Friday, February 28, 2014

Modern surprises in West Edgewater/ Andersonville

I was taking a look at recently sold houses and potential developments for a client in West Edgewater near Andersonville.  The area between North Ravenswood Avenue and West Ashland Avenue and West Foster Avenue and West Peterson Avenue offers both a lot of potential and surprises.

The 25' x 108' lot (and original house) at 1676 W Hollywood in Edgewater was bought
at the now ridiculous price of  $159,000 in 2011. 
I like the simple and modern new house built by the owners. Kudos!

Just across the street an owner got creative themselves and made a modern statement out of this small one story property.

Homes in this area are steps away from the creative and lively Andersonville neighborhood.  The area has a spattering of modern design. I  feel it's on the verge for another boon of new construction and eclectic home renovations. Although I like to see smaller home options for smaller budgets too, the single housing stock here is ripe with smaller original frame properties that need expansion, renovation or tear down. The demand of today's mid to higher range buyer looking at Andersonville as their long term home is strong.

Big fridge!

Nice design on this new construction kitchen manages to tuck away the 5ft wide refrigerator.  Finally a place to put my kids' school art!


Bob stops at the Belden Stratford, Lincoln Park

Photo taken by Bob today at the Belden Stratford 2300 Lincoln Park West in Lincoln Park. 
Bob met a customer in the lobby of the landmark Belden Stratford today.  The re-location couple is moving here from Texas and they currently have temporary housing in one of the best spots in Chicago.  They will be renting one of our property listings. 

Recently purchased for $60 million and remodeled, the Belden Stratford offers a sophisticated New York state of mind existence for corporate relocations, short term rentals and those looking to live longer term in boutique hotel style.

Check photos of the gorgeous lobby, amenities and apartment offerings at the Belden Stratford HERE

The setting at Mon Ami Gabi housed at the Belden Stratford is still one of my favorite spots for guests visiting Chicago in the summer.

We represent buyers and sellers in the Chicago suburbs

In the past far too many friends and associates buying homes in the suburbs called me for advice AFTER they had already entered into a home sale or purchase.  They trusted my advise and experience but worked with another agent first because we're mostly known for Chicago real estate. Something was wrong here!

We viewed this new construction house in La Grange with our clients this past weekend.  It's time for our Chicago resident clients to buy a house in the suburbs and they've asked us to represent them. 
We need to remind our clients, associates and friends that our group will act as your buyer agent when moving to many Chicago suburbs.  We have research resources and experience in many of the popular Chicago suburbs to help bring value to your purchase or sale.

We also viewed houses in Hinsdale over the weekend.  It's really enjoyable for us to work with our clients moving from Chicago to the suburbs.  Bob and I are someone you trust already and manage the process professionally. (All photos, Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker, Kale Realty).

If you are going to move from Chicago to the suburbs and enjoy working with Bob and me, please call us.  We research and show homes in the near south, near west and the North Shore suburbs.  We may also find you a team member to help with showings while Bob and I manage the search, negotiation and transaction process.  Not to mention we like to take our cars for a ride and get out of the city once in a while!

Recent areas of interest include Lemont, Hinsdale, La Grange, Elmhurst, Oak Park, Evanston, Wilmette, Lincolnwood, Park Ridge and more.  Contact us first so we can help you make good decisions.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New construction at 623 W Schubert, land sold for $865,000

Two lots at 621 and 623 W Schubert were recently sold respectively for $865,000 each near the corner of Geneva and Schubert.  Construction has started on the properties just west of the Sunrise Senior Living facility and Best Buy.  Photos, Bob DePalma Real Estate Broker, Kale Realty


New construction at 623 West Schubert in Lincoln Park in popular Alcott School District. The very elusive vacant Lincoln Park lot sold for $865K on 2/21/13.  The unique location is tucked in between the retail and restaurants of  North Clark Street and North Halsted. The home will join and interesting enclave of recent new construction homes near Schubert and Geneva.

The 600 block of West Schubert has it's own planned community feel, yet, is adjacent to a few original houses.

The way we were! This attractive little cottage still anchors the desirable corner location of North Geneva Terrace and West Schubert in Lincoln Park (Photo Bob DePalma, Kale Realty)

Condo, house, land sales on 600 - 800 West Schubert (Halsted to Clark)

12 properties have sold on these two blocks over the last 24 months.  No single family houses have closed, but two adjacent vacant land lots averaging about 33' x 132' closed for $865,000 each.

The highest condo sale over the last 24 months is $855,000 for 622 W Schubert 1E. The large newer construction four bedrooms duplex down has garage parking and a great private patio.

