Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Renovated retail build-outs continue on Damen Ave, Lincoln Square

Retail/ office space gets a new look along growing Damen Avenue in Lincoln Square.
Business is booming on Damen Avenue in Lincoln Square. And it should. Great bus service and access to CTA Brown Line / Ravenswood Metra are great draws. The median price of a condo sale on Damen (4600 N to 5200 N) is about $495,000 whoa! Several nearby multi-unit developments will add to the residential density (people!).  Older ground level commercial spaces are getting spruced up and filled in.

New windows have been installed at 4823 N Damen and a clean, sharp looking space is being completed inside. The former home of Larsen and Sons Plumbing and Heating (also the building owner) looks primed to find a new tenant.  If you know of the business going in please send us a note.
Yesterday we posted on Milk Supply going in a little north of this location.  The response was huge on our Winnemac Park Facebook page with over 2200 looks as of this morning.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Crazy! Yak-Zies greystone building hangs on amongst Lincoln Park development

Whoa! You can barely see the Yak-Zies sign and building now mushed between a new development on West Diversey Parkway and a vintage mid-rise in Lincoln Park. The hustle bustle blocks near the lake brace for new residential units (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
We noticed construction at 508 W Diversey has reached 3 or 4 stories. As a server/ bartender in college (NEIU) I often visited the Yak-Zies on Diversey next door.  Fun Fact: Yak-Zies was the last stop of my bachelor party night. Today (and in the state I was that night), I might have trouble finding the building smashed behind a new 12 story apartment development at 508 West Diversey to the west and the historic Brewster Apartments to the east.

Vacant lot next to the Yak-Zies building a couple years ago.
A closer look at 506 West Diversey Parkway building a couple years ago.
The median price of a condo within a two block radius of Yak-Zies and the new apartment development is $269,000. This price reflects a lot of small, vintage units available in the many existing original buildings and 1960s-1970s mid-rises. Condos can get very expensive in this area. 2715 N Pine Grove Ave Unit 3, Chicago, Illinois 60614 sold recently for $1,125,000. The 1997 built duplex-penthouse condo was listed at over 3,400 sq/ft yet did not have new finish level.

 More from Lincoln Park here

Neighborhood Legend Mount Sinai Resale Shop grand re-opening on Clark Street!

Bob stops by the grand re-opening last week of a Lincoln Park institution. Photo Eric Rojas, Bob DePalma, Brokers, Kale Realty
Lincoln Park/ Lake View's long time Mount Sinai Resale Shop formerly on Diversey Park Way has moved. The store opened at their new location at 2902 N Clark Street in Lake View last week. Resale shops are a beloved staple of Chicago city life. Some, like the old location, can be a little salty or quirky.  Check out the goods of this neighborhood favorite just a few blocks north! The new store fills another long time staple Olson Rug and Flooring space. 

The old Diversey location 6,000 sq/ft is offered for for lease... $20,000 per month.

Milk Supply (A breastfeeding boutique) is coming to Damen Ave, Lincoln Square this September

Milk Supply at 4955 N Damen Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 opening next month! (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

It is always a pleasure to welcome a new business along North Damen Avenue in Lincoln Square. Milk Supply at 4955 N Damen Ave, Chicago IL 60625 is a breastfeeding supply store that will feature high quality products, advice and consultation in a one stop shop.  The owner Krista Kinsley tells me they are targeting September 9th for their opening day.

Check out their web site and story

This is a great concept for a much welcomed independent business.  Fantastic location across from Winnemac Park and close to CTA Brown Line.Congrats and we will see you in the neighborhood! ericrojasblog.com supporting breastfeeding with our first born since 2007! Remember this story Lincoln Square?

Friday, August 25, 2017

New for sale! 706 Cynthia Lane, Glendale Heights 60139... $199,900! (VIDEO)

706 Cynthia Lane, Glendale Heights 60139 asking $199,900

We took photos of our new three bedroom house listing in Glendale Heights this week and listed for sale today.  The well cared for split level has many important updates including newer windows, siding, doors, roof and kitchen. Large open living room, huge family room and lots of storage. Three beds, one and one-half baths, two and one-half car garage! Awesome deck and yard. Nazos Park two blocks away, easy to I355!

Living room (newer door and windows)
Living room/ dining room

Living room
Kitchen renovation in 2011
Kitchen opens to dining area and back deck.
Dining room
Large deck
Meet Misty the dog!

Deck and yard
Backyard. 60'x120' lot.

