Friday, December 30, 2016

Several Lincoln Square condo developments take shape

New condos at 5061 N Lincoln Avenue rise from the former one story commercial building.  A similar building is going up just a block south near Western Avenue.
A quirky double lot property (red fence) hangs on.  A frame home sits back deep on the lot.

The development at Lawrence and Oakley is coming along in the former Wintrust Bank parking lot.

New 6 unit building at the corner of West Winona and North Western Ave
For quite some time in recent years there were no new condos to buy or new apartments to rent in Lincoln Square.  We may have had a three year run (2009-2011) after the 2008 housing crash with no new units built. Since 2012 it has become more and more common to see new units added to this thriving Chicago neighborhood on every major throughway. Damen, Lincoln, Western and Lawrence continue to evolve with residential units.

Taste of Peru coming to North Clark Street, Lincoln Park

I took a couple photos a few weeks ago of a new Peruvian restaurant coming to Lincoln Park.  Chopo Chicken will move into the space at 2460 N Clark.  I checked out the Facebook page and it does not look to have opened yet.  It will be a great addition to the diverse offerings of North Clark Street.  It's one of my favorite areas to eat in the city.

They've created a really cool mural facing Arlington Place. Good luck this New Year!

Closed! Top price for Logan Square condo sale on last business day of the year

 Watch the video walk-through of our latest sale at 2623 West Logan Boulevard, #1W Chicago IL 60647.

We just represented our sellers in closing their three bedroom Logan Square condo today. The newer construction garden unit at 2623 West Logan Boulevard #1W surpassed all comparable unit closing prices at $320,000. More photos and information here.
Once inside most potential buyers forget they are in a garden unit.  Tall ceilings, huge space and lots of light. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and

Thank you to our repeat seller clients.  We've helped them sell investment properties and buy their primary home over the years.  From prepping units for sale to the final walk-throughs and closings we have enjoyed each and every project!

Logan Boulevard closings in Logan Square
11 condo units have closed on historic Logan Boulevard with a median price of $360,000.

The lowest priced sale is  3003 W Logan Blvd Unit 1, Chicago, Illinois 60647 a two beds, one bath vintage home with no designated parking for $235,000.

The highest priced sale is 2949 W Logan Blvd Unit 1, Chicago, Illinois 60647 for $550,000.  The large 4 bedrooms duplex down is in a quintessential Logan Boulevard grey stone building.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lake View, Lincoln Park whole condo buildings bought to "go rental"

You may be able to rent newly renovated high-rise apartments steps from Belmont Harbor soon (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Our office chatted about a Crain's story today reporting the possible "de-conversion" of 420 West Belmont in East Lake View.  The 50 year old high-rise condo building may have been sold to investors that will convert the condos back to rental units. Other than the number of units involved (207) a de-conversion to rentals is not unusual in this market.  75% of the condo owners must vote to sell the building as a whole with proceeds paid out as a percentage of ownership.

Crain's pointed out in December 2625 N Clark Street was purchased for $35 million to convert to rental (subscription required). 133 units were sold with an average price of $263,000 a unit according to their report and $6 million will be invested for renovations.  The last MLS listed property to sell on the market at 2625 N Clark was a one bedroom condo Unit 1108 for $172,000 cash closed on January 29th.  That's a nice return for about 10 months!  Two other one bedroom units sold near the end of 2015 for an average of $160,000. They stood to sell for $100K net profit over individual sale market rates if they held on one year.

Lincoln Centre Condos shown here in 2015 were purchased and torn down this year to build rental apartments (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We've blogged about another dramatic "de-conversions" in Lincoln Park.  The infamous Lincoln Centre Condos  (30 units and retail space) shown above were purchased for over $11 million dollars in 2015. The building has been torn down to build 191 new rental apartment units.

