Eric Rojas, Chicago Real Estate Broker

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Are Streeterville condos a bargain?


Buildings surrounding Bennett Park in Streetrville. 

A year of pandemic conditions, bouts of protest and civil unrest cast a negative light on the downtown and Near North condo markets. With shuttered shops, restaurants, bars and cultural institutions Streeterville high-rise life (and taking elevators with strangers) became suddenly less desirable. Does one year of instability make for condo bargains? How do unit sales look today?

Streeterville condo unit sales, median price 2021

80 condos have sold from January 1st to March 12th this year. Unit sales are up almost 10%The median price of a sold condo is $400,000.  Median price however dipped about -7%. 73 condos sold over the same period of 2020 with a median price of about $430,000.

It's not clear if the median price decrease is due to 2020 conditions.  Just looking at the past five years we see a median price dip in 2019 despite good over-all Chicago market conditions. In a "normal" year of 2019, 73 condos also sold over the same period with a median price lower at $347,000.  

January 1st though March 12th closings:
2021: 80 condos sold with a median price of $400,000
2020: 73 condos sold with a median price of $430,000
2019: 73 condos sold with a median price of $347,000
2018: 70 condos sold with a median price of $395,000
2017: 96 condos sold with a median price of $364,000

So far demand for Streeterville condo units looks normal... even good. Unit sales are up. The dip in median price may signal there are some bargains out there. The lower median price can also be attributed to a reduced demand for higher-end bracket sales. Less new construction condos were delivered in the pandemic year as well. Some reports show the very high-end luxury sales have shifted more towards the non-downtown neighborhoods and suburbs offering more land and space.

Over-all Near North Community Area (including Streeterville, Gold Coast and Old Town) condo sales and inventory are up. Through February, new listings were up almost 20% over 2020.  Closed sales are up almost 8%. 

The Streeterville neighborhood is doing just a bit better at +10% in unit sales year to year. However, median price is down a bit. The inventory issue will be the key factor to watch when tracking prices. If investors continue to have trouble renting their high-rise units to the typical in-town workers and empty nesters they may choose to sell. It remains to be seen if we're already on a bounce back or if we'll decline in prices while pandemic conditions gets sorted out.

Stats gathered from and Chicago Association of Realtors by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty. Analysis is based on sales stats and anecdotal information.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Just sold! Avondale / Logan Square condo with rooftop deck $460,000


The private rooftop deck at 3104 N Kimball Unit 3N Chicago IL 60618. Unit photos courtesy of listing agent Nancy Gaspadarek, At Properties and unless otherwise noted. We represented our overseas buyer in the purchase sight unseen!

3104 N Kimball, Unit 3N Chicago IL 60618 sold for $460,000. We represented the buyer. 

Get everything you want in Avondale! Our overseas client bought this top floor newer construction condo sight unseen. We sent personal video perspectives of the traffic, street life and rooftop views to give them the best feel of the home possible.  Amazing outdoor space was crucial to our buyer and this home delivers. Check out more photos and information here.

Beautiful finish level and bright east and south exposure.

The two beds, two baths condo with garage parking features a private rooftop deck with interior access. The home is just a half-block from the CTA Blue Line at Belmont. You are a short walk to the heart of Logan Square businesses, bars, restaurants and the Logan Theatre. 

Main bedroom with contemporary en suite bathroom.

Contact us to purchase or sell condos in Avondale, Logan Square and other desirable Chicago neighborhoods. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

North Center condo sales up 59% year over year

Roscoe Village is probably the best known and well defined neighborhood in North Center Community Area of Chicago. The popular Pencil Factory Loft condos are in the background.

North Center is now known for million dollar single family homes and good schools. However the condo market remains fairly diverse and a draw for many budgets. I think the trend is moving toward larger, more expensive condo developments as aging commercial stock is redeveloped into mixed-use with residential units.  Let's take a look at recent North Center condo sales.

51 condos sold in North Center from January 1st to March 5th, 2021. The median price of a sold condo is about $420,000. Over the same period in 2020, 32 condo sold with a median price of $450,000.  In 2019, 39 condo units sold with a median price of about $435,000.

The highest priced sold condo this year is 3034 North Clybourn Unit 1. The new construction duplex-down sold for $775,000. The Clybourn corridor of North Center is seeing increased growth and value due to the large Lathrop Homes re-development. 


Luxury condos in development in North Center at 1800 West Berenice

The lowest sale price this year is 1851 West Belle Plaine Avenue, Unit 1 (two bedrooms, one bath unit) for $245,000.  That's not that low for a "lowest price" sale. No one bedroom condos have sold thus far in the year.  Only four of the 51 condos sold have closed for less than $300,000.

Contact us to buy and sell North Center and Chicagoland condos.

Cook County property tax bills have been mailed: Here's how to appeal property taxes

Check out info graph and the link below for property tax appeal resources.

Walking the lakefront from Navy Pier to downtown

DuSable Harbor in transition from our deep freeze.

We took a nice walk over the weekend along the Chicago lakefront paths and Navy Pier Flyover from Streeterville to Maggie Daley Park. The DuSable Harbor sits just east Maggie Daley of Millennial Park and offers great views before crossing LSD. Despite the city's announcements that playgrounds were open the massive playground at Maggie Daley was still closed. I guess it will open Memorial Day Weekend.

The new pedestrian bridges have made walking between Streeterville and downtown easier along the lakefront.

