Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do you like trains? TOD underway on busy West Belmont in Lakeview

As brokers we are frequent CTA users trying to avoid our cars and traffic whenever possible.  We stopped to check out progress of the TOD off the CTA Red Line stop at Belmont.
The new development  at 937 - 945 West Belmont adjacent to the CTA Red Line Belmont station is underway.  A vintage three flat has been demolished. Curbed Chicago has some great photos and back story.  It is not clear what the purchase price for the entire property was (the property at 937 W Belmont closed for $135,000 in June 2016) but there is a mortgage recorded of $9 million for the development.  This is yet another example of replacing existing buildings with larger retail and residential developments along commercial strips on the North Side.

Image posted at the property of the (future) completed development at 937 West Belmont
The Transit Orientated Development (TOD) will have 33 rental apartment units, retail space and NO on-site parking spaces. Chicago Streets Blog has a nice primer on the expanded TOD ordinance passed in 2015.  More photos and plans of the project can be seen here (posted at the 44th Ward Alderman site).  A Stone Creek Coffee sign hangs on the fence and is expected to open spring 2018. Mmmmm images of nature while sipping coffee...

Sales on Belmont

Surprisingly, only one condo is recorded sold on the MLS over the past 12 months from 800 West Belmont to 1200 West Belmont near the new development. The 3 beds, 2 baths condo at 1109 W Belmont Ave Unit 3, Chicago, Illinois 60657 sold for $492,000 in spring earlier this year. No rented units are recorded on the MLS but there are many rental units existing over older retail buildings. A shiny new apartment building will rent well here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lincoln Park high-end new construction from 2038 - 2050 North Clark Street underway

We stopped by Lincoln Park last week to check out demo and construction progress at 2050 N Clark Street.  The 32 unit new construction building sits on an irregular angle lot. I can't find a purchase price for the property but there was a $2.6 million mortgage in 2016 and a $11 million mortgage documented at the address.

A little kid's dream... backhoe on a huge pile of dirt!
Another project a few doors down (shown above) at 2038-2040 N Clark is replacing a long time parking garage with new "$1M-$3M" condos.
This is a tony block in East Lincoln Park that has maintained sort of an old feel. Two significant new construction buildings is a fairly dramatic departure for this stretch near the Lincoln Park Zoo and the lakefront parks. It makes sense (to me) to add residential here near cultural amenities and jobs. The 2050 N Clark building will be a vast improvement over the one story commercial building it is replacing. The loss of the many spots in the parking garage development is a shock to neighbors, workers and shoppers that rely on it.  

Several condos from 1900 North Clark to 2100 North Clark have sold from $365,000 to $740,000 over the last 2 years. A beautiful row house recently sold for $1,975,000 at 1910 N Clark Street. In my estimation this location will have plenty of demand for high -end condo sales and apartment rentals.

Friday, October 13, 2017

What's up with Lincoln Square home sales? The price!

Agents like nothing more than seeing my four kids entering an open house! The familia checks out a new gut renovation  open house on the 2200 block of West Leland priced at $1,049,000.
Lincoln Square continues to be more popular than ever for home buyers.  The addition and enhancement of public and private schools, improved infrastructure and increased (and trendy) entertainment options have made palpable changes to neighborhood once slow to develop. I suspect there is a higher number of million dollar home sales than in past years as new construction homes push the envelop for this once working class enclave. Let's take a look.

Lincoln Square single family home sales
111 Lincoln Square single family homes sold so far in 2017 with a median price of about $688,000.  25 of the 111 home sales have been for over $1 million.  Three of those homes sold for over $2 million.  
New retail build-outs and infrastructure improvements have gone hand and hand with a new class of luxury builds.

In 2016, 83 single family homes sold over the same period with a median price of about $655,000. 16 of those sold homes sold for over $1 million. One of those homes sold over $2 million.

Over the same period in 2007 and 2008 at the height of the bubble a combined 17 homes sold over $1 million with the highest sale about $1.5 million.

4702 N Talman #2 only $215,000! Waters School! Open House Saturday

4702 N Talman #2, Chicago IL 60625 asking $215K
Open House 
Saturday October 14th, 12PM to 2PM

Spacious, bright east facing living room and sun room!
Check out this super located two bedrooms condo in the Ravenswood Gardens neighborhood of Lincoln Square!

Two bedrooms, one bath
Brand new stainless steel appliances
Central AC/Heat
In-unit washer and dryer
Large shared deck/ outdoor space
Steps to shops, Harvest Time grocery, bars and CTA Rockwell stop

Eat in kitchen is great for cooking and entertaining.

New appliances with breakfast bar over looking eat-in kitchen space.
Gorgeous tree-line Ravenswood Gardens location steps to everything you need!

Popular Ravenswood Gardens neighborhood in Waters School district of Lincoln Square. 1/2 block to CTA Rockwell Brown Line and all the shops of Rockwell Crossing. 2 beds, 1 bath, large shared back deck, Central Air and Heat, in unit laundry. Hardwood floors throughout. 

Living room features sun room with great east and south windows. Cool eat-in kitchen layout, tons of storage, full size pantry, breakfast bar and plenty of room for a dinning table. First bedroom features organized walk-in closet. Tasteful decorated bathroom with large jetted tub. 

Living room, east facing sun room

Eat-in kitchen
Large shared deck with table and grilling space
 Low taxes and assessment, storage in basement and well run association. Super walk-able location in great community! Check out Greater Rockwell Organization and the Lincoln Square - Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce for local events! Foodies, walk to goosefoot and Elizabeth Restaurant. 