The entire condo building at 555 West Arlington in Lincoln Park was "sold to a developer for land value".
Another recent Lincoln Park de-conversion I've come across is 555 West Arlington in the gorgeous Deming-Arlington Historic District. The 36 unit 1960s condo building with unfortunate architecture was "sold to a developer" for "land value" earlier this year. MLS and Recorder of Deeds records show last unit sales to the developer in the mid $300s for one bedroom condos.  $100-$200K above the market rate prices for individual market rate condos in the building.

 I do not have the sales price of 555 West Arlington at this time but a mortgage was taken out for almost $17,000,000 per Cook County Recorder of Deeds records.  A $7,000 electrical wiring permit and $50,000 alteration permit was issued for the building which suggests they will refurbish and rent out the units. 

We have one client and their condo board in North Center who have discussed selling their whole building so they may receive much higher sales prices than their individual condos would achieve. It is on the table for this spring.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A new Ravenswood TOD... Who Ravenswouldn't?

A new, modern development is proposed for this site adjacent to the existing building shown. The hits keep coming in the Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, Uptown area (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Curbed pointed out a cool new Transit Oriented Develop proposal in Ravenswood last month.  I stopped over to check out the site recently after my routine morning trip to the nearby Mariano's 4540 to 4542 North Ravenswood would be home to new, modern 9 unit mixed use built on a vacant double lot.  A parking lot to the north will remain.  So will the "L" tracks behind lolz.

The cobblestone block is mostly home to one story commercial buildings (looking south).

The existing two story building just south of the proposed development.

Businesses of North Ravenswood

A large parking lot to the north of the proposed development.

Mariano's and LA Fitness on West Lawrence in the near distance.

Metra embankment and tracks across the street to the east.
The site is near the corner of Wilson and Ravenswood. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, services and businesses to walk to... not to mention the Montrose CTA Brown Line and Ravenswood Metra station.  Streetsblog Chicago writes a ton on TOD projects.

Residential Sales
There are a handful of condo buildings and town home developments within a few blocks of this new proposal.  Attached unit median sales price is around $400,000.  The most recent and immediate sales have been existing re-sale units. A brick two-flat in nice condition at 5070 N Ravenswood recently sold for $670,000 on an oversized 30'x175' lot.

There are relatively few residential units along North Ravenswood itself from West Irving Park Road to West Lawrence. Density of condo units, single family homes and mulit-units picks up north of Lawrence (4800 North).

Monday, December 12, 2016

Historic West Arlington in Lincoln Park great for guests and residents alike

Chicago Getaway Hostel 616 W Arlington, Chicago IL 60614
I took a few early November shots of the 600 block of West Arlington in Lincoln Park. The block is part of the beautiful Deming-Arlington Historic District. It is also home to the Chicago Getaway Hostel housed in a gorgeous vintage building. It is an unbeatable representation of Lincoln Park living for our domestic and international guests.
High-end vintage properties are the standard here.  623 W Arlington is currently listed at $6.9 million.  The highest closing within a block over the last two years is 626 W Arlington for $2,675,000 closed in June 2016.  The double lot home maintains the vintage facade with modern updates.  Considering the oversized 50'x174' lot in this location $2.6 million was a bargain.
A beautiful residence on the 600 block of West Arlington. #FLYTHEW Go Cubs Go!
The area can be enjoyed with affordable accommodations for visitors at the hostel and for relatively cheaper means for locals. Studio and one bedroom apartments on the street have some from $110,000 to $239,000 and smaller two bedrooms sales from $300,000-$340,000.

555 W Arlington offers entry level purchase prices and rents to a premier Chicago location

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Chicago's shocking $50 million ask a drop in the bucket for NYC

I retweeted this $50 million single family home listing in Lincoln Park.  Meanwhile this week in NYC...  $61 million for a penthouse closed this week. 

 432 Park Avenue is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. Great deal with a listing price of $76.5 million. All this and not nearly the most expensive unit in NYC.

