Thursday, September 27, 2018

De-conversion? Investor buys Lincoln Square condo building for over $2 million

A 12 unit condo building association located at 2335-2343 West Ainslie sold out to a developer in entirety. The building is getting a major remodel and will likely come back as rental apartments.
The entire corner condo building of West Ainslie and North Claremont in Lincoln Square was sold for about $2,000,000 early this year.  The building was not listed on the open market.  Rather an investor purchased each and every condo unit individually for $168,500 according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Either the association sought out a buyer or the investor approached the building after noticing individual owner's difficulty selling.  In either event it takes a 75% owner vote to make an entire condo building sale happen.

I had shown these one bedroom condo units in the past.  They are good size with a deck but I did notice the values were not coming back to what many owners had paid originally. However some owners made a good $75,000 on the investor sale due to buying the distressed properties in the building after the crash. The building is in the process of a gut renovation and the apartments will likely be rented out.

The de-conversion trend of condos back to apartments is old news to many. Often an investor/ developer will purchase all the condos in a building at a higher per/unit rate than if owners sold their condos in the open market individually.  The investor then renovates and rents out the units.  However, many owners struggling to sell their condos have not looked at this option with their condo association.

The former condo building has addresses from 2335 West Ainslie to 2343 West Ainslie. It is a great location with an easy walk to the heart of Lincoln Square and the Western Avenue CTA Brown Line.  This was a great buy for the investor, slam dunk rentals.
If you are having trouble selling your condo for a value you bought it for feel free to contact us to discuss your options.  

The building sits across from St Matthias School.  Living across from a school could be a minus for some home owners while others may like the quiet neighbor in summer months.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Old Children's Hospital garage will be shops at Lincoln Park's massive Lincoln Common

I think the additional ground floor retail and the attractive new construction office building really improves the streetscape. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The old parking garage for the former Children's Memorial Hospital gets a new look with shops, restaurants and an adjacent office building. This is a part of the Lincoln Common development I really like.  The garage structure has always been stark and unattractive. My wife used the garage when she worked on the old main campus. One good thing is the roof had great views of the Chicago Air Show practice days 😀

It's all starting to take shape now. This will be a bustling strip and the little Starbucks space across the street may not cut it!

Check out the rendering HERE

I can see the Lincoln/ Belden Starbucks currently across the street moving into one of the new commercial spaces.

Above is a photo of the elevator column before additional ground floor retail structures were added (below).

Check out the towers of Lincoln Commons below located across from the parking structure and new retail.

Here you can see West Fullerton in the foreground and the parking structure along North Lincoln Avenue to the right of the photo. The photo is taken from the challenging Lincoln/Halsted/ Fullerton intersection

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Rogers Park multi-unit sales, median price up 67% since 2014

We sold this Rogers Park two-flat earlier this year for $355,000... $5K over the asking price. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and

We recently sold a Rogers Park two-flat for an out of state client.  Rogers Park is seeing an upturn in their real estate as buyers are priced out of the Edgewater market.  Yet, those in Rogers Park get many of the same amenities from CTA access to the lakefront.

Rogers Park multi-unit sales (two-four flats) Jan 1st to Sept 21st

Eighteen two-four flats sold thus far in 2018 with a median price of $570,000.
Ten of those sales are two flats with a median price of $570,000.
Seven sales were three unit buildings with a median price about $570,000
One four unit building sold for only $312,000.  This looked more like an old frame two flat that had some small units carved out.

Over the same period in 2017, twenty-seven multi-units sold with a median price around $533,000.
In 2016, twenty-one multi-units sold with a median price of $455,000.
In 2015, twenty-seven multi-unit buildings sold with a median price of  $411,000.
Over the same period 2014, only eleven multi-units sold with a median price around $340,000.

The multi-unit segment of the Rogers Park housing market has really roared back!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Modern Ravenswood nine unit development gets permit... again

Site of the proposed 4540 North Ravenswood in December 2016 (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty).
I took a look at this proposed development site at 4540 N Ravenswood back in December 2016. A construction permit was issued in April of this year and again this week after corrections as reported by Chicago I like the modern project and would love to see lots of units in this particular location.  Wish this development was taller.  Check out the plan here

According to public records it looks like the property sold in 2009 for about $497,000 and sold again to the current owner/developer for $895,000 in 2017.  Nice play.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

You asked for it! Lincoln Square single family home sales 2018

Our listing at 5043 N Oakley in Lincoln Square asking $599,900 is under contract and pending closing in early October.
Most early mornings I walk my kids to school and then run errands around Lincoln Square. A neighbor, homeowner and friend asked me during my walk yesterday how the Lincoln Square house market is doing.  Well, here you go Tom!

