Monday, August 31, 2015

PHOTOS: Massive fire guts Lincoln Square Lanes, neighbors mourning loss of favorite hangout

The historic Lincoln Square Lanes, open since 1918, smolders at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Western this morning. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Lincoln Square Lanes located at 4874 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 has been destroyed by a massive fire. Our community woke up to the sirens and the news that a neighborhood favorite bar and bowling alley since 1918 had completely burned down.  I gathered with dozens of neighbors and friends after our school drop off this morning to witness the seen and the traffic chaos it created.

Looking southwest from Lincoln and Western.
Traffic looking south down North Western Avenue this morning from West Winnemac Avenue.  The normally heavy morning traffic was exasperated by the shut down of Lincoln Avenue. Smoke still billows from the bowling alley.
Many trucks and firefighters on the seen.
News trucks were staged all around the intersection. One neighbor and friend spoke with the owner of Matty K's Hardware (destroyed on the ground floor) while another spoke with a Lincoln Square Lanes manager.
Firefighters tear off the northeast cornice. The entire roof of the building completely collapsed.
The destruction of the business is very sad in many ways.  It truly was a meeting place for so many neighbors and their families.  The remodeled bar and restaurant offered tons of space to gather for Packers/ Bears, March Madness, countless kids' bowling parties, live Karaoke and bands.  It was a perfect location near bus and CTA Brown Line for friends living further south. Obviously, it is a livelihood for the owner and employees.

It was also the familiar retail anchor and gateway to the developing North Lincoln Avenue between Western and Foster. Many new condo units have been built over the last several years along the strip. House and condo owners along with the many apartment renters could walk over as regulars. It may take years to sort out and redevelop the prominent corner in a highly desirable neighborhood.

After basketball drinks at Lincoln Lanes.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

North Damen Avenue a new retail, condo destination in Lincoln Square, Ravenswood

Alapash and neighbors on the new Damen  (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Shiny new condo buildings and retail line the 4800 block of North Damen in Lincoln Square. The "Ravenswood" neighborhood has been a nice, if not sleepy, place to live for many, many years for natives. But the recent spat of development and infrastructure improvements around North Damen and West Lawrence has made this particular location highly desirable to city newbies as well as long time Chicagoans.

Alapash and District have moved their attractive home goods stores to Damen. One Key Yoga
Groundswell Coffee Roaster and the greatly anticipated Ampersand Wine Bar all inhabit the smart street front spaces. Long time retail has been anchored by the CVS (in a nice condo building) on Lawrence and Damen.  Private offices, Mee Dee Thai Cafe and local hair salons fill out the stretch I've lived near for almost 15 years.

Condo Sales on 4800 N Damen
The block is full of mostly newer build condos, mixed use commercial and a few existing residential two flats. There have been 22 closed condo units on the 4800 block of North Damen over the past 12 months.  The median price of a condo on this stretch is a hefty $499,000 (typically a three bedrooms home with garage parking). The price reflects the new construction that has hit the market and sold over the last 12 months. A 3 bedrooms new construction duplex down at 4836 N Damen recently closed for $730,000.

Newer construction condo buildings line the block across the street from the new mixed use condo/ retail development.
The area has just began to explode really.  The catalyst was the Ravenswood Station development on the Sears property at West Lawrence and North Ravenswood.  A new super popular Mariano's grocer and packed LA Fitness anchor retail and a 150 unit rental apartment development brought needed density to support business.  I look forward to more apartment units to be added along Lawrence, Damen, Ashland and Western alike.

People make the neighborhood vibrant.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Quick Stat! New North Center single family home listings median price at $1.79 million

West Bradley Place in North Center (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
 A client is looking for a house in North Center. A quick look at new listings today shows seven "new" listings with a median price of $1.79 million.  Homes are considered new listings with seven or less days on the market.  The clients can comfortable spend up to $1 million on a "move in" condition home and wish to be in one of three school districts; Audubon, Coonley or Bell Schools.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New for Sale! West Loop timber loft with parking included: 420 South Clinton Unit 511A asking $229,900

Gotham Lofts, 420 South Clinton in West Loop (All photos VHT and Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Check out our brand new West Loop listing this week. 420 South Clinton 511A, Chicago IL 60607 at popular and well run Gotham Lofts is a great value at $229,900.  Homes have sold very well in the building. The desirable location is steps from the Blue Line, great restaurant and bar scene, the Metra and easy access to 90/94.  Starbucks on the block too!

