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)

Slow news day? Ask Patrick about Chicago property tax exemptions and appeals

You own your attractive (maybe expensive) Chicago home. Now save some money on taxes! (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker in Bowmanville, Lincoln Square Chicago).
Wow, totally nothing going on today.  I figure I'll mention some news you can use! Many of our clients (despite our advice) are losing money each year by failing to apply for exemptions or to appeal their property tax.  Now (after our recent property tax increase) more than ever please reach out to real estate attorney Patrick Loftus of Loftus Law. He will help you understand how to take real estate tax exemptions and how to appeal your assessments.  Seriously, just contact him at   773-632-8330.
A couple years ago I took the time to meet face to face with some County Commissioners and Board of Review folks at the 47th Ward service office in North Center to appeal my tax assessment.

Check out Patrick's blog for some great info!

Bob and I have personally worked with a few real estate attorneys over many years that have been amazing advisers for us and our clients. We maintain the relationships because they possess a great ability to be responsive to clients and calming in both difficult and simple matters. Give attorney Patrick Loftus a call or email concerning buying, selling, current home ownership issues, bankruptcy, buiness filing and more.  

Under Contract! Forest Glen double lot home gets new lease on life

5039 West Berwyn, Chicago IL 60630 originally listed at $319,000
Our clients wanted a large lot on a budget. Well... that's what they got! 5039 W Berwyn in Forest Glen is a vintage house on a terrific 58' x 150' corner lot. The sellers dropped the price to $299,900. We urged our clients to view the property quickly and make a decision. Bob and I immediately helped structure and negotiate the winning bid in a multiple offer situation.  The purchase contract is out of attorney review and headed for closing.

Wow!  What a yard.

The house is in surprisingly good shape but our clients will need more space. We quickly organized expert contractors to verify the scope and budget for renovations that our clients will undertake.
You can see the Forest Glen Metra steps from the front yard!

This scenic section of Forest Glen is serviced by a new Mariano's store a couple blocks away. Hop on the bike paths along the North Branch of the Chicago River or hike through the Forest Glen Woods just down the block. Beaubien and Farnsworth Elementary Schools service the area.
A new modern Mariano's at 
5353 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60630
is a great asset to the neighborhood.
5039 W Berwyn is tucked away in a great pocket of Forest Glen near the Metra stop and easy access to I94.
About 22 single family homes closed in this section of Forest Glen over the last 12 months with a median price of $475,000.  The highest priced sold house is 5054 W Berwyn Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60630 for $802,000.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Park Ridge single family home sales, median price up 12.5% since 2013

The hilly, winding streets near Park Ridge "Uptown" and the Park Ridge Metra station.
We have clients looking for a new construction or newly renovated home under $1,000,000 in the "old Park Ridge" neighborhood near shops and transportation. Let's take a look at over-all Park Ridge single family home sales.

408 Park Ridge single family homes have sold  from January 1st to November 4th of this year (recorded on our MLS). The median price of a single family home is about $425,000.  The highest priced sold home is 1000 Vine Ave, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068 for $1,390,000.  The new construction home on a 50'x177' lot is located fairly close to the Edison Park Metra station.

Modest homes in the old Park Ridge neighborhood near the Metra Park Ridge station and Uptown restaurants.
380 homes sold over the same period in 2015 with a median price of about $435,000.  It appears more homes on the lower end were purchased this in 2016 for the purpose of redevelopment and renovation than in 2015. In 2014, 355 single family homes closed over the same period with a median price about $400,000.

In 2013, 384 homes sold with a median price about $378,000.  Median price is up about 12.5% since 2013.

Skokie downtown condo sales

We have clients looking to live near their workplace just north of Chicago.  They'd like a "walk-able" area and they don't want a house.  Skokie's downtown offers condo apartments with plenty of cultural events, restaurants and services nearby.  We were focused on the higher-end, luxury units. They can be impressive for this sometimes overlooked "urban" suburb.

In he last 12 months, 253 total condos have closed in Skokie.  The median price is about $173,000.  About 37 units sold withing a few blocks of the downtown center (Lincoln Ave and Niles Center Road) and close to the Oakton-Skokie Yellow Line.  The median price is still about $173,000. 

The highest priced condo sold in the downtown area this year is 4953 Oakton St Unit 703, Skokie, Illinois 60077 for $485,000.  Built in 2006 the spacious, contemporary three bedroom condo measures over 2400 sq/ft on one floor with a huge terrace and two garage spots included. Several two bedrooms units sold in the 4953 Oakton building in the mid $200s.

Several local joints with cafe seating give the Skokie downtown a welcoming and lively feeling.
Cafe seating in a downtown atmosphere is a must have for many of our clients

Skokie has beautiful planters throughout their downtown.

Lots of new sidewalks and benches

Several landmarks like Saint Peter's Church dot the downtown.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Portage Park, Jefferson Park sales in the affordable "Mayberry Triangle"

The little "Mayberry Triangle" of Portage Park/ Jefferson Park is full of these attractive brick bungalows with the angled, protruding roofs.
We are working with clients looking for a three or four bedroom single family home along the CTA Blue Line.  They prefer to buy lower in their budget and add their own renovations. The "all in" budget is about $500,000. The Jefferson park/ Portage Park area just east of 90/94 is a good fit.  Our clients used the name "Mayberry Triangle" to describe the distinct neighborhood boundaries.

The "Triangle" neighborhood  is boarded by 94 to the east, Montrose to the south and Milwaukee to the west. The sleepy area is technically in the Portage Park Community Area of Chicago but many refer to the area as Jefferson Park as well.  The draw is the relatively affordable brick bungalows near two Blue Lines and the Metra. Super easy to jump on the highways as well. 
Seven single family homes sold in the shaded area (above) of Portage Park, Jefferson Park from Jan 1st to October 31st.  The median price is a very attractive $225,000.  All but one of the homes are very dated and need extensive renovation. The highest sale price this year is $365,000.

Seven sales is a low amount of market activity for the density of the area and its proximity to good public transportation.  Few homes hit the market and the lower-end values were scooped up pretty quickly.

We viewed this foreclosure sale at 5008 W Wilson priced at $187,500 right after it hit the market. It was a little too much work for my folks.  It quickly went under contract with another buyer.
Ten homes closed over the same period in 2015 with a median price of about $250,000. It is rare over the past few years to see a North Side neighborhood a little down in sold units AND median price for single family homes.  The highest sale over the same period last year was $420,000. In 2014, eleven homes sold with a median price of about $331,000. The highest sale was $415,000.  The homes at the median and higher prices were renovated and move-in ready. 

The bargains were moving this year with few quality renovations hitting the market for sale.