A legal three-flat multi-unit building at 740 W Schubert was listed at $774,500 and sold for $840,000 in multiple offers in 2012.  The vintage but renovated 1888 brick building on a 25' x 165' lot is a great example of how the Lincoln Park market was taking off again in mid 2012.  I have not looked back,   Thus, we see a couple over-sized vacant lots get scooped up for $865,000 last year.


No walk in the (Lincoln) park!

No cake walk on icy West Fullerton in DePaul despite heavy student and CTA passenger traffic.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of our real estate brokerage career is all the walking we do around this city.  However this winter, as most of us know, has made walking a challenge for two solid months.

North Lincoln Avenue near the vacant Children's Memorial Hospital site in Lincoln Park.  The ice makes it a little more difficult to get to Chipotle!

This winter has gone way beyond the traditional non-shoveling scoff-laws.  The quick melt and then solid month freeze has made it impossible to remove many areas of ice a snow.  We really don't remember a winter so challenging on pedestrians!

Ice and construction... Just forget it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Photos! "New" Red Lion English Pub under construction in Lincoln Park

Ongoing construction of the new Red Lion English Pub building at 2446 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL 60614. Let us pray it maintains some level of maturity and quirkiness as the old place (Photo Bob DePalma, Real Estate Broker).

The Red Lion was my favorite pub in Chicago for many years.  In the infant days of our marriage, I would head over to the Red Lion at 11pm on a week night and have a couple pints while waiting for my wife to get off her nursing shift at Children's Memorial on Lincoln Avenue. If she was running late?  No worries. Bass and Newcastle were my beers over conversation.

I wasn't big on taking a lot of pictures in those days and regretfully do not have any photos of us in the original building. We loved looking out the front picture window on a snowy Chicago night.

Eater Chicago had a report on the construction and opening back in 2013.  The target opening date for the new Red Lion was to be February of this year.  Rick Kogan from the Chicago Tribune wrote this piece in September 2013 with a May target date for the new pub.


Get Green in Ravenswood! Sustainable Speaker Series Thursday February 27th

This Thursday February 27th, 6p-8:30p at Dolce Casa CafĂ©
4947 N Damen, Chicago. 
Ravenswood Community Council events are some of the more interesting and fun ways to be connected to the Ravenswood community. Lots of local neighbors and business people to network with.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Survival of the fittest in Lincoln Park: My Fit Foods fights for your dollars

A My Fit Foods storefront at busy Clark and Diversey on the Lakeview/ Lincoln Park boarder.  Pretty good spot for this type of alternative eatery and diet program.  This location continues to draw national franchises since the Trader Joe's anchored the immediate commercial retail area. Photo, Bob DePalma Kale Realty

We pass this My Fit Foods franchise a lot at Clark and Diversey.  We hear a lot of people talk about the places "out loud" as they walk by the 4 city locations (in Lincoln Park and Lakeview).

Have you tried?

Lincoln Square brick two-flat sells for $350,000, single family home conversion in the works

2428 W Winnemac in the process of gut renovation.  The winter has been hard on developers and homes owners building and/ or renovating.  Time lines have been stretched out! (Photos Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker, Kale Realty)
There are many renovation projects in and around Lincoln Square.  Two-flat conversions to single family homes remain popular and are interesting to me.  This property at 2428 W Winnemac  was sold in June of 2013 for $350,000.  I thought that was a good deal at the time.  The lot is over-sized at 25' x 157' allows for expansion off the back (if desired) while maintaining a good sized yard.

A tarp wraps the wood for the new front porch construction
Land prices have shot up east of Western Avenue in Lincoln Square.  I expect these couple blocks just west of Western Avenue to be more active this year as the demand for area homes spills over even more.  After all, they are very close to the Brown Line at Western and all the Lincoln Square retail we enjoy.

I don't have knowledge if this home will be renovated for the current property owners to move-in or if it will be a speculative home sale. Either way, the $350,000 purchase price would allow for a for-profit development.  Anyone know what's up with this house?

We did it again! Chicago Association of Realtors Top Producer 2013!

Bob and I thank our clients, associates, 
friends and family for helping us attain 
Chicago Association of Realtors Top Producer 
designation for the 8th straight year!

Please make us your #1 choice when you have any real estate related questions or needs. Our group of associates and resources grows every year.  We will take the time and help you find the proper resources and answers.  We've vetted the people.  We've done the trial and error. 

We've learned the hard way.  
Make your real estate decisions easy with us!

Eric Rojas and Robert DePalma, Real Estate Brokers
Kale Realty in Chicago

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Super secret modern house in Lincoln Square

I rediscovered this beauty after visiting a potential client on the 2500 block of West Argyle in Lincoln Square yesterday.  MUST STOP AND STARE.

Photos Eric Rojas Real Estate Broker, Kale Realty

The custom built modern home out of the pages of Dwell features an interior courtyard.