Conspicuous MiCa Logan Square

Big splash on North Milwaukee Avenue
We took a few shots this week of the new MiCa Chicago at 2733 N Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square.  MiCa is an early entry - in a series of large Milwaukee Avenue developments - that extremely changes the street-scape. The 216 unit rental building has current units available ranging from $1,695 for a studio apartment to $3,345 for a three bedroom unit according to their web site.

A more typical milieu of mixed use buildings at the corner of  Milwaukee and California

The "Transit Oriented Development" building is a couple blocks from the Logan Square CTA Blue Line.

View from Family Dollar
We have sold properties nearby the development and have clients looking for a single family home in the area.  The rental density will be good for a vibrant business environment that, in return, will strengthen home values.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

$3 million penthouse condo at Lincoln Park development on former Tag site

The former Tag Outlet warehouse 1730 West Wrightwood, Chicago IL 60614 has been demolished to make way for residential condo development in Lincoln Park (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Cha-cha-changes on the former Tag Outlet site. Norweta Row is a substantial high-end residential development in the far western portion of Lincoln Park. A condo portion will be 32 units and rental building approximately 44 units. The immediate area is almost entirely newer construction built up over the past 15 years. A penthouse unit on our MLS is listed as 2633 N Hermitage PH2N for $2,995,000

The Lincoln Park Patchwork mural on at the construction site late November.
The developer is using the construction fence for a sort of crowd-sourcing Lincoln Park mural project.  There is some 'splaining and a video here.  I love public art around the city and advocate for more.  This project, well, is a little lost on me. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Greater Bucktown, Wicker Park home sales 2016: Median price up $300,000 since 2012

We're looking in greater Bucktown / Wicker Park of West Town above - generally Armitage to Chicago Ave and 90/94 to Western Avenue.
We have clients looking for a "move-up" single family home in the Bucktown/ Wicker Park area where they currently own a condo. The target area west of 90/94 in West Town is in play including parts of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Noble Square, Ukrainian Village and East Village.

97 single family homes have sold in the map area above from January 1st to November 30th of 2016 in the shaded area shown. The median price is just over $1,000,000 for a sold house.  The highest priced sale this year is a modern new construction stunner at 1763 W Wilmot sold at $3,800,000 (cash). 
The lowest priced home sale is 1468 N Ashland for $300,000 (cash).  The odd one story residential property was bought by a development brokerage.

50 of the sold 97 homes closed for over $1,000,000.

In 2012, 104 single family homes closed with a median price of $700,000. Median price is up $300,000 from 2012 to 2016 in the West Town area shaded above.

Here's a flashback video to 2010 a couple years prior to the price explosion.  Lots of units were getting sold and purchased at bargain prices.  Condo unit sales in West Town began to rival those of high density Lake View. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Progress and past of controversial "Benchmark" development in Lincoln Park

Progress photo of the Benchmark development on the 2700 block of north Magnolia in Lincoln Park earlier today (photo Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma, Brokers, Kale Realty). Kale is not the listing brokerage. wrote a good story back in July on the "Benchmark" development on the 2700 block of North Magnolia.  The five building project is distinct, if not controversial, in that an 1884 built church at 2750 N Magnolia was torn down.  The rectory at 2746 N Magnolia was saved and has been renovated into a modern single family home maintaining the original architecture.

Condos in the development are listed from $650,000 to just under $1.3 million for a penthouse unit (several units are under contract).  A single family home in the development at 2742 N Magnolia is listed at just under $2 million on a 24'x125' lot. The block is turning mostly new construction with several other recently built single family homes offered and new construction closed sales.

A few modestly updated homes sold from $850,000 to just over $1 million over the last 24 months.  A new construction home at 2730 N Magnolia built in 2015 and closed early this year sold for $3,050,000 on a 40'x125'.  This block backs up to the 2700 block of North Lakewood which has also been transformed from mixed housing and industrial to mostly new construction single family homes and condos along an old rail line.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lake View Sports Authority building still vacant

3134 N Clark Street, Chicago IL 60657 (Photo, Eric Rojas, Kale Realty)
The former Sports Authority store at 3134 N Clark Street in Lake View is still vacant. The property is marketed for lease as Clark / Barry Commons.  We noticed a couple workers with a ladder last week working on the old sign. Bob's Furniture is taking over the Fullerton Avenue store.