Lincoln Square single family home sales 2018

From January 1st to September 14th this year, 110 single family homes have sold.  The median price of a sold house is $660,000.  The highest priced sold home is 2121 West Eastwood, Chicago IL 60625 for $1,917,000.  The new construction house features six total bedrooms, six full baths and two half-baths (eight toilets!).  5544 North California Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 for $259,000.  The two bedrooms, one bath raised ranch resides on a busy stretch in Budlong Woods area of Lincoln Square. Nice deal!

- 104 homes sold over the same period last year with a median price of about $692,000.
- Over the same period of 2016, 79 homes sold with a median price of about $655,000
- Same period 2015, 95 homes sold with a median price of $675,000
 Median price has bounced around a bit staying within $40,000 of the high point over four years.  Unit sales have generally gone up.

Check out one of our recent sales steps from Winnemac Park with some drone footage.

Single family home sales around Winnemac Park  in Lincoln Square

The residential neighborhood around Winnemac Park shown above is popular for its housing stock, community activities and transportation options. The Winnemac Park area of Lincoln Square sales have been strong (North Ravenswood to North Western and West Lawrence to West Foster). 
Tom was really asking how are home sales in OUR area doing. The Winnemac Park area of Lincoln Square sales have been strong (North Ravenswood to North Western and West Lawrence to West Foster).  From January 1st to September 14th this year, 17 single family homes have sold with a median price of $850,000 in this footprint.  

We sold this Lincoln Square home last year.  Only a couple blocks from Winnemac Park.

In all of 2017,  28 single family homes sold in the Winnemac Park sales area (shown above) with median price of $755,000.  It looks like median price in 2018 will be up for homes surrounding Winnemac Park while unit sales will be down a few. Four homes are currently under contract around the park.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Little building boom on North Clark Street in Lincoln Park asking premium prices

2050 North Clark, a 32 unit rental building, nears completion.  We last wrote about the project in 2017 after the existing building was demolished. 12 units are shown as rented on the MLS as of last week. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
2050 N Clark Street in 2017 after the existing property was demolished.
The back of the 2050 N Clark Street development on North Orleans Street.
If you live in Lincoln Park or drive through the neighborhood you know it's a construction mess! Large developments and street work everywhere.  This is true for one of my favorite areas of the city to eat and enjoy the lakefront. Two new developments are taking shape just one building apart from each other along the 2000 Block of North Clark Street in Lincoln Park. 

2050 N Clark Street  called Twenty Fifty Lincoln Park (shown above) is a fairly straight forward 32 unit luxury apartment development.  The previous structure was a 1970s looking retail structure and no great loss. 12 units are shown rented on the MLS with monthly rents ranging from a one bedroom unit for $2,650 to $5,995 for a three beds two baths unit (about 1,750 sq/ft).  Several units are shown available on their web site.

2036 N Clark Street shown above was the former Buddy's Garage building. The condo development was a little more controversial according to reports.  225 public, rent-able parking spots were eliminated. The facade of the building remains while a modern glassy addition pops up top. The DNAinfo report quotes the developer suggesting the condo building would have asking prices from about $1M to $3M per unit.  Both buildings stretch back to North Orleans.

The back side of the 2038 North Clark Street development along North Orleans. In a rare gesture both the front and back facades remain in the luxury condo development.

The North Orleans side of the 2036 N Clark development.  

Rogers Park condo sales: Median price up 100% over five years ago

Murals at the Morse CTA Red Line station. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
There is a lot to see in Rogers Park.  Murals, public art, eclectic homes, local business, parks, Loyola campus and the lake for example. You can experience various pockets of this large Chicago community area each with their own feel. However, the Rogers Park condo market was one of the worst hit on the north side after the financial crash of 2008.  With several clients looking to dip their toes in the area it's a good time to look at recent condo sales.

A new residential 50 unit apartment development nears completion at 1323 West Morse.
339 condo units (attached units including town homes) sold in 2018 so far.  The median price for a sold condo is a wallet pleasing $185,000.  The highest sold condo this year is 7631 West Eastlake Terrace, Unit 2EF for $435,000. The unit is probably the closest unit to the lake in the city!  The lowest priced sold unit is 2032 West Jarvis Unit 1B for $60,000.  The one bedroom "English Garden" unit is in move-in condition. 

A private residence features a Little Free Library and art pieces. 
The Morse CTA stop anchors northern Rogers Park. Primarily local businesses line Morse and Ravenswood. 
In 2017, 352 condos sold over the same period with a median price of  $175,000.  Go back five years to 2013 and 322 units sold with a median price of only $90,000.  Wow.  Probably some good investments to be had no?

Rogers Park Social has upped the bar game near the Morse CTA REd Line stop.

Lots of murals and charming brick roads.
The Heartland Cafe property and Lunt and Greenwood is up for sale.
Lots of vintage buildings in the RP.