Lincoln Square and modern can be a bit of an oxymoron.  The vast majority of the new construction single family homes in Lincoln Square are built with a traditional nod to American traditional, Colonial and Victorian while featuring "transitional" interior finishes.

The house is super secretly hiding on a deep 160 foot lot on a block dominated by brick two-flats and a few brick and frame bungalows.

2500 block of West Argyle is lined with well kept, mostly original brick two-flats (Photo Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker).

The property was last sold in 2010 for $285,000 cash (a small frame cottage style house was torn down).  That's a long gone deal for a 30 x 160 lot anywhere in Lincoln Square.

PHOTOS: Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital expansion on West Barry in Lakeview

We swung by the 900 block of West Barry in Lakeview after showing last weekend to check out the new construction expansion to Illinois Masonic Hospital.  It's always good to see local respected institutions and job creators invest in Chicago.

 The vacant lot was once occupied by a Chicago Public School that was torn down. The lot remained for many years.  All the while, the immediate Lakeview location developed with many condo buildings across the street.

The north side of 900 block of West Barry is developed with new construction and renovated residential units. They use to overlook a lot left vacant from a closed and demolished Chicago Public School. Photos Bob DePalma, Real Estate Broker

We had a condo sale listing at 920 W Barry years ago overlooking the vacant lot.  The most asked question and concern was, "What is going in that vacant lot?".  At the time, there were no plans or answers.  There were, however, some zoning restrictions we could provide from the Alderman's office. 

The block is in a great location near the Belmont CTA Red Line stop and Clark Street shopping.  Hopefully the out-patient facility makes a better neighbor than a vacant lot. The hospital expansion is just one of many, many health care industry investments lately.  Rush Hospital, Lurie Children's and Saint Joseph Hospital all have built major hospitals in the last few years or have projects in the works.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ravenswood, Chicago resident creates hand drawn home and building illustrations, portraits

Phil  and Katie are blog readers of ours and local Ravenswood residents . Check out their home and building illustration service.  Tell them you learned about his company here at
My name is Phil Thompson, and my wife and I are behind Ravenswood-based Cape Horn Illustration. We create pen and ink home and building portraits for individuals and businesses who want to give their place of residence a lasting legacy. We've worked with clients getting home and business portraits for gifts and marketing pieces. 

As readers of this blog know, Chicago is a rich place for residential architecture. There's so much to uncover about Chicago beyond the well-known landmarks in the loop. Our illustration work has brought us face to face with the distinctive styles of the city: The bungalows, two-flats (as above), A-frame cottages, and more. You can view a collection of examples here to see how what styles are represented in our work.

All work is pen and ink on a heavy paper stock, and everything is drawn by hand. We prefer the classic, "etched" look because it exposes the labor of the work, each line and hatch-mark, behind a given home portrait. This method also gets us close to the details of the built environment; each building stone and ornament requires careful attention and concentration. 

For more examples of work, or to get in touch about getting a home portrait, check out our site


Monday, February 17, 2014

New Development: Special Use permit posted for large Lakeview loft conversion at 3141 N Sheffield

3141 N Sheffield soon to be loft apartments (Photo Bob DePalma, Broker with Kale Realty)

We were showing units this weekend in central Lakeview and caught this more recent Public Notice posted on the large warehouse building at 3141 N Sheffield Curbed Chicago reported on the sale of the building in May of 2013 for $5.8 million. The original plan called for 80 loft apartments.  A nice population jolt for this immediate area at Belmont and Sheffield that looks poised for a lot of development in the next 5 years.

And the sign says: "Applicant seeks a Special Use to establish (11) off-site parking spaces within existing 7-story building for a proposed conversion of the 5-story mixed use building located at 3141 N Sheffield"

A large new loft conversion featuring rental apartments priced $800.00 to $2,000 a month speaks to the continued demand for new, well finished units near transit in Chicago's hottest North Side neighborhoods.

Biking in Chicago's "Thunder Snow"

Seen just now from my Lincoln Square Starbucks comfy perch. Keep on truckin' bro!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

For Rent! 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo w/ parking in Logan Square $2,350, Newer construction!

2623 W Logan Boulevard #1W For Rent $2,350/month
Watch the video!

-Newer construction corner unit, fresh paint and updated fixtures
-Garden level
-Unit is available immediately
-12 months or longer lease term (lease until April preferred)
-PETS OK (2 total) and negotiable
-$50.00 application/ credit check fee

 Contact Eric Rojas or 773-510-1597 for a showing.  Must have good credit and proof of income. Minimum 24-48hrs notice for showings.  Contact us if you are interested in the unit but have a low credit score due to a short-sale situation.