli reported on the woes of the 13 year vacant Boomer's. The struggling owner explained at the time selling the property was not an option despite neighbor's angst at the eyesore. She sited sentiment more than viability. However, market conditions are so good now I imagine even the owner's convictions have been swayed by an offer they could not refuse.

Anyway, look for 28 condos at the site and no retail at the site.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Downers Grove single family home sales this year (median price up $90K from 2013)

The Downers Grove downtown is a mix of  vintage buildings and new developments but has a classic small town community feel. All photos Eric Rojas, Kale Realty
We were in Downers Grove  over the last couple weeks looking at homes for our clients. Each year we have long time clients make the decision to sell their city condo or house and move the suburbs.  The most popular destinations for our clients the last several years are towns along the BNSF train line.  Downers Grove is often in the mix.
Downers Grove has two popular train stations servicing downtown Chicago.
Downers Grove sold homes January 1st to November 16th, 2018
About 575 single family homes have been sold and closed according to records so far this year. The median price of a closed home is approximately $383,500.

The highest priced sold home is 4915 Seeley Ave, Downers Grove IL 60515 for $1,460,000. The 2015 build sits on a 60' by 200' lot.  Eleven homes have sold over $1,000,000 this year.  The lowest sold house is 6205 Dunham Road, Downers Grove IL 60516 for $133,000.  A small frame home sits on an enormous 196'x305' lot.

There is a good mix of vintage and new construction mixed use buildings making up downtown Downers Grove.

In 2017, 613 homes sold over the same period with a median price of $375,000 over the same period.
In 2016, 575 homes sold with a median price of $340,000.
Going back five years to 2013, 545 homes closed with a median price of only $292,000.

We help buyers and sellers make the transition to the suburbs.  Just ask our clients!
If you are moving from the city (boooooo) we help you sell in Chicago and buy in the burbs of your choice.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Car2Go vehicles parked all over Lincoln Square

Car2Go "smart cars" and Mercedes have popped up all over my neighborhood in Lincoln Square 
I had some fun on my personal Facebook page and Twitter account last week after I noticed Car2Go carsharing vehicles suddenly appeared EVERYWHERE in my neighborhood around Winnemac Park.  Several cars were parked on various blocks of Winona, Oakley, Leavitt, Carmen and Western.  A few of the cars were parked in street cleaning zones during prohibited hours.

A Chicago Streets and Sanitation van idles behind a Car2Go vehicle an hour before the no parking hours kick in.
At one point a Streets and Sanitation van seemed to be stalking these strange and ubiquitous cars one hour before the temporary no parking zones took affect. Oh the suspense! Eventually a Car2Go employee moved some cars.  However my neighbors on the case reported one car did get a ticket (I also saw one of the cars with a parking ticket). I did ask Car2Go in a tweet reply if there was a reason for the recent car drop in Lincoln Square. Nothing back yet.  Have you used the Car2Go carsharing company? Are you okay with extra cars parked on the streets for this business model?

Doh! Neighbors love when a car is not moved on street cleaning day! Typically you can knock on a door and remind a neighbor.  However, how annoying is calling/ messaging a car share company to move their cars?

Skip the smart car and pick up a Mercedes near Winnemac Park.