Exclusive right to sell:
Eric Rojas, Broker
Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland Chicago IL 60614

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Realtor on a bike easier in the city

My trusty 1998 Trek 7000 has been my city bike for almost 20 yrs!
I spent the last few days riding my bike to our showing and contractor appointments around Lincoln Square and EdgewaterWith four kids, listings and buyers in the suburbs and lots of variation in my schedule it has been more difficult to go "bike only" most days.  However the city affords me the option when available. The last three days have been car free. I wrote about riding on showings back in 2008 and organized an open house tour by bike in 2009 (when homes were a little tougher to sell!).

Lincoln Square and Edgewater are particularly easy to cycle. If my appointments are further south in Lakeview or Lincoln Park I may hit the lakefront paths. Being a career Realtor/ Broker has probably influenced me to ride around the city more than if I had a more traditional downtown job. Streetsblog Chicago and The Chainlink are go-to resources for cycling in Chicago and near burbs.

If you'd like a bike friendly Broker give us a call!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A look at downtown Oak Park luxury apartments / condos (VIDEO)... some selling for well over $750,000

High-end condo construction in Oak Park's downtown 700 W Lake Street / 147 N Euclid (photo Eric Rojas, Kale Realty)
The video below is quick look at Lake Street in Oak Park before home showings last month. The condo construction shown is called "District House" at 147 N Euclid. Broker MLS listings show the development "50%" pre-sold with units under contract from $779,900 to $899,900 (wowie wow wow). 

YoChicago has sharp video of one of the new developments along with attractive downtown footage. I've touched on the somewhat controversial recent boom in higher-end condo and apartment projects in Oak Park. New construction, especially apartments, tend to get a handful existing neighbors riled up. Common complaints are congestion (traffic!), parking (!) blocked views and shade.

New development and density certainly helps local business and tax revenue. A large urban area has to keep churning and redeveloping. It makes sense to add residences "upward" near transportation, on major arteries and near walk-able businesses (reducing the use of cars). Is there too much apartment development near Oak Park's downtown? Curbed Chicago has highlighted several recent developments.

White is the new blue for single family home construction

Recent new gut renovation in Lincoln Square goes "farmhouse" white.
We've seen several Lincoln Square new construction and gut rehab homes going with white siding. The facade color and design (sort of a nod to old  frame farmhouses) is quickly supplanting the ubiquitous blue Hardie board house.

The dark blue facade has probably had a good five year run as the most popular home exterior color.
If you were re-siding or buying new which color would you go with? White or dark blue siding?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thank you Steve Dunnett of Blueleaf Lending and Inkt Marketing for supporting Northeastern Illinois University

I'd like to thank a couple fantastic associates for their contributions to my alma mater Northeastern Illinois University right here in the city.

Steve Dunnett, Senior Mortgage Consultant with Blueleaf Lending (sdunnett@blueleaflending.com), has worked with our clients for over 10 years.  He is also very generous with his time and money. Steve regularly volunteers and donates to causes important to his clients and associates. Steve joined me as hole sponsors for this year's Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event at Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca.

The Kale Realty Team brought in well over $1,000 this event towards NEIU Chuck Kane student scholarships

Thank you Tom Labadie, owner, InktMarketing.com for the custom Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf bag for our raffle. It is a beautiful product! Inkt also made the sweet Kale Realty polo shirts for our group. Get Inkt!!  

Check out NEIU for one of the best education values in the country. See you next year!

Winnemac Park blooms AND and look at home prices

Winnemac Park from Jorndt Field (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker), Kale Realty
Neighbor and DNAInfo writer Patty Wetli shared a tour of the late summer bloom at Winnemac Park. Click Patty's story for the photo tour.

We've lived a half block off Winnemac Park for ten years now.  First in a duplex-down condo and then looked intensely for a two-flat of single family home withing the Damen/Western and Lawrence/ Foster boundaries surrounding the park (we bought a house to renovate in 2010 after a one year search).

As a Real Estate Broker I felt this area was one of the best values on the north side considering parks, transportation, retail and housing stock. It was a value and prices have skyrocketed in the last seven years.  That said there is still diverse housing and value near Winnemac Park for those looking for a comfortable city lifestyle.

Bungalows steps from Winnemac Park

Winnemac Park sales area Lawrence to Foster and Damen to Western.
Single Family Home Sales in Winnemac Park
20 single family homes have sold in the Winnemac Park area over the last 12 months.  The median price for a home sale is a robust $800,000. Read more on recent Lincoln Square single family home sales here

The paths of Winnemac Park taken this morning.
Multi-unit sales (two-four unit buildings)
13 small multi-unit buildings (two-four units) closed over the last 12 months with a median price about $500,000.