Ravenswood Gardens neighborhood in Lincoln Square

Commercial area just a block from 4702 N Talman features Beans and Bagels, Bloom Yoga, Pizza Art Cafe, Rockwell's, 
 Ruff Haus Pets

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

OPEN HOUSE this weekend: Lincoln Square single family home now $699,000!

 4824 N Hamilton. Great opportunity for a classic Lincoln Square home with inviting porch on great block! (All house and area photos and Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
 Open House 
4824 N Hamilton Chicago IL 60614 for sale $699,000

Saturday October 14th 10:00am to 12:00pm
Sunday October 15th 11:00am to 1:00pm

Watch the video!

Check out our newest Lincoln Square single family home listing this weekend! This 3-5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths home offers classic vintage feel with modern updates. Large common living spaces, flexible space and potential to grow! 4824 N Hamilton is located steps from Winnemac Park, Ravenswood Metra, Brown Line, Giddings Plaza (and fountain!), Mariano's, dozens of restaurants, bars and more. Experience some of the best block parties and neighbors in the city!

Formal entry foyer with beautiful woodwork and arches.
Spacious living room with east facing windows.
Large living/ dining space to entertain any occasion.
Dining room wired for sound
Eat-in kitchen with lots of storage opens to the family room.
Eat in kitchen
Bright family room wired for sound

1st of three 2nd level bedrooms

2nd level full bathroom
2nd bedroom.  East facing with great closet.
Finished basement with recreation room and "en suite room" great for nanny, AirB&B, 5th bedroom or guests!
Wide 30' lot allows for great backyard and 2.5 car garage.

Just in time to catch the fall colors at Winnemac Park right down the street! (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

Exclusively listed by
Eric Rojas, Broker
Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614

New retail and restaurants line Damen Avenue near Lawrence Ave. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
Giddings Plaza along the Lincoln Avenue commercial district offers the best in city living with a small town feel.

Enjoy the vibrant location filled with parks, shops, restaurants, 
activities and great transportation options!

Friday, October 06, 2017

Fall, winter home buying tips for the motivated buyer (don't give up!)

All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
If you have flexibility and can be aggressive the fall and winter months can be a good time to buy from a price standpoint. The fall and winter months of home buying is just plain different than spring. WHY? Because the pull of the traditional spring selling/buying market is like a tractor beam from the Death Star! There are simply fewer homes listed in fall/winter than spring. Here are strategies we use for clients looking to buy a home in the fall and winter months.

1) There are less homes listed on the market than spring. This is customary and most likely traces to traditional school family schedules.  However Chicago is dynamic in buyer demographic and many buyers move very close to their current homes. We have built over many years access to "off-market" listed properties offered to Top Producing Agents, canceled listings and word of mouth "pocket-listings" to help a motivated buyer find a home.

Homes on North Greenview in Graceland West. Fall is my favorite season to view homes! All photos Eric Rojas, Kale Realty

2) Many homes hanging around the market in fall/ winter are simply over-priced. In Chicago it is typical that home buyers lay off these properties. They typically make an offer when homes are either listed at a perceived good value (they will offer close or over list price) or the home is top notch new construction. We research the home listing situation and help make aggressive, FACT BASED home purchase offers. We work on these negotiations as long as it takes.  This can result in a better purchase price (and less competition) than spring market.

One example this season is jumping on a new house listing and buying at a price $50K under  (10% under) the listing price.  We believe many other potential buyers were scared away by the initial asking price but the seller accepted our qualified offer.

3) Relocation properties pop up in fall and winter months as people take jobs to start in the New Year. We coach our clients to be ready financially and mentally to jump on a deal that pops up in the midst of the holiday season. Inventory and budget are big challenges in Chicago and we push our clients to stay ready for all opportunities.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Dogs on parade: Downtown K9 statues benefit fallen, injured police families

Bob took a few photos while heading to a showing at The Heritage.  200 German Shepard statues placed around downtown have been auctioned off in K9s for Cops event
Downtown has gone to the dogs (waka waka waka!). Check out the story behind the K9 statues all around downtown.  They are more than just cool art.  All the statues were auctioned off to benefit the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Were you a lucky winner? I am bummed that I had not checked into this auction.  These awesome artistic symbols went for reasonable prices. This event may be coming to an end but you may visit and donate at many Chicago Police Memorial Foundation events throughout the year.

New mural honors influential women at Chicago Cultural Center

Get the story on the Kerry James Marshall Mural at Chicago Cultural Center. We stopped by earlier this week to check out the progress after showings nearby. All photos Eric Rojas, Bob DePalma - Kale Realty.

"My idea was to make of the trees a kind of Forest Rushmore acknowledging the contribution of 20 women who’ve worked to shape the cultural landscape of the city, past and present.” — Kerry James Marshall

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Unique "Gallery" development under way on West Wrightwood, Lincoln Park

659 W Wrightwood, Chicago IL 60614 is a residential building being converted to a gallery.  The construction permits were granted starting back in 2014. Permits estimating over $30 million in work have been recorded. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The building addition can be seen from the side (looking southeast in this photo over the stunning custom single family home next door)
I stopped and took a look at a development long in the making on a beautiful Lincoln Park block near the Arlington-Deming District.  659 West Wrightwood is being converted from a residential building to a "cultural gallery/ museum" space (to paraphrase).  There is little (public) info I can find on what the subject of the "gallery/museum/ cultural space" of this building will be.  That is a bit surprising for a unique development in a highly desirable area.

In any case it is a bold undertaking on this mostly residential block with permits totaling over $30 million in estimated work according to public filings. I reached out to the 43rd Ward office late this afternoon and asked about the progress.  We'll see what I hear.

The facade has maintained its limestone and detail. Rare in this part of town and for such an expensive renovation!