Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NEW PRICE! 3633 N Damen #3 in North Center only $205,900

Watch the video!

Check out the great value for a top floor corner condo in the North Center, Roscoe Village neighborhood.  Flexible two bedrooms (or one bedroom with den/ dining room).  Great space and light for this location priced at $205,900!

Awesome North Center location near the CTA Brown Line, Trader Joe's bars, Wrigley Field and Roscoe Village dining.

3633 N Damen #3 Chicago, IL 60618 
Asking $205,900
Exclusively listed by Eric Rojas
Broker, Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland
Chicago IL, 60614


Travel log: 56 Leonard in Manhattan, penthouse offered at $34,500,000

56 Leonard explodes into the Tribeca stratosphere.  All photos Eric Rojas, Bob DePalma, Brokers Kale Realty
Bob snapped some photos of how the other half lives from his weekend trip to NYC. 56 Leonard in the Tribeca neighborhood is probably the most unique condo tower in all of Manhattan.  Largely sold out... only a couple of the penthouses are reported as available. Marketed by corcoransunshine.com
  • PH52B for $17,750,000 with monthly common charges of $3,722 and monthly taxes of $1,599;
  • PH58 for $34,500,000 with monthly common charges of $5,637 and monthly taxes of $2,422.

    At least we have Studio Gang taking some awesome shots at Chicago's skyline.

and Streeteasy  for more information. Cats and dogs OKAY!!

Booming Damen Avenue in Lincoln Square waits for new condo development

The property at 4646 N Damen is under contract but a developer's proposal for zoning change has not been approved.
Like many of you I drive, ride or walk by 4646 N Damen every week.  The property is under contract with an asking price of $499,900.   The 47th Ward Alderman's office announced a zoning change application for the property some time ago. Basically the buyer is seeking to change the property zoning to allow a 9 residential building with ground floor commercial.

Check out the development proposal and zoning application HERE

According to the Alderman's web page (and an email exchange I had with the office) the zoning change as requested is not approved.  Another property may be in play to allow this project to proceed near the CTA Damen Brown Line station.  My guess is a nearby neighbor objects to the change. All politics and the neighbors aside... this is a great Lincoln Square location for more density in general and I hope something gets done.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Landmark Fullerton State Bank in Lincoln Park sold for $2 million, still vacant

1425 West Fullerton stands vacant as of 5/26/16. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I had some business along the 1400 block of West Fullerton in Lincoln Park last week and snapped a photo of the long vacant  landmark Fullerton State Bank building.  The building was purchased in 2013 for $2,000,000 according to public records and the development proposals were laid out in 2014 . There are no construction permits currently issued for the building but a handful of City violations are recorded.

I have a little history with the building.  My wife and I once worked with a loan officer in the building with LakeShore Funding. He quoted us a mortgage interest rate and then "floated the rate".  When our rate was higher when signing off the disclosure packet we questioned how this happened.  When told, my wife just about torched the place. Needless to say we were made whole on the deal.

A two bedrooms, two baths newer construction condo with garage parking at 1442 W Fullerton Ave Unit 2B, Chicago, Illinois 60614 (across the street) recently sold for $456,000. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Park Ridge single family home sales (units up 23%)

Park Ridge City Hall.  All Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Park Ridge is a thriving Chicago suburb offering a diverse stock of single family homes.  Many of our Chicago clients are from Park Ridge (or nearby) and find themselves moving back with their growing families.  Some clients just need to be near downtown and like the more suburban feel and desirable public schools of the established village with great amenities.

Park Ridge Single Family Home Sales Jan 1st through March 25th, 2016
158 single family homes closed from January 1st through March 25th this year. The median price is about $400,000.  Unit sales are up about 23% over the same period last year while median price is down about $20K.

Homes near the two Metra stations demand a premium.
The lowest sold price this year is $161,500 for 1912 S Fairview Ave, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068.  The two bedroom ranch needs work but is an overall great deal. The highest selling price was $1,345,000 for 811 Vine Ave, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068. The four bedrooms new construction home sits on a 50'x 177' lot near the Edison Park Metra station to downtown Chicago.

