Monday, October 31, 2011

Luxury construction boom in Southport Corridor

A new construction home at 3740 N Wayne
 Southport Corridor's most desirable blocks are seeing a bit of a construction boom. Last week we wrote about new homes on North Lakewood. W also see new and future projects on North Wayne. The original two-flat building at 3740 N Wayne on a standard lot (25'x125') above was sold last year for $550,000. It was torn down to make way for this new construction luxury home in progress (shown above).

New construction single family homes, in our observation, have been on an upswing in 2011. The priciest North Side neighborhoods with the highest ranked schools like Blaine Elementary continue to build new and gut renovate.

The 25'x125 vacant lot at 3651 N Wayne was also sold last year for $525,000.  A new construction house is underway (shown below).

New construction single family home at 3651 N Wayne
 There are several more lots and recently purchased two-flats prime for new construction or gut renovation in Southport Corridor. For example, 3644 N Wayne is a vacant 25'x125' lot now under contract with an asking price of $524,900 and pending closing. 

All sales statistics gathered and analyzed by Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker from All photos Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker.

More Southport Corridor posts HERE

Chicago Local: Fall photos at Lincoln Park's nature museum

One of our favorite kid hang-outs is the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park.  Here's a few shots from a beautiful fall day last week. We had more fun outside than inside this time!

The grounds of the nature museum

The butterfly habitat from the outside.

More Lincoln Park photos, market stats and information HERE

Halloween in Lincoln Square

The weekend's Halloween celebration in Lincoln Square
We had another great time with the kids in Lincoln Square over the weekend.  Families came out in droves to "trick-or-treat" at area businesses.  Thank you Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce and all the participating businesses in the Halloween celebration!  There is something to do every day!

Mini- hay ride!

Parents and kids make their way up and down the square.
We saw many of our neighborhood friends while the kids played in Giddings Square.  There was also a few surprises!

"Ahhhhh....  cool!"

Families will be out this evening on the many great blocks of the Lincoln Square area to trick-or-treat with neighbors.  See you there!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lincoln Park: Lighthouse, lookout or London Tower?

One of the more interesting homes in all of Lincoln Park
I'm sure Lincoln Parkers are well aware of this home.  Personally, I'm mesmerized by it.  The tower surely must be the subject of ridicule from the opinionated.  However, even though I would never think about building this structure, I would certainly enjoy it if I had it!

There must be some terrific home on Martha's Vineyard that inspired the owner to create that perch. Or, family is banished to the tower when in bad favor. I like the later.

New Construction: Lincoln Park double-lot house on prestigious Burling Street

50' wide lot house. Photo Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker
Work has ramped up on a new construction double lot single family home on the 2400 block of North Burling Street in Lincoln Park.  Burling is home to gorgeous vintage grey-stones, brick row houses and tasteful modern creations (and a couple stinkers, but they are dwarfed by this classy block).  The trees, landscaping and aesthetic of this block are fantastic. 

The 2400 block of North Burling Street is an oasis among the bustle of this busy Lincoln Park location. The last single family home sale was in 2009 for a 1995 built gorgeous contemporary home on a standard lot (25'x125') for over $1.7 million. A double lot home here depending on the finish level could be up to $4 million or so for market value. A contemporary renovation of a frame home at $1,049,000 and a vintage row house with no parking at $759,000 are currently for sale on the block.

Some of the more traditional row house neighbors are shown below just north of the new construction house.

Row homes on North Burling. Photo Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker
One of those tasteful modern creations I can't get enough of!

Walk everywhere...restaurants, schools, the lake, the're in East Lincoln Park baby!

More posts on Lincoln Park HERE

Wilmette, Evanston homes this week

Sought after Evanston near the lakefront
We'll be showing our clients Evanston and Wilmette houses on Friday.  We love Chicago but sometimes the North Shore may be a better option for home buyers. If you are interested in your options in Evanston and Wilmette, please contact us.

We'll be taking a look at houses near the Main Street Metra station in Evanston and then heading to Wilmette near Centennial Park.  Take a look at a recent day in Wilmette here!

Wilmette offers some cool, mid-century split levels in the $400s

NEW! Winnemac Park Neighbors Block Club (Area 2 of 47th Ward Council)

What: Winnemac Park Neighbors block club, Area 2 in the 47th Ward Council

Where: Boundaries in Ravenswood are Damen to Western, Lawrence to Foster (and nearby interested neighbors Wolcott, Winchester etc.)  