Bikes and books, bikes and books...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Turtles in the North Pond Nature Sanctuary

Can you spot all the turtles in this photo? (No turtles were hurt in the taking of this picture but my feet did get wet).
My favorite benefit of living in buildings like historic The Marlborough or tony Lincoln Park 2550 in Lincoln Park is nature outside your door.  I never tire of the North Pond Nature Sanctuary wildlife and views.  Bob lives across the street and we spend a lot of time with clients in the area. We frequent Lurie Children's Hospital Outpatient Center down the block (for our kids' visits and my wife is a nursing director at Lurie).  The occasions allow us to take the kids to the North Pond Nature Sanctuary often.

I would camp out here too!
And when you've had enough of the North Pond ecosystem... go to North Pond to eat.

To buy, invest or sell Lincoln Park homes call or email me.  Check out this video of our all-time favorite Lincoln Park listings near the lakefront lagoons.

Apartment / retail development begins at huge Chase Bank site, Lincoln Square

The retail building at the corner of Lawrence and Ravenswood is one of three new construction buildings going up at the site.  A total of 166 rental units and 175 parking spots will grace the corner.   All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Construction on the corner of Ravenswood and Lawrence has ratcheted up!  This bustling intersection is home to a huge Chase Bank branch (a new bank branch will be incorporated into the development). Adjacent to the east is the Ravenswood Metra station. Across the street to the north is Mariano's and LA Fitness.  The new units can look straight into the pool LOL.  I never understood why that pool window is not frosted glass but enjoy the show I guess.

A portion of the Chase Bank building is shown behind the new corner building.  The exiting property has a large parking lot which will fill up with residential apartments.
Here's the project details with renderings.  A friend in city planning reminded me this project was approved by the Plan Commission in June of 2017.  The bank property is still open while the corner building goes up.  I really like the brick buildings (material and design) that will go up according to the plan.  Wish the Mariano's across the street would have used similar design rather than the spaceship thing.  The corner would look much warmer.

The Mariano's went with a more "contemporary" design.  I think a red brick design would have better anchored the corner among brick apartment and loft buildings. 
The new 1825 West Lawrence development will mimic the brick loft buildings, apartments, brick single family homes as well as the newly built Metra station that make the city special.

The new Metra Station has a warm red brick, classic small town center design. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sad! Heartland Cafe, Red Line Tap property in Rogers Park for sale

I stopped by the Heartland Cafe at 7000 N Glenwood in Rogers Park yesterday for a few photos and review of the surrounding area. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
There have been several high profile reports that Rogers Park institution Heartland Cafe has recently been listed for sale. I rode my bike up to Rogers Park for showings and swung by the property for some photos. Over the years I've both stopped in for coffee and taken clients here for lunch when buying or selling in the area.  Been awhile so I enjoyed the visit.

The recent owner since 2012 has enlisted a commercial broker who posted... wait for it... a Craigslist ad with "price negotiable".  Oy. It is definitely quirky this desirable lot and location is listed with a Craigslist ad with no price.  It is also posted at LoopNet with brochure HERE... but I digress.

The popular and huge outdoor seating area at West Lunt and North Glenwood.
The advertisement suggests you may buy the building with existing businesses and "own a piece of history" OR redevelop into 33 units in a transit orientated development... hmmmm. Yeah, it will be 33 units.

The property stretches back a good half block.

Mostly true. I can think of a few I would not welcome...

This wonderful "green" friendly community may lose a way of life in Rogers Park.
The property is located directly across from the CTA Morse Red Line station. The immediate area enjoys a handful of local businesses and just around the corner is the major development 1323 West Morse. The advertisement points out "The arrival of Target, launch of a 50-unit Pritzker-backed development at 1323 W. Morse Avenue, and opening of the Sheridan Road Hampton Inn are just a few of the new developments defining the neighborhood". 

CTA Morse Red Line station across the street.

I took a good look at 1323 West Morse. Construction updates from the Alderman's office located here
My suggestion is visit Heartland Cafe and Red Line Tap before they are gone. 90%
this lot will get maxed out to it's development potential. 50% chance at best the Heartland will be brought back in the new retail space.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Video! Check out the Chicago lakefront lifestyle in a Mies van der Rohe building

330 West Diversey Unit 2304 Chicago IL 60657 asking $309,900

330 West Diversey Chicago IL 60657 Unit #2304 listed at a great value price of $309,900
We listed this renovated condo at Mies Van Der Rohe's  330 West Diversey after the Labor Day weekend. Commonwealth Plaza borders the East Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods and is a fantastic place to live.  Steps from Diversey Harbor, golf, tennis, lakefront parks, trails and fantastic dining. The building itself has doorman service, dry cleaner, fitness room, pool and convenience store with good food, wine and beer options.

Open, renovated kitchen.
Really large living room and dining space with lake views.
Wake up to bright and spacious bedrooms with lake views.
Master bedroom with lakefront views and walk-in closet.
Master bath.

Second bedroom with large closet.

Second bathroom.
The unit is freshly painted with new modