Friday, January 19, 2018

Oak Park kills Divvy bike share program

My daughter sizing up a Divvy bike Southport Corridor, Chicago
The Village of Oak Park announced this week it is ending it's Divvy bike share service. The village board voted to strike the program based on a cost benefit analysis. 

Long live Divvy.

Pricey Hampdens condos break ground in Lincoln Park

A typical site along West Diversey Parkway east of Halsted in the past year. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Crews were out digging up the first construction phase of the Hampdens condo development in Lincoln Park yesterday. The high-end units speak to the seemingly insatiable demand for new, luxury apartments, condos and houses in Lincoln Park over the past few years. Price is no object for those looking for new, new, new near the lake!

Bob and I have worked in the Diversey/ Halsted area of Lincoln Park and Lakeview for many years with former offices on both Diversey Parkway and North Halsted. Our clients who have bought and sold in the neighborhood have benefitted from the retail and residential development.
We last took a look at the building site before the condos hit market in October 2017.  Condo prices were floated from $900,000 to $3 million at the time.

More Lincoln Park posts HERE


We are working with buyers and sellers for spring market NOW!

Our new single family home listing at 2227 W Carmen in Lincoln Square is one of few new home listings hitting the market mid January. Buyer competition for market priced homes and values will skyrocket in February. Choices will me limited so be ready!!
Snow is on the ground but spring market is here now! We have spent January working on buying and home selling plans with our clients. Now is the time to have an idea of the listing preparation needed for your home this season.  We are planning market timing, price, contractor work and moving schedules with our home sellers.

Buyers must be communicating with their mortgage brokers, landlords and real estate brokers.  In this tight and competitive housing market all buyers (cash, conventional loan, FHA buyers, 1031 Exchange) must be ready to jump on a value condo or house.  There will most likely be few options to fall in love in your budget in one calendar year. We are busy getting our clients into new and "off-market" listings after a slow fall season.

Call or email us now to find your condo, house or investment multi-unit in Chicago or the near suburbs!  We offer off-market resources as well as immediate showings to new properties hitting the market.  If you are selling we help plan and manage the work needed to prepare your home for market.  When listed we charge a low commission and are present for all showings and appointments to the home! Why pay more and get less service?


Friday, January 12, 2018

Senior housing rises on long vacant Lakeview lot

New senior housing construction on Ashland just south of Addison. (photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The huge and LONG time vacant lot on North Ashland in Lakeview is finally in development.  The community will focus on assisted living and long term memory care clients. Construction has ramped up at a new senior living development at 3535 N Ashland on the lot once home to Bert Weinman Ford.  I drove a Ford Explorer when the dealership closed and lamented the loss of my service guys at the time.  That was a loooonnggg time ago.  The lot had remained vacant for 12 years!

I have a couple clients that have recently asked about selling their regular market condos and buying a senior living condo. It is good to see more and more choices on the North Side  in recent years.  A couple communities of interest are The Martha Washington, and  The Admiral at the Lake.


Open House! 2227 W Carmen in Lincoln Square $539,900

2227 W Carmen in Lincoln Square (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and
Come out and visit me at this awesome value in Lincoln Square.  Let's talk buying or selling this spring season!
Open House
2227 W Carmen Chicago IL 60625
Saturday January 13th
12:00pm to 2:00pm

Amazing value near steps from Winnemac Park, close to CTA Brown Line, Ravenswood Metra, Mariano's LA Fitness, scores of restaurants, bars and the new Half Acre and Spiteful tap rooms in Bowmanville !!

Beautiful Winnemac Park!

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Read my real estate HOT TAKES for 2018 in Chicago Magazine

Looks nice? It is! I named Belmont-Cragin as a neighborhood to watch in 2018 (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, kale Realty)
The fine real estate and city culture writer @ajlatrace with Chicago Magazine (formerly editor of Curbed Chicago) asked me about neighborhoods to watch in 2018. READ IT HERE

My sleeper pick is Belmont-Cragin west of Logan Square. Belmont- Cragin is home to tidy blocks, solid brick houses and tons of gut rehabbing activity. In 2015, 362 single family homes sold with a median price of $195,000. In 2017, 329 homes sold with a median price of $240,000.  The quiet neighborhood is serviced by the Grand/ Cicero Metra on Milwaukee West line or Healy Station on Milwaukee North line both to downtown and easy to highways. Residents may also take advantage of cultural events, shopping and dining of downtown Oak Park nearby.

An eastern Portage Park block close to Metra and CTA Blue Line
Portage Park is my lock to get more buzz in 2018.  An eye popping 441 single family homes closed in Portage Park 2017 (compare that with popular Avondale 113 single family homes closed). 

The neighborhood still features diverse single family home options for varying budgets. You may get a tidy well cared for house at the median price of $310,000. However, the neighborhood also offers new construction in traditional, transitional and contemporary styles for those looking for larger homes with budgets in the $600s. 

Portage Park has a robust dining and entertainment scene, good performing schools and excellent Chicago Park District programs. Homes further east in Portage Park are closer to the Metra stops (Mayfair, Grayland and Irving Park) as well as CTA Blue Line (Montrose and Irving stops) and the I90/94 are desirable to commuters.

Contact us to sell and buy homes in Belmont-Cragin, Portage Park and the greater North Side Chicago and suburbs. We offer the most competitive full service broker commission rates and 20 plus years of experience in real estate transactions. Don't get ripped off!

Sold for $600K, Lincoln Square house gets tear down treatment

4411 N Damen Avenue Chicago IL 60625 zoned RS3 (single family home or two-flat). Photo via Chicago Cityscape

There are many, many tear downs around town.  Once  in awhile I see one on my Chicago Cityscape updates that catches my eye. 4411 N Damen, Chicago IL 60640 in the far south corner of Lincoln Square has been sold twice in three years and will now be torn down for development. The property listed on (our MLS) as a "drive by only, tear down" sold for $475,000 to an LLC. That company sold the property in late 2017 for $600K to PFH Homes Inc. registered in Milton, Florida. There is little information on the PFH Homes online but my guess is they will be building a significant single family home.
I drove by the 4411 N Damen property on the way to another project.  The property is one door down from Fountainhead! (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The large 40'x152' lot resides near the desirable and expensive private school Lycée Français de Chicago and Montrose CTA Brown Line. It is close to Welles Park and all the great Montrose/ Lincoln amenities. Wide lot new construction single family homes priced around $2 million have sold well due to Lincoln Square's infrastructure improvements, bustling restaurant and bar scene and great nearby public and private schools. $600,000 is a pretty good deal for such a large lot.  There is a little price discount for a property on busy Damen. I think a new build house at this location can fetch up to $1.8M.

Contact me to find great properties (some off market opportunities) in Lincoln Square and throughout Chicago.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Chicago tourism is hot! Skip downtown for a Lincoln Park bed and breakfast

Villa D' Citta at 2230 N Halsted Street, Chicago IL 60614 in Lincoln Park (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Chicago tourism is through the roof.  I stopped and snapped a picture of this stately bed and breakfast on bustling North Halsted Street in Lincoln Park last week. The "neighborhood" options to vacation outside of downtown Chicago are growing. There are many bed and breakfast / guest house lodgings embedded in the coolest Chicago neighborhoods.

Villa D' Citta is a gem of a building in the heart of Lincoln Park.  For a tip-top Chicago neighborhood location with beautiful architecture Villa D' Citta is hard to beat.  Live like we do... in vintage row houses and apartments on the best, most expensive of blocks (LOL). Fantastic local restaurants, bars (some divey!) and cultural events allow you to feel like a local while only steps away from world acclaimed Alinea smashes any downtown offering.

2200 Block of North Halsted Sales

In the past 12 months  six sales have been recorded on the 2200 Block of North Halsted in Lincoln Park. Five of those sales were at a new construction condo building at 2243 N Halsted with closing prices ranging from $1,085,000 to $1.3 million dollars. A one bedroom, one bath re-sale condo unit in a 1970s built building at 2225 N Halsted scored just $155K with a parking spot.  Nice deal for a crash pad in this location!!

Not on MLS! Lincoln Square brick bungalow for sale asking $539,900 (wow!)

2227 West Carmen is a large Chicago bungalow steps from Winnemac Park in Lincoln Square. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Sneak peek! We will list 2227 West Carmen, Chicago IL 60625 for $539,900 later this week on the MLS. It will be one of the few new single family home listings to hit the market this year in all of Lincoln Square.  BUT YOU HEARD IT FIRST HERE! Contact me now
Photos and floor-plan taken this week and then is hits the greater market.