Contact: Eric Rojas,

Meeting: The first 47th Ward Council meeting open to all neighbors is Thursday October 27th at 6:45PM. Ravenswood United Church of Christ, 2050 W Pensacola.  The Alderman has invited all ward residents to attend the first Ward Council meeting.

I've been initially selected to represent Area 2 in the Ward Council from a group of neighbors that expressed interested in the Ward Council initiative. The representative meets regularly with the Alderman to communicate accomplishments and concerns. Once the Winnemac Park Neighbors is up a running, we may want to select a new representative if their is interest from the larger group to do so.

If you are interested in connecting with local neighbors and live in or near the Area 2 boundaries, please send your name and email to my contact listed above.  We will schedule a meeting soon and will encourage members on the email list to invite neighbors to the block club meeting. We've already had a great response.

Goals of the first Winnemac Park Neighbors meeting will be to form a basis for communications (blog site, Google group or some other means) and to explore a few committees such as "Schools", "Parks" and "Businesses".

We hope future goals and mission statement will be to promote and strengthen our Area 2 schools, participate in the care for Winnemac Park, and positively "brand" our location as a #1 place to live in Chicago (it already is!).

We also greatly encourage those neighbors connected to Friends of Winnemac Park, The Park Advisory Board, Chappell School, McPherson School and other institutions in our boundaries to contact us.

Eric Rojas

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

RENTED: Ravenswood, Lincoln Square two bedroom condo, two decks, NICE $1,550/ month

UPDATE: RENTED in one week, full price. 4656 N Winchester #3: Available December 1st! $1,550 a month.
Top floor gut renovation condo unit.  Spacious, open kitchen, large dining room, two decks and one block to Damen Brown Line stop.  One year lease minimum, pets okay (small preferred). Call Eric 773-687-4646 for a showing and application. Calls only please.

Minutes to all of Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, Northcenter restaurants, bars, amenities and transportation.  Great location!

Two bedrooms
One bath
Dining room
Back deck
Central AC
Central heat
Washer/ Dryer
Hardwood floors throughout
Gorgeous detail
Large storage unit
Bike room
Bright, east facing
$250.00 refundable move-in fee
$50.00 credit check

Call Eric 773-510-1597 for a showing and application. Calls only please.

Monday, October 24, 2011

South Loop: One Museum Park West to be foreclosed, bank owned

Photo looking at Museum Park Towers from the north  in South Loop (Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker)

My associate real estate agents have confirmed today with the 2nd Ward Alderman's office office that One Museum Park West tower (shown in our photo to the left) will be handed over to the bank as of November 1st.  The Museum Park Sales Center is also officially closed. There are many reports last week suggesting the development was close to foreclosure.

I've appreciated the visual the impact the towers have had on Chicago skyline from both north and south. They are not necessarily my choice in design, but they certainly have been something to look at and ponder.  The color and light reflections can be striking at different times of the day. However, the expensive asking prices for the product offered and rapid condo market decline have resulted in this crash course for foreclosure.  

Southport Corridor: Two new grey-stone single family homes in Blaine school

I spotted these two grey-stone homes in the midst of gut renovations. Located on the popular 3700 block of North Lakewood in the Southport Corridor neighborhood of Lakeview, these new luxury houses will command prices around $2 million.  The single family home "conversions" are gut renovations with the existing facade and some side common brick remaining. 

A similar completed home on the block is currently listed for sale at $2.4 million at 3741 N Lakewood.

Grey-stone gut renovations are very popular in the highly ranked and coveted Blaine Elementary school attendance boundaries. Single family homes in Blaine have a median price over $1.2 million. One can feel instant community ties with the active school, retail, restaurant and neighbor groups all very welcoming.  The area offers something for everyone...nightlife, Wrigley field, family life or take it slow on the leafy residential streets.

A luxury single family home in the works in Southport Corridor

All photos Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma, Real Estate Brokers unless otherwise noted.  Call or email us for information regarding single family homes or attached homes for sale in Southport Corridor or other North Side neighborhoods.

Click HERE for more Lakeview real estate information, neighborhood videos and more!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photos: Lincoln Square new construction house listed at $1.79 million

The foreclosure home listing at 2019 W Giddings this past summer.
The trend of high-end new construction continues in southern Lincoln Square of Chicago. 

We took this photos of the previous building at 2019 W Giddings this past summer.  The extra-wide lot and property in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Lincoln Square was a foreclosure (REO) listed at $449,000 and sold quickly at $441,000. The original structure has been torn down and a new construction luxury home is already listed for sale at $1.79 million. 