Open concept true loft with high timber ceilings, gas log fireplace, great balcony and hardwood floors. The entire unit has been freshly painted.
Looks like new.
New appliances and large island in the kitchen.
Great balcony with city views.
Spacious bedroom with new carpet and huge windows.
Great sized bathroom, freshly painted and updated.
Awesome common roof-deck with Wi-Fi
The elevator building has several amenities including roof-deck, bike room and fitness room.
Walk to all West Loop has to offer!
Listed Exclusively by Eric Rojas, Broker
Kale Realty
542 W Roosevelt Road
Chicago IL 60607
(312) 939-5253

Sold! Buyers close Logan Square single family home near hot 606, BloomingdaleTrail (and chickens!) for $760,000

Our clients closed 2026 N Albany, Chicago IL 60647 this month. The house was purchased for $760,000 in a multiple offer situation. Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Congratulations to our buyer clients who just closed a newer construction single family home along the new 606 and about 3 blocks from the Bloomingdale Trail in Logan Square.  The house sits on  a long over-sized lot... great for their dog and pets!

It's no secret Logan Square has gone through a massive development with parks, infrastructure, the hottest indie restaurant and bar scene in the city and new construction homes. 100s of new attached units and houses are in development. The residents enjoy parks, urban amenities, good transportation and proximity to downtown.

New construction row houses near completion down the block at North Albany and West Armitage.

Chickens across the street on North Albany.  We never confirmed if there was a rooster but I suppose our buyers will know soon enough!
Despite the fast changes there still remains a large stock of original frame and brick homes at various price points.  Chickens not necessarily included. We loved working with our West Coast transplant clients on finding their new home.

Another Lincoln Square two-flat "tear down" makes way for million dollar home

The construction site at 5149 N Oakley (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
A small, weathered two-flat property is the latest tear down in Lincoln Square.  5149 North Oakley, Chicago IL 60625 near Winnemac Park was sold "before print" or off-MLS for $396,875.  A development LLC is the purchaser and work had begun immediately after closing.  The home pictured to the right was a gut renovation sold for $825,000 a couple years ago.

Lincoln Square multi-units sold Jan 1st to Aug 26th, 2015
53 multi-unit properties (two flats-four flats) have sold this year (January 1st to August 26th) in Lincoln Square.  That's a pretty active for multi-units at these heated prices.  The median price for a two to four unit sale is $568,000. 31 of the property sales were two-flat properties with a median sales price of $560,000.

In 2014,  47 multi-units sold over the same period with a median price of about $535,000.

5149 North Oakley had been a frame building that had seen better days.  Not particularly attractive or architecturally signifigant in any respect. But it was home to three units (two legal) and their families.  It speaks to the demographic change of the neighborhood as more mult-units with relatively low rents are replaced by single family dwellings with a higher than average price tag. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Under Contract! Lincoln Square single family home gets multiple offers

 Watch the video walk-through of our latest 
Lincoln Square home sale.

Our charming Lincoln Square house listing is under contract after one weekend of many showings.  4845 N Hamilton, Chicago IL 60625 listed at $699,900 received several offers over list price.  Our clients secured the strongest offer and we've completed attorney review period.

Picture perfect block
The warm cook's kitchen was part of a gut renovation
Urban oasis!

A second floor renovation a few years ago included a new master bathroom with steam shower.
 Contact us to sell or buy homes on Chicago's North Side neighborhoods.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cabrini Shrine in Lincoln Park

The shrine was preserved during construction of Lakeview 2550 and enhances the aesthetic of its luxury neighbor. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
 I took this shot of the Cabrini Shrine on Tuesday afternoon. Check out their hours visiting hours.  This Lincoln Park area east of North Clark Street along the lakefront may be my favorite area of the city to hang out.  Great bar and restaurant options, beautiful architecture and the lakefront parks.  Stop for lunch on Clark then stroll along West Deming Place, St James, Roslyn, Arlington  and North Lakeview.