The home has many updates including replacement windows and newer roof, boiler, hot water heater (big expenses). Main floor features expanded front living area, dining room, two bedrooms, nice kitchen (renovated over 15 years ago), full bathroom and rear sun-room. Staircase leads to usable, unfinished attic space for additional bedrooms, office or extra storage.
Updated kitchen (dog not included!)
Semi-finished basement has good ceiling height, family room, bedroom, full bathroom for extra living space. Plenty of basement storage room. Radiant heat (boiler) some wall mount/ window air conditioners. Wide 29' foot lot!!

Large deck off the kitchen/ rear sun room

Low maintenance paver patio, brick garage and garden landscaping make a super charming area to entertain.
The house is located in the Winnemac Park area of Lincoln Square and popular 1+ Rated Chappell Elementary School District. Check out the Winnemac Park Neighbors Facebook site I started The home is close to many other desirable public and private schools including The Lycée Français de Chicago, St. Matthias, Queen of Angels, North Park Elementary and 1+ Rated Amundsen High School.

This is a great house to simply move in to and slowly renovate as needed.  This is also a great price point to extensively expand for bigger budgets (I have the contractor referrals for you!).  Awesome block parties with super fun and friendly neighbors.

Winnemac Park named Chicago Reader's Best Neighborhood Park 2016
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. The house is near too much to list (but I'll list a few): Mariano's, LA Fitness, Andersonville shops and dining & the heart of Lincoln Square commercial and entertainment district. Great bus routes, Western and Damen CTA Brown Lines & Ravenswood Metra transportation!

This is an off market single family home opportunity. If you are interested in selling or buying a home in Chicago or the near suburbs contact my Kale Realty group today.
Exclusively listed by
Eric Rojas, Broker
Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Thomas Jefferson Pumping Station in Lincoln Square gets some love

The City of Chicago is preserving the structure of this pretty and important Department of Water Management building located at 2250 West Eastwood in Lincoln Square.
 From the "What's that building?" file! I snapped a picture of ongoing work at the Thomas Jefferson Pumping Station at Lincoln and Eastwood in Lincoln Square before the winter deep freeze set in.  Large chunks of the detailed façade were removed for repair and replacement. The pumping station had undergone major investment and expansion less than ten years ago.  It is good to see the City preserve architecture when so many original and attractive buildings are lost on a daily basis.

The stations generally pump water and sewage to reclamation plants for treatment and move access water from low lying areas in heavy rains along a network.  Here's a cool post on another pumping station on the North Branch from Chicago Patterns blog.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

2nd "Bad Axe Throwing" under construction at Century Shopping Centre Lakeview

The Century Shopping Centre 2828 N Clark in Lakeview is about to get edgier (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
After busting a move at LA Fitness Bob took a photo of the plastic construction bubble in the Century Shopping Centre yesterday.  It looks like construction is underway on the main floor for the second Chicago Bad Axe Throwing facility.  DNAInfo (R.I.P.) had a great run down of the company and their Chicago locations October of last year.

A construction bubble obstructs the view to the first floor of Century Shopping Centre. The Bad Axe crowds should benefit other shops and services of the mall.

Random fact! 14 single family homes closed on the first business day 2018 in Chicago

We were busy with new contracts and closings before year's end. A small handful of Chicago buyers are starting the first business day of 2018 in new houses! 
Sometimes it is fun for me to look at random sales stats. I usually learn a lot! Fourteen single family homes were recorded as closed for Tuesday January 2nd on for Chicago proper. However, after another somewhat slow fall cycle in 2017 we expect another pumped up early spring season of home sales.

The most expensive closed home on day one of 2018 was 2112 West Pensacola, Chicago IL 60618 in the North Center neighborhood for a cool (see what I did there?) $2 Million.  Lincoln Park has the second most expensive closing in a row house at 2111 N Bissell Chicago IL 60614 for $1,575,000. North Center and Lincoln Park have been the Chicago leaders in million dollar home closings in Chicago for several years.

Spring market is here! Contact us today to discuss your purchase or sale this year in Chicago and surrounding suburbs!