Attached unit (condo) sales
48 attached homes (condo and town house) sold in the last 12 months with a median price of $285,000

Fall Ball at Winnemac Park

As many of you now I've promoted our immediate area for many years. I've even busted other real estate brokers for using my photos of the park and nearby businesses in their own ads (they are too lazy to walk over and take a photo).   I'd like to think I was one of the first coining "the Winnemac Park neighborhood" in real estate listings.  That's up for debate! I would still like to see these boundaries of Damen to Western and Lawrence to Foster referred to as "Winnemac Park neighborhood" much like we have "Bowmanville" of Lincoln Square.

In any event... enjoy Winnemac Park!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We built a Chicago backyard basketball court with Power Court

We opted for a fairly standard court with large 10' high x 20' long "rebounder" net installed to the east.  We have a large privacy fence and forgiving neighbors to the west. The foul line and three-point line are regulation length.
We recently worked with Power Court to install a backyard basketball court at our Lincoln Square home. I have been mulling a sport court for a few years now.  The decision was not taken lightly.  We enjoyed our good sized yard with grass for many years (yes we had nice grass). However with my two oldest becoming more serious about basketball I wanted to provide a safe place to play at any time.
The before in late May. I had already moved bushes and other landscaping.
Owner Dave VanderVeen responded to my inquiry quickly and came out to walk the project.  Dave's a pretty no- nonsense guy.  The project was estimated and quoted on the spot and the "cost is the cost" (for the most part). He did work with me on the best options and accessories for my space.  The court is a plastic material with locking squares.  It is designed and attached to a permeable concrete base to stay level and prevent "bunching" or shifting.

We built the court up to our existing patio and tree.
I was able to visit another of their courts built on a standard Chicago lot (25'x125') in Lincoln Park while making my decision. Most importantly the work went mostly as planned. The water run-off mimics my original yard (this was my main concern going in). Dave and crew quickly corrected any hiccups. For instance, the hoop they suggested for the space did not have enough room in front of my garage to stand straight up.  They immediately ordered and delivered a different design to fit the space.

A dream come true!
With a slightly oversized lot at 30' x 150' we were able to get a 26' wide/ 27' long court down in front of our existing patio. It's plenty of space for even adult players to get ball handling and shooting work in.  All the kids have enjoyed riding / skating/ scooting on the surface as well as playing T-ball, soccer, mini-golf among other games. We've enjoyed the court since May.  I look forward to the kids using the court year round on any warm winter days and the spring time without all the mud.

Neighbor kids show up out of nowhere for an impromptu party in the backyard!
Contact Power Court for any of their many sport applications both residential and commercial.

Dads getting into the act.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Off market opportunity! New Lincoln Square single family home for sale $1,075,000

5122 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 offered at $1,075,000
Bob and I love finding "off market" buying opportunities for our clients. We use private top agent communities, long time networks and old fashioned neighborhood research to find "pocket" and pre-MLS listed properties for sale. I recently came across another new gut renovation in Lincoln Square offered for sale near my own home. I reached out to the developer for information.

The original frame home was in bad shape.  A developer/ broker experienced in renovations purchased the house.  I liked the choice of white siding and black trim for a modern farm house look.  The 5100 block of North Claremont is full of awesome neighbors with great gatherings and block parties year round. Winnemac Park is less than two blocks east. Walk to the heart of Lincoln Square restaurants, fests and CTA Brown Line at Western Ave. 

The home is in CPS Level 1 rated Chappell School district. Check out  Friends of Chappell doing great work to support students, teachers and administrators.

Inviting front porches line the street!
5122 N Claremont, Chicagio IL 60625 
Offered by:
Steve Porter
Owner | Managing Broker
Redefined Residential
8770 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Suite 1300
Chicago, Illinois 60631
PRE-MLS for sale $1,075,000