This location is across from Point at Clark featuring several chain retailers DSW, Marshalls and Michael's. Briar Street Theater , Binny's and dozens of restaurants/bars/shops are near the parcel.  One can expect another large chain retailer. The area (and Chicago's North Side in general) has seen so much large commercial redevelopment that it is hard to believe this site would not be redeveloped into two story retail space for a new store. 

All about the Benjamins.

Checking in on Clark Street development in Lake View

The 3200 N Clark exterior seen today nears completion. The new eight story, 90 unit development has changed and modernized busy the corner of Clark and Belmont. A Target Express with Starbucks Coffee is scheduled to open in the building July 2017. Will there be a Starbucks across from a Starbucks?

Further north on Clark between Addison and Waveland we see the glassy new home offices of the Chicago Cubs taking form along with exterior plaza construction around Wrigley Field.  On the left of the photo construction has started on a new hotel replacing the infamous McDonald's / parking lot.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Permit issued for 134 new residential units in East Lake View (Broadway and Sheridan)

Renderings for 3833 N Broadway apartments by Jonathan Splitt Architects
A new eight story mixed-use 134 unit residential building at 3833 N Broadway in East Lake View has been issued a construction permit in the tune of $8,000,000. The massive building received zoning approval in April 2015.

The corner of Broadway and Sheridan where 3833 N Broadway will be built. Image Google Maps

Curbed Chicago has more information on the project HERE 
The Curbed article also mentions another 100+ unit building that will be developed across the street at 3901 N Broadway. Wow, over 234 units at the busy corner near the lake!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sold! Snow birds buy home in Northbrook

The Meadow Ridge community in Northbrook features beautiful views of the Techny Towers.

Congrats to our newly retired snow birds on their home purchase in Northbrook, IL! These repeat clients needed a home near their daughter in Chicago for half the year. The other half of the year is spent in sunny Florida.  The Glenview / Northbrook area offered several great choices for newer homes near shopping, golf and easy highway access to the city. The North Shore village provides a beautiful lakefront nearby, cultural activities and the civic community they desire for their active retirement years.

Our clients closed today on their Northbrook home at 2282 Washington Drive in the Meadow Ridge gated community.  The new construction home features a ground floor master suite.
A landscaped "prairie" with flowing stream winds through the property.
We secured the new construction 2282 Washington Drive Unit C for $689,000.  The newly designed, more open plan  "Model C" has one of the more upgraded kitchens and master baths we've seen! The home features three bedrooms, a separate office, a large bonus room, two car attached garage and terrace. New construction closings for all models in the last year have gone from $580,000 to $780,000 (also a "Model C"). 

The Meadow Ridge development in Northbrook is squeezed between a couple golf courses and adjacent to convenient, walk-able shopping and dining. 
Contact Bob and I to find your next home in Chicago, the North Shore or near west and south suburbs.

More original Lincoln Park homes torn down to build new

A demo permit was issued yesterday for this attractive brick and masonry home at 2042 N Fremont in one of the more expensive enclaves of Lincoln Park. The property is already listed on the MLS as a design and build project for $3,599,000. Photo Cook County Assessors office via
I took notice this week of a couple more recent demo permits in East Lincoln Park.  The buildings happened to grab my attention due to our dealings near by. They are the types of original buildings I'd love to see stick around in the neighborhoods.  I post these tear downs from time to time to point out market activity and prices around some of the neighborhoods we do business.

726 W Diversey was sold in June for $975,000 and will be torn down to erect a new 3 story residential building. The East Lincoln Park units will be in high demand in this highly desirable, walk-able location near the lakefront. A three beds, two baths newer construction condo next door at 725 W Diversey Pkwy Unit 4W, Chicago, 60614 recently sold for $680,000.