Home sales near Indian Boundary Park, West Ridge in Chicago

People (me) enjoy Indian Boundary Park in the West Ridge Community Area 2500 W Lunt Ave, Chicago, IL 60645 for the many diverse recreational offerings.  Its nature theme is the main attraction.  There is a field house, splash pad, old school wood fort playground, tennis courts, fields, trails and a nature center complete with little houses.  Kids love little houses!

Home sales within four blocks of Indian Boundary Park, West Ridge community area  (Pratt to Touhy, Western to Sacramento)

It's an interesting park and there are equally interesting homes lining the surrounding streets.  Many brick homes with lush landscaping. 13 single family homes have sold within the boundaries above near the park from January 1st to August 7th, 2015.  The median price for a home sale is $415,000.  Same period in 2014, 13 homes also sold with a median price of $430,000.  In 2013, 17 homes were recorded as sold over the same period with a median price about $400,000.

The highest sale this year so far is at 6833 N Francisco for $1,150,000. The contemporary 6+ bedrooms home built in 2000 also sits on a 106' x 130' lot (about 4 city lots).  The lowest sale is at 2805 W Coyle for $215,000.  The small 1953 built raised ranch was a foreclosure sale.

The Mediterranean bungalow found in West Ridge near Indian Boundary Park
At the moment, there are about 7 homes for sale near the park and another 6 under contract.  Most of the homes are priced under $500,000.

A large corner-lot tile roof home with lots to look at across from the park.

My daughter in awe over Art Camp!

Spray park!
All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty (hands off unless I say so). Sales stats gathered from

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I heart Lincoln Park

A lovely vignette this morning on the 1800 block West Webster in Lincoln Park. We see less and less artsy flavor around the North Side of the city.  This kind of made my day.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

New for Sale! Lincoln Square move-in ready three bedrooms home $699,900

4845 N Hamilton, Chicago IL 60625 in Lincoln Square 
Listed for sale $699,900

Wow! Amazing value for this attractive move in ready single family house in one of Chicago's hottest locations.  Feel like you're home the minute you walk up to the inviting front porch. 

Attractive well maintained home with inviting front porch. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The 4800 block of North Hamilton is one of the most desirable in Lincoln Square. Great block parties, beautiful homes and an easy walk to all Lincoln Square has to offer.  Enjoy one of the best blocks in Lincoln Square from your inviting front porch! Well maintained and updated three bedrooms, two and one-half baths home on 30/ft wide lot. This attractive move-in ready home has great flow. Main level with gorgeous formal foyer, open plan living and dining, powder room, wired for sound and attractive woodwork.
Entry foyer
Living room wired for sound
Open living and dining for huge entertaining space.  You can see from the front of house to the back deck and yard.
The living areas open to the deck and yard.

Renovated warm kitchen with upgraded appliances and walk-in pantry (yes, walk-in!). Second level with three bedrooms, two full baths. True master suite w/ two closets, double vanity bathroom w/ luxury walk-in steam shower. Important improvements include central air, structural beam, newer roof and windows. 
Awesome deck and yard! You really feel the 30' wide lot.

Master bedroom features two closets, great east facing windows and en suite master bath.
Dual vanity master bathroom with walk-in steam shower!
Good sized guest bathroom freshly painted.

Spacious second bedroom with huge closet.

Finished lower level with surround sound and excellent storage.

Basement has walk-out to yard.
Bonus lower level space!
Main floor powder room.
Finished walk-out basement with surround speakers, big storage closets and laundry room. Fantastic deck and yard that really makes this home special! Super value for one of the hottest city locations just a block off Winnemac Park. Walk to night life, Mariano's, restaurants, bars and CTA Brown Line. All you're missing is the white picket fence!

4845 N Hamilton
Three bedrooms
Two and one-half baths
Central air
Finished basement
One and one-half car garage
30' wide lot, appx 120' deep
Newer roof, windows, structural beam and more! 
Taxes about $6,800

One bock from beautiful Winnemac Park!

You are here!

Exclusively listed by 
Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
542 W Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60607
First showings at Open Houses (no exceptions)
Saturday August 8th, 10am to 2pm
Sunday August 9th, 1pm to 4pm