Gorgeous custom built homes line many streets of Park Ridge
110 single family houses are under contract as of this writing with a median asking price of $469,000.  214 single family homes are currently listed for sale with a median asking price of $499,000.  

All sales stats gathered from MREDLLC.com and interpreted by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.  To find or sell a property in Chicago and the near suburbs please contact us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fitness Formula makes a huge investment in downtown Park Ridge (house unit sales up 23%)

Fitness Formula Clubs is building a large new gym steps from downtown Park Ridge at 826 West Touhy Avenue. Photo Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma, Brokers, Kale Realty
REJournals has the scoop on the major 67,000 square foot construction near downtown Park Ridge.  Fitness Formula Clubs new location will compliment the quaint "Main Street" feel of small businesses Park Ridge citizens love with a large modern athletic facility along busy central roads.

We just helped our clients purchase a home in Park Ridge.  They are excited to see more major investment meeting demand in a thriving Chicago suburb. 

Park Ridge single family home unit sales are up about 23% while median price dipped year to year.  156 single family homes have closed in Park Ridge this year from January 1st to Mat 24th. The median price is $400,000.  128 single family homes closed last year over the same period with a median price of about $421,000.

The slight dip in median price may be attributed to the lower end of the Park Ridge house market moving well this year.  More Boomers are selling homes in dated condition and those houses are renovated by the new owners.

You get any deals at the Lincoln Square Sears closing sale?

The banners leave no doubt "everything must go".
The Lincoln Square Sears at 1900 West Lawrence is having a liquidation sale.  All the buzz was enough to get me through the door and buy a larger grill than my current 15 year old two burner Webber.  Deals aren't great and there is a strict "no return or exchange" policy.  10% of tools, 20% off grills.  I did see a nice side by side counter depth refrigerator for just over $1,500 bucks.

Clothes are probably the best deal but big crowds were sifting through everything as of yesterday. 

Goodbye Sears, hello new grill.

My lonely last walk into the store.

Sears has has quickly forgotten about its Lincoln Square store

Half Acre good neighbor in Bowmanville

New windows, trees and brick work improve the street-scape on 5400 block of North Hoyne in Bowmanville.  Half Acre Beer Company investment in the community is welcomed by many nearby neighbors who've lived near the tired former Duray Fluorescent Lighting company building.  

The (before) street-scape on the east side of Hoyne was void of parkway trees and looked very stark.  The town house neighbors directly across the street have a much better view now.

View the original plans for Half Acre's Bowmanville facility HERE

NOT ON MLS: New Bowmanville, Lincoln Square town house for sale

These Bowmanville town homes are know for the gorgeous landscaping and great upkeep by the owners.  Awesome location neat major grocery stores, Half Acre's new brewery, Andersonville and Lincoln Square dining and culture!

I'm shooting photos this morning in a popular town house community in Lincoln Square's Bowmanville neighborhood.  This place is one of the most updated units that have come on the market in some time! Newer baths, windows, kitchen and more. NOT ON MLS!

The three bedrooms, three and one-half baths town house feature a lower level family room, great yard/ patio and garage parking.  Asking price will be in the low $400s and the home will be listed on the open market after Memorial Day weekend.

If you are looking for a three bedrooms town home with great outdoor space in Lincoln Square please contact me direct at 773-510-1597 or erojas@kalerealty.com.   If you have an agent they must contact me direct to represent the purchase.  No exceptions.

5404 N Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60625

Exclusively Listed by:
Eric Rojas, Vice President, Broker
Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland Ave
Chicago IL, 60614

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lake View single family homes sales: Unit sales and dollars down year to year

A rare East Lake View single family home.  Lake View east of Halsted is mostly multi-unit buildings while west of Halsted Street features the bulk of single family homes in the community area.

First Quarter Lake View Community Area single family home unit sales took a dip in first quarter 2016.  

From January 1st to March 31st this year 21 single family home units sold with a median price of $1,120,000.  Unit sales are down about 27% same period 2015.  

Sales dollar volume is down about 38% over first quarter. In Q1 2015 $42,314,735 changed hands in transactions over the first three months of the year. In 2016, just $26,421,200 smackers were spent on single family homes.

All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Median price also dipped.  This is surprising as re-sale and new home construction has been on a positive six year run. 2015 median price was $1,310,000 while 2016 landed about $1,120,000. 

Fun stats!
The highest sale in first quarter 2016 is $2,970,000 at 1430 W Melrose St, Chicago, Illinois 60657.  The new construction six bedrooms home is built on a 33'x125' lot in Burley School district.

The lowest priced Lake View single family home sale in first quarter is 3350 N Marshfield Ave , Chicago, Illinois 60657 for $505,000.  The two bedroom house on a small lot is fully renovated featuring attractive interior finishes.

All stats gathered from MREDLLC.com and interpreted by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Friday, May 20, 2016

New public art piece on "swinging" North Damen Avenue, Lincoln Square

Seen near the new Gallery 19 at 4839 N Damen Ave, Chicago IL 60625. "Swinging II" by Jack Howard Potter

North Damen Ave north of Lawrence in Lincoln Square is home to pricier new condos and a growing business district.  What better way to consolidate this now cosmopolitan stretch than with modern art?

Swing on by (rolls eyes) and check out what's brewing at Lawrence and Damen. Here's a nice piece on the art piece by Patty Wetli at DNAInfo 

Big kudos to Ravenswood Community Council for helping to bring Chicago Sculpture Exhibit
to the Ravenswood, Lincoln Square area.  Check out RCC on Facebook.


Demo time! Infamous Lincoln Park condos to be replaced by... apartments.

Demo staging at Lincoln Centre Condos yesterday at North Lincoln and West Altgeld, Lincoln Park. CTA Brown Line riders know the building for the tennis courts easily viewed from the train.  All photos Eric Rojas, Bob DePalma, Brokers Kale Realty

It looks like time has finally run out for Lincoln Centre condos at 2518-2540 N Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park.  On a rare occasion for a top city location the entire existing condo association sold out to a developer. New "luxury apartments" boasting 191 units will take it's place. Look for slower traffic around the Lincoln/ Fullerton intersection soon as this relatively massive development begins.

These units were always on the showing list for an affordable buyer option in the neighborhood.  But, it came with caveats... the design and condition of the building were less than great. Kind of had a party feel if you know what I mean.  Show of hands: Anybody party on those tennis courts?

Check out the Baker Development Corporation web site for updates on the Elevate luxury apartment project set to deliver units in Summer 2017. Lincoln park is getting a shot of density with the recent large developments of Lincoln Park 2550, Webster Square apartments and condos and the pending re-development of Children's Memorial Hospital site.  Three of the four developments I mention are on North Lincoln Avenue.

There are a variety of condo and apartment rental prices along Lincoln Avenue surrounding these new developments. One bedroom condos can start in the $200s with large town houses selling well over $1 million.  A renovated three bedrooms, two baths rental apartment (no parking included) on the 2300 block of north Lincoln Ave recently caught $3,200 a month.

Please contact us when buying, selling or renting in Lincoln Park!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Under Contract! Buyer clients secure double lot house in Lincoln Square

We represent the buyer clients on the purchase of 2454 W Carmen Ave , Chicago, Illinois 60625. The asking price was $650,000 then dropped to $639,999. 
Wow! A double lot in a great Lincoln Square location close to the Western Brown Line stop and endless restaurants, bars and shops.  Our clients are more than pleased to get a property with a full side yard at a great negotiated price.  The 50'x110' property at 2454 W Carmen features a "move-in-able" single family house and adjacent side lot.  The buyers plan to renovate the interior but you can function in the house as is with a few repairs. 

The pretty bay window on the second floor gets plenty of light from the south.
The listing price is $639,999 and the contract is now out of attorney review and pending closing. 