Got tools? Nonprofit Chicago Community ToolBank can help get the tools you need for your project

Does your organization need tools for a project? ToolBank can help!
A past client and friend is the Executive Director of Chicago Community ToolBank 

Here's a great video that shows what ToolBanks can do for your organization.

The ToolBank warehouse may have the equipment you need to build a playground, work stations, community gardens and more!
"Chicago Community ToolBank is a new organization that lends out tools to help communities and organizations with projects where tools are necessary but they might not have or have the money to buy."  Check out Alisha's interview on Chicago Community ToolBank here on Comcast Newsmakers

If you have tools to donate, industry expertise or would like to get involved with their board please contact Alisha Wenc Executive Director (312) 952-8896  

Do something good this holiday season and support Chicago Community ToolBank!

Monday, November 21, 2016

More buildings come down at Children's Memorial site

2350-2358 N Lincoln across from the Children's Memorial main building demo and just north (adjacent) to the old parking garage began demolition last week. The entire development site is in full demolition stage. The changes to this busy section of Lincoln Park are certainly dramatic as more than just old hospital buildings are torn down.

Demo, demo, demo at old Children's Memorial in Lincoln Park

You have to visit the site to get the full effect of the eerie Children's Memorial demolition in the heart of a busy Lincoln Park neighborhood. I took a few more photos last week after visiting 444 West Fullerton. The large hospital structure is almost entirely gone and the site lines driving west up Fullerton are striking.  Here's a look at the over-all development plan.
I can't help but double take when I approach the open space at the corner of West Fullerton and North Orchard in Lincoln Park.  The tedious demolition of the former Children's Memorial Hospital nears completion.
This terra cotta structure at Fullerton and Lincoln is the latest victim of the re-development plan of the multiple sites at Children's Memorial. 
It will be a relief when this part of town is put back together.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Forest Glen, Chicago home sales in 2016

Our family owns a good sized brick bungalow in Lincoln Square near Winnemac Park. We love our house, our neighbors and this desirable area in high demand. However, the homes that have tempted me many, many times are in Forest Glen.  Beautiful old homes, scenic blocks, great schools and easy access to the highway and Metra are tough deny when showing homes!

206 Forest Glen Community Area single family homes closed so far in 2016 (January 1st to November 9th). The median price is about $445,000.  219 homes closed over the same period last year with a median price of about $430,000. Looking back to 2012, only 157 houses closed over the same period with a median price of $385,000.

The highest priced sold home is 5888 N Forest Glen Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60646 closed for $1,368,750. The beautiful 1923 "English Style Mansion" exudes class and sits on a 118' X 129' lot.

The lowest priced home to sell is 6090 N Caldwell Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60646 for $105,000. The short-sale raised ranch is on a heavy trafficked stretch. Nevertheless, $100K for a standard lot house in Forest Glen is a good deal. The next lowest sale is $140,000.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

UPDATE: Mural on North Clark Street near West Lawrence in Uptown

I took picture this several weeks ago while checking out a proposed development site.
Seems a legit image this week. 

Any intel on this mural and artist please email me direct.

UPDATE: Here's a note I received from a reader.
Saw your blog post...The mural was finished in April of this year. The artist is Joseph “Sentrock” Perez

He's pretty active on instagram @sentrockEnjoy your blog!

Thanks Andy !

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Mortgage rates jump up .25% on 2016 election results

It was fairly quiet around Lincoln Park today.  Not the case in financial markets (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Our preferred mortgage lender Steve Dunnett of Blueleaf Lending sent me this article immediately after last night's 2016 Presidential Election results. Here's his note:

"The election results caused mortgage rates to jump .125%-.25% today. Jumps like this are rare so I wanted to share a good summary of what happened from a service that I subscribe to".

Contact Steve for mortgage rates, questions, planning and lending needs! 
Steve Dunnett
Senior Mortgage Consultant

312-725-2068 (DIRECT)
312-379-8844 (E-FAX)