Digging the foundation at 2019 W Giddings in October 2011

The home is listed by Prudential Rubloff and agent Marta Kazmierczak. 
More Lincoln Square posts HERE.
It's no wonder with all the higher end new homes the Lycee Francais de Chicago would want to plant roots around the corner.

All photos Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma, Real Estate Brokers unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lincoln Park landmarked property under contract

At the end of August we pointed out this property at 2436 N Orchard for sale at $950,000.  It is now under contract as of early September after about 30 days on the market.  The home is part of the Arlington-Deming Landmark District (I believe this landmark status is still under review) and sits on a coveted extra wide lot at 37.5 feet wide and 125 feet long.  According to the listing agent, it will need a full gut renovation. (I mention it's a "tear-down" in the video below, but at least the facade will have to remain due to the landmark district).

Watch the video of the block:

More posts on Lincoln Park HERE

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Modern, fun details in Lakeview converted loft space

The North Ravenswood Avenue mixed residential and commercial corridor is always good for flashes of interesting architecture, gardening or art. Many home renovations and new construction projects continually change the landscape. It's makes a terrific walk or ride.

These converted loft homes at the 3900 block of North Ravenswood in Lakeview (1754 W Byron) is one of many commercial spaces made residential along the Ravenswood corridor spanning western Lakeview, Ravenswood and western Edgewater neighborhoods. The original and huge commercial garage, red entry door and cool fence are a few details that keep your eyes moving.
Large windows and doors face the outdoor space.  Great fence!

The building was sold in 2001 for $636,750.  The property was renovated into two units.  Two years later in 2003 Unit B (a two story, two bedroom large loft) was sold.  I found this interior photo of one of the units by the developer group.

I've passed these homes dozens of times.  For years, I thought it was a single family home conversion. In any event, it's a fine example of the creative license North Ravenswood Avenue has afforded both residential and commercial property owners.  You never know what you'll find inside the properties.

North Ravenswood Avenue homes are framed by the green of the Metra track embankments.
More Lakeview posts HERE

Photos: Gut renovation of Ruth Duckworth home in Lakeview

The former Ruth Duckworth home at 3845 N Ravenswood.  Photo taken early this month.

Renowned sculptor Ruth Duckworth's enormous former loft/ studio home at 3845 N Ravenswood in Lakeview is now a gut renovation in progress. The industrial building turned live/work loft on a 50x108 lot was sold for $1.2 million in December 2009.  Ms. Duckworth passed away in 2009 soon after the house was listed for sale. I was an admirer of Ms. Duckworth's work and met her in 2005 at an art installation ceremony at Northeastern Illinois University.


The late 2009 sale of $1.2 million was comparably a bit high for a lot of this size, location and property features (with unconventional space and only one and one half baths).  However, the new owner may have been able to purchase some original sculpture that remained in the workshop.  You may also view some of Ms. Duckworth's original tile in Dennis Rodkin's Deal Estate video that will hopefully be re-used in the new single family home.  The demolition and building permits for an addition have eliminated the original mature garden on the rear of the short lot.

I'd love to hear about the plans for the home, original art and tile from someone involved in the project.  I can be reached by email erojas @ kalerealty dot com rather than comments here as well.

The property is at a convenient and aesthetically interesting location. The mixed residential and industrial stretches of the North Ravenswood corridor coupled with the many gardens along the Metra track embankment make one of the more unique settings on the North Side. This is close to grocery, CTA Brown Line and various Lakeview and Northcenter retail, restaurants and services all within a few blocks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Under Contract: Lincoln Park/ Northcenter house in gated community

We recently received a contract and are now pending closing on 1808 W Diversey in Picardy Place. The single family home was listed at $449,000 and borders the Northcenter, Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods. 

If you are planning to sell or buy a home please give us a call or email.  Get the right information, understand the realistic expectations and plan now.

Watch the Video of 1808 W Diversey House L in Picardy Place! Many people referenced they viewed our video to understand the gated community this home was located in, learn about some of the neighborhood and check out the flow of the house.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicago Local: Fall photos in Lincoln Park!

We have taken every opportunity to enjoy the parks and sites while showing property and working on our deals across the North Side.  Here's a few photos from the Lakefront Parks in Lincoln Park late last week.  Nothing beats the weather we're having this fall in Chicago!

You are HERE!

Read more of our neighborhood and property posts in Lincoln Park.  Catch more Chicago Local posts that show little things unique to the North Side and downtown.