Only 12 Lincoln Square single family homes have closed 1st quarter in 2016. Unit sales are down 50% while dollar volume is down 44% for the first quarter.  Median price is down as well. I expect the sales numbers will catch up to last year over-all as there are many newly completed rehabs and new construction houses on the market now.

It looks like the lower end of homes were bought in the first quarter 2016 (several for renovation).  We are also seeing more activity in the northwest of Lincoln Square (while prices are strong) where homes sell for less than homes in the southeast end of the neighborhood that is located near the main retail strip.

Call us to buy or sell your Lincoln Square area homes!

Good bye Goodbar: Shuttered bar torn down on North Halsted

The re-development of Chicago's most desirable neighborhoods continues. All photos Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma, Kale Realty
Ye olde frame shack last known as Goodbar 2512 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 was torn down last week. DNAInfo has more on the former business. Bob snapped this pick in between house showings in Lincoln Park.  I checked the Chicago Cityscape permit page and no plans yet for the new structure. However, it would not be a stretch to assume new condos with ground floor retail to fill in the street wall.

There is a city alley located to the south of the property that may limit the type of development allowed.
If you are looking for new or re-sale condos in Lincoln Park or surrounding neighborhoods please give us a call or email.  We help buyers find what they need from well located studios to large luxury condos.

Lincoln Park still booming: Single family home median price up 20%

While many popular North Side neighborhoods thawed a bit in unit sales, median price and sales dollar volume in the the first quarter of 2016 Lincoln Park turned up the heat.

A historic home on West Fullerton, Lincoln Park. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
34 Lincoln Park single family home units sold in first quarter of 2015 (January 1st - March 31st) with a median price of $1,880,000. Dollar volume was a whopping $71,823,411 over that time. But wait, there's more...

35 single family units sold over the same period in 2016.  Median price for the first quarter is up 20% to $2,237,500.  Sales dollar volume is also up 20% to $86,546,775.

The familiar statue outside Peggy Notebaert Nature Center
2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614 in Lincoln Park

The highest Lincoln Park single family home sale in the first quarter 2016 is 2026 N Mohawk St Chicago, Illinois 60614 for $8,350,000... cash.

Stats gathered from MREDLLC.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

No Smoking While Walking!

Photo Bob DePalma, Kale Realty while in Japan this year

I bet you the citizens also cross at the light.

Lincolnwood area single family home sales volume down 42% in 1st quarter 2016

Photo of Lincoln Wood "Towers" sub-division Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We often spill into the North Shore for clients trading downtown for the north burbs.  Lincolnwood is just across the border of Chicago on the North Side. It's an attractive alternative for those already living in Lincoln Square, Lake View, Albany Park, Rogers Park etc... many whom are members of Proesel Park Family Aquatic Center.

In the first quarter of 2015 (January- March) 26 single family homes closed in Lincolnwood with a median price of $422,000.  The total dollar volume of sales first quarter was $11,542,185.  In 2016, only 15 houses sold with a median price about the same at $428,000. 

Dollar volume in 2016 is only $6,639,000 (down 42% from same period 2015).

Housing economists have attributed heated markets and high asking prices for a slowdown in buyers pulling the trigger in some areas.  Actual home prices stay steady while sales volume drops. Basically there is a price threshold for every house and market at a given time.

In an area like Lincolnwood my guess is many sellers who bought their homes just before the bubble are again testing the market to see if they can recoup most of their investment. Buyers are not having it.  In one study North Shore housing prices are still below their peak before the crash.

Just two guys eating pie in Lincoln Square

Bang Bang Pie Owner Michael Ciapciak (left) speaks with area man last week.
 Super neighbor and friend Bob Farster and I stopped in to try the newly opened Bang Bang Pie at 4947 N Damen in the Winnemac Park area of Lincoln Square. We were greeted last week by the very gracious owner Michael Ciapciak who made sure we would be long time devotees.  