Lake Point Tower

Navy Pier just to the north of DuSable Harbor

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

WHATS POPPIN? 2021 Lincoln Park condo sales up 51%


East Lincoln Park high rise condo buildings overlooking the lakefront (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

We're working with first time buyers in Lincoln Park. Each spring we're inevitably on the hunt in this prime Chicago neighborhood. The buyer competition has been fierce over the past nine months! 2021 has started off with monster sales.

197 condos (attached units and town houses) have closed from January 1st to March 5th in Lincoln Park. That's up 51% over the same period 2020.  The median price of an attached condo is about $520,000. 

130 units sold over the same period in 2020 and 124 units sold over the same period of 2019. This is a huge spike in 2021!

The closer you are to Pequod's the more expensive the condo!

361 attached condo units are currently available for sale with a median asking price of $505,000. A whopping 298 condos are currently under contract. The highest priced condo under contract is 2350 N Orchard Unit 604 asking $3,500,000 (parking sold separately starting at $60,000). 

Thursday, March 04, 2021

North Center, Lincoln Square high-end developer turns to condo projects


1800 West Berenice gets zoning approval in the 4th Ward. Luxury house builder Landrosh Development has a few higher-end multi-unit developments in the the works in Lincoln Square and North Center. Image from Alderman Matt Martin 47th Ward site 

A North Center 44 unit development received zoning approval in the 47th Ward. Landrosh Development paid $1,925,000 for the 12,825 sq/ft property according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

This one caught my eye for a couple reasons: First, it's another example of building large mixed use multi-unit on original one and two story commercial buildings. Chicago developers (with the blessing of city planners and council members) have been aggressively building up on underused commercial lots near transit over the past five years. The boost is partly due to the 2013 Transit Orientated Development ordinance and expansions. This sits less than three blocks from the Irving Park Brown Line stop. 

More interestingly the local developer - better known for getting some of the highest sale prices for speculation homes in Lincoln Square - has a few condo developments in the works.  I mentioned this 14 unit development in Lincoln Square and the company is trying to get THIS North Center development approved... with some million dollar asking prices.

There seems to be no shortage of demand in Lincoln Square and North Center for higher-end condos and single family homes.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Sauganash single family home sales were up 26% in 2020

The Sauganash neighborhood features beautiful estate homes with large city lots. You can also find relatively affordable values in this suburban-like corner of Chicago. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Larger homes and homes and homes with outdoor space certainly faired well during the pandemic. Fueled by low interest rates and limited commutes the trend to push out a little from the city center continues. Sauganash sits about eleven miles from City Hall downtown and offers a variety of home and lot sizes in a sleepy environment. We've seen a lot of pre-MLS offerings in this neighborhood this early season as well.

Greater Sauganash neighborhood in the Forest Glen Community Area of Chicago. Map generated from

Sauganash single family homes sales

A large Sauganash split-level

Thus far in 2021 six homes have closed in Sauganash.  There are thirteen homes presently under contract. The median price of closed and under contract homes is about $460,000. This looks like a very good value for homes in Chicago with a highly rated schools district.

Currently there are fourteen homes under contract and only two available for sale! The two available are the two highest priced homes of the sixteen. Nine of the sixteen homes are priced under $500k. It appears that everything continues to sell.

In 2020, a whopping 97 homes closed in the Sauganash neighborhood. Unit sales were up 26% over 2019. The median price of a sold home was about $490,000. The highest priced sold home was 5792 North Rogers for $1,825,000. 77 homes closed over 2019 with a median price of about $517,000.

Going back to 2015, 93 single family homes closed with a median price of about $430,000.

A newer construction home shown above.

There are some unique custom builds throughout the neighborhood. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

40th Ward Alderman introduces ordinance to "down zone" Lincoln Square development

Fifth Third Bank property in Lincoln Square at the corner of Lawrence and Western. An ordinance has been introduced to "down-zone" the property.

40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez quietly introduced an ordinance yesterday to down zone the Fifth Third Bank property (4800 North Western). My real estate data partner Chicago Cityscape tweeted the ordinance to me due to my posts/ tweet on the potential retail development.  My past post HERE. This is effectively an effort to stop a planned "as of right' development.  As of this writing there is no public statement concerning this unusual step on the 40th Ward website, Facebook site or personal accounts.

The zoning reclassification ordinance can be read here

I'm not supportive of attempts of a single alderman to unilaterally "spot zone" properties to prevent as of right development. One similar attempt to down zone an individual property in Logan Square failed to stop a 60 unit development.

I have no direct financial stake in the re-development plans for the Fifth Third bank properties. This is not an endorsement of this particular development. I am opposed to introducing an ordinance, in this manner, to change zoning classification in an attempt to prevent as of right development by private property owners. 

"Down-zoning" can be good policy if done as broader, more inclusive process like any legislation. Crain's Chicago Business has a good article explaining the practice of ad hoc down-zoning HERE 


Monday, February 22, 2021

Lincoln Square single family homes under $1 Million selling fast


Lincoln Square single family homes are a mix of vintage beauties at various price-points and higher-end new construction selling for well over $1 million.

It's very competitive buying a house under $1 Million in Lincoln Square!

• 32 single family homes are listed now (Active or Under Contract).

• 13/16 homes listed UNDER $1 Million are under contract!

• 5/16 homes listed OVER $1 Million are under contract.

Average market time for all Lincoln Square single family homes this year is about 51 days.

I get my clients a chance to compete by showing pre-MLS homes or getting into first round of showings. We'll get you prepped and a fighting chance!

(All stats gathered from by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty) #ericrojasblog