Details from the Broker:
Lincoln Square Well-appointed New Renovation on a 30 X 125 Lot. Offering 4 Bedroom / 3.1 Baths this Home Features a Thoughtful Modern Floor Plan, Professionally Designed Finishes and Space Utilization for Improved Livability. The Main Floor Offers Dramatic 10 Ft Ceilings, Impeccable Finishes, Custom Millwork Package and 5" Hardwood Floors Throughout 1st & 2nd Floors and Mudroom w/ Built-ins. Gorgeous Chef's Kitchen w/ Top Of The Line Appliances, Designer Lighting, 9 Ft Island, Large Walk-in Pantry and Breakfast Area. Master Suite w/ Spa Bath, Heated Floors, Standalone Soaking Tub and Dual Walk-In-Closets. 2nd Floor also Has 9 Ft Ceilings and Laundry Room. Lower Level w / Rec Room and 4th Bedroom, Plus Separate Storage Room. Huge 3rd Floor  Rec Room / Home Office w/ Access To Roof Deck. Dual Zoned Climate Control, Wired For Internet and Security System. Floor Plan is Perfect For Everyday Living and Entertaining. Easy Access to El and Park. Professionally Landscaped w/ Patio, Fenced Backyard, 2.5 Car Garage.
Still Time to Pick Some Finishes...
Completion Date: End Sept

Contact me to show this home or to find your next property including listed, short-sale, foreclosure and "off-market" opportunities!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

See the real Chicago from Ray's Bucktown B&B

Charm galore at Ray's Bucktown B&B. A quirky, eye catching group of buildings in Bucktown (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Ray's Bucktown B&B is located at 2144 N Leavitt a block or so away from one of our condo listings (2047 N Leavitt)  It's long been one of my favorite looking businesses in the neighborhood. Very original Bucktown in style and spirit.  Check out the well rated bed and breakfast and skip the downtown hotels!

Ray's has spruced up the block with lots of green!

This is an awesome location to live and visit. A great mix of people and properties... both residential in feel and a little hustle bustle to boot!

On The Route Bicycles in Lincoln Square delivers again on service and products

On the Route Bicycles located at 2338 W Lawrence Chicago IL 60625
Ugh! I am no stranger at On The Route Bicycles with my various mystery flats and equipment needs for a big family. I visited recently after tearing yet another tire valve (have since bought a better hand pump and an adapter for my Presta valve). The Lincoln Square location is a few blocks from my house and a couple blocks from the CTA Western Brown Line stop for those further out.

The staff is great in evaluating user issues and offering solutions. The owner has also contributed to local fundraisers. The store is everything you could ask for in a local business part of a charming neighborhood downtown. Thanks again for keeping my 1998 Trek 7000 on the route!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Sold! Edgewater town house sells $6K over list price in multi-offer

5320 N Kenmore Unit T, Chicago IL 60640 just closed for $375,000
Our blog posts have been light lately but we've been busy with many buyers and sellers closing their deals as we get into late summer. Our clients just closed 5320 N Kenmore Unit T on Friday.

Take the video tour of our attractive Edgewater town house sale located close to Foster Beach and the CTA Red Line at Berwyn. Corner unit, garage parking, tasteful finish level and great bathrooms! The property was listed at $369,900 and sold after the first weekend of open houses for $375,000.

Congrats to our clients on their sale and "move-up" single family house purchase! We enjoyed aggressively researching any opportunity in this tight single family home market on the North Side of Chicago.

Call or email us to buy and sell in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs! We love what we do and it shows!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Sales at the Marlborough building Lincoln Park

We viewed the Marlborough building Thursday morning at the corner of Deming and Lakeview in Lincoln Park. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
We took a look at units sales at the attractive and A++ location Marlborough building at 400 West Deming, Chicago IL 60614 in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.  There are only a handful of sales of the 106 units each year in the vintage building across from the park and North Pond Nature Sanctuary.  If you enjoy strolling in the park, running, boating, golfing, playgrounds or cycling (not to mention dining at North Pond restaurant and nearby cultural events) this is a location for you!

The courtyard entrance on the Deming side
Five units have sold in the Marlborough in the last 12 months.  One studio and three one bedroom units have sold. One two bedroom unit sold. The median price of a unit is only $177,000 with the one bedroom units averaging around 700 sq/ft.  A studio unit sold for $115,000 needing a significant renovation.  

The highest sale in the last 12 months is a two bedrooms unit 400 W Deming Pl Unit 6J, Chicago, Illinois 60614 for $286,000. The unit comes with a hefty $814.00 assessment that includes  heat, water, gas, common Insurance, security, exterior maintenance, landscaping, on-site engineer and elevators. Coin laundry is on site.

Photo looking over North Pond (Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Our clients in the building have told us the in-house maintenance staff and management is all over issues quickly.  The grounds, lobby and hallways always look great.

The "little" Marlborough in the center. Park front living!!

Four condos are currently for sale at Marlborough. All are one bedroom units priced from $199,000 to $260,000.