We've chatted up the anticipated opening and the lively hot spot delivered.  I don't really do reviews.  Let's just say I love the product and atmosphere of the latest incarnation of Bang Bang Pie.  I've been a biscuits and gravy guy for some time and I'm happy for this gift just across the park from my house.


*Photo Eric Rojas, Broker Kale Realty and some guys named Tony and Steve.
*Photoshop image of President Barak Obama... or is it?

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Huge Lincoln Square Sears store is closing and I have the perfect development

The Sears building maps.google.com

Patty Wetli of DNAInfo reports today the Lincoln Square Sears will be closing.  Considered the nations oldest Sears housed in a vintage building the potential development will surely be the subject of great controversy and anticipation.

Let me be the first to pitch the site for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. It's a totally uncontroversial location, great Metra and CTA access and cost effective.  Just add a couple floors.

Get it done Ameya!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Quick Stats! Lake View single family home sales down 27% Q1, 2016, dollars down 38%

Lake View 2016 First Quarter Single Family Home Sales (Chart generated by Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma from MREDLLC.com data).  Click for larger image.
We spend a lot of our time looking at data for our clients.  It's also interesting to take a macro look at Chicago's community areas we work in to identify trends for buyers and sellers.

The popular and diverse Lake View Community Area of Chicago saw a 27% drop in closed single family home (detached) units in first quarter 2016. In 2015,  29 units closed in the first quarter of the year.  21 single family home units closed in 2016. 

Total dollar volume is down about 38% in first quarter 2016. $42,314,735 exchanged hands in 2015 while $26,421,200 was spent Q1 on single family homes in 2016.

Lake View 2015 First Quarter Single Family Home Sales. Click for larger image.
Median price is down about $100,000 year to year according to our sales stats above.  Housing economists have sited high home prices for the slow down in volume as some motivated buyers are priced out of popular markets.  This should act as a plateau in pricing for some markets.  Prices will have to loosen up a little to see unit sales creep up. It's a bit of a cautionary tale when pricing re-sale homes this season.

Renovations well underway at the Merchandise Mart

Bob caught a show at the Merchandise Mart in River North over the weekend.  A series of renovations are under way.  The Merchandise Mart is one of those staple Chicago institutions ever changing to meet the needs of retailers, customers and visitors.

Don't worry, food's over here!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Rare find at a house showing

We viewed a home in Lincoln Square last week with our clients.  The house had been mostly cleared out save for a few odds and ends.  We were taken aback by this classic 1920s or 30s baby carriage!

New retail progress for Oromo and Orangetheory Fitness in Lincoln Square

I had a little business to attend to on the main commercial strip of Lincoln yesterday afternoon.  Oromo Cafe is coming along nicely at 4703 N Lincoln Ave near the Lincoln and Leland bend.

New construction retail at 4728 N Lincoln Avenue across from Giddings Plaza. A mixed use three unit building was torn down to make way for new one story retail.  I wish they kept apartment units above.  Orangetheory Fitness    https://twitter.com/OTheoryFitness  is moving into the retail space.  All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
A newer construction three bedrooms condo unit across the street at the Fountain View building (2326 W Giddings) is currently under contract with an asking price of $529,000.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Under contract! Vacant lot listing in North Center finds a buyer

1801 West Cuyler is a vacant corner lot in North Center's Coonley Elementary School district.  The lot can be developed into a single family home, used as a yard or possibly combined for a larger development. 
Our rare vacant lot listing in coveted North Center of Chicago is under contract. The purchase contract is in attorney review. 1801 West Cuyler was priced at $249,000 at the time of the offer.

Check out the video of the property!

Lincoln Square: St. Matthias Itty Bitty Kick-Ball starts next week!

4910 N Claremont, Lincoln Square

St. Matthias School Itty Bitty Sports sessions include basketball, soccer and kickball on Sunday's throughout the school year. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
St. Matthias Itty Bitty Sports are a fun and inexpensive way to get the kids in a gym for exercise.  You do not have to be a student of the school to participate. Sign up at the link! 

If you are looking to buy or sell homes in the Lincoln Square or surrounding communities please give us a call or email!