Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Photos! Once a school, new Illinois Masonic building in Lakeview almost complete

Advocate's Illinois Masonic Hospital is located in the heart of Lakeview.  The new Center for Advanced Care at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 W. Wellington Ave. (Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The 900 block of West Barry in the Lakeview neighborhood use to feature an elementary school and then a vacant lot.  When showing our listings on the block we would get questions about the closed school and then the vacant lot after the school was demolished.

Buyers were nervous that a large, tall structure would go up right across from them blocking views.  Not to mention buyers may face years of construction while in their new home.  It was definitely a key objection and affected sales prices on the block.  The hospital employees and visiting families add to the bustling scene and support local business.

Condos, apartments and a single family house line the 900 block of West Barry directly across from the new construction hospital building.
 The mystery is over.  The new hospital building is three stories tall and remains set back a fair amount from West Barry and the residential homes. The block is steps from tons of popular retail and restaurant options. 

Looking west at the new Adovcate Illinois Masonic building
We congratulate and appreciate Advocate's investment in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photos! Meeting a client on East 53rd Street, Hyde Park

The Hyde Park Bank building remains a bold, classic statement on a great residential and retail strip of Hyde Park on Chicago's South Side. Interesting architecture and entertainment options line East 53rd Street.
 I was in Hyde Park on a beautiful Sunday morning a week ago to meet a client at a new listing.  The condo is located at 1229 East 53rd Street just steps from just about anything you need.  From the practical like CVS Pharmacy across the street to excellent dining options like A10.

Here's a handful of photos I took on East 53rd Street on a quiet Sunday morning early this month.

Vintage buildings at 1229 East 53rd Street are steps from local retail, dining and close to the lakefront.

An anticipated 267 unit new construction apartment building at 1330 E. 53rd Street is slated for completion next fall.  The Mobile gas station was demolished early this year.

Take a stroll through Nichols Park

Students sit, chat and play ukulele early Sunday at a plaza in Nichols Park

The park and school campus have many attractive landscaping elements.

Dinner and entertainment at Chant on East 53rd Street

The Mellow Yellow needs no introduction

Flashes of modern retail space have been built closer to the lake

People just starting to mill about along East 53rd Street

Cyclists eat at Valois Cafeteria

Great looking patio and restaurant at A10

Five Guys (!) in a vintage building. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Parking in Evanston

I'm in southeast Evanston today prepping a new listing for sale.  You can park for two hours on Chicago Avenue for $1.50 and  you don't need to put the little ticket in the window.  They even retrofitted the old meters to take credit cards along with Internet and phone(!) options to pay. 

The Trump sign is not that bad

I snapped this photo of the river and Trump International Hotel and Tower last Thursday around dusk (after muscling a couple tourists out of the way). Is the sign that bad? Or is it people don't want to look like New York or Vegas?  This has always been one of my favorite views in the city and I didn't feel the Trump sign has affected that. 

Will the people of River North and downtown survive?  Read more... 

Sold! Buyer clients close luxury Graceland West home in Blaine School district

We had buyers looking to balance a luxury home purchase with their child's school considerations.  Initially focusing on southern and eastern Lakeview neighborhoods another nearby opportunity popped up.

We were the buyers' agents on the recent sale of 1453 W Cuyler in Graceland West neighborhood of greater Lakeview Community Area. All photos, Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

1453 W Cuyler, (recently closed for $1,350,000), is located in a small sliver of the desirable Graceland West neighborhood that resides in the highly ranked and popular neighborhood school James G. Blaine district. The newer construction 4 bedrooms home at 1453 W Cuyler had recently reduced the price to $1,369,000. Our clients quickly secured the home in a multiple offer situation.  The adjacent house at 1451 W Cuyler immediate listed on the market at $1,369,000 shortly after our client's home and was quickly under contract as well.

Only a small couple blocks of Graceland West reside within the far northern attendance boundary of Blaine school

The tree-lined "bedroom community" of Graceland West neighborhood is located just between the uber-popular Southport Corridor and fast growing local retail of the Ravenswood neighborhood.  The signature custom and high-end homes line the quiet, yet close to all the action streets. The CTA Irving Park Brown Line train stop is close by.

Graceland West is a friendly, tight knit community of high-end and custom properties.
Most Graceland West homes feature great character and full, mature landscaping.
Congrats to our clients and we hope they enjoy their new hood!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welles Park Baseball: Coach pitch!

I have taken great pride in "coach pitching" to our Junior White Sox team at Welles Park Baseball (WPPA).  I've only beaned three of our players all year (okay, four players and one kid twice... sorry Izzy).

One of the great joys this spring and summer has been my son's Welles Park baseball team.  The Welles Park Parent Association is a well run baseball league in Lincoln Square/ North Center with a wealth of experience, resources and opportunities for young baseball players.  I've really enjoyed the many parents I've met as well.  The league is popular so visit their web site linked above for registration information.

These kids love playing catcher!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Seen in Lincoln Park: "High 5"

There's a lot going on in this graffiti at the residential corner of  Racine and Wrightwood in Lincoln Park.  I noticed this while working at the Starbucks across the street (one of my most frequent mobile offices).

The vintage building is undergoing some sort of renovation.

Realtor at work! Meeting contractors at a vacant Egewater high-rise unit

Our clients count on us to advise them on how to best prepare their home for sale.  Everyone's home condition, moving situation and budget are different.  Our experience dealing with many home buyers and sellers allows us to confidently outline a plan that meets our clients' goals within their means.

We suggested painting the entire loft home one off-white color.  One color is most economical and shows best.

We initially met our clients at 1122 W Catalpa #707 for an evaluation of condition and pricing of their condo.  The busy, growing family decided it was best that we paint the entire home and do repairs to the unit immediately after they move out.  Speed would be important.

We were able to refer a contractor and meet him at the condo on behalf of our clients.  He provided a great quote and started the job the day after they moved out.  We met and started the contractors in the building (high-rise renovations and access can be tricky sometimes).  In just four days the condo was completely refurbished, photos were taken and we listed on the MLS within a week of the seller's moving out.

Our plan worked as they received a great offer on the home in the first few days of showings and it's now under contract pending attorney review.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Seen in Lincoln Square: What ad was this?

This old advertisement is painted on the side of a building on Lincoln Avenue. A newer construction building sits adjacent and cuts off half the painted picture. What is the subject of the advertisement?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lincoln Park three bedroom condo sales: Units down, prices UP

We are under contract and in attorney review on a three bedroom condo listing in Lincoln Park.  Let's take a look at how three bedroom condo sales are doing this over-all this year.

The entrance at 1307 W Wrightwood, Wrightwood Crossing in Lincoln Park (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Three bedroom condo sales in Lincoln Park January 1st to June 30th, 2014

165 attached homes (condos, town houses) listed as three bedrooms have closed from January 1st to June 30th this year. The median price is about $625,000.   In 2013, 186 condo units sold at a median price of $564,000.  2014 is another year of tight inventory and rising prices for the most desirable neighborhoods.

The highest sold condo listed in the MLS was tat the newest luxury building in Lincoln Park. 2550 N Lakeview Avenue Unit C8-13 closed for $3,999,000. The home was listed as 3965 interior sq ft + 758 sq ft terrace.

The lowest recorded sale in the MLS over the same period is 825 W Diversey #2 sold quickly for $286,000 ($1,000 over list price).  The vintage 3 bedroom vintage condo did not include dedicated parking. The busy but great walkable location offers terrific shopping and transportation.

All sales statistics gathered from and analyzed by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.  The stats are meant as a guide and are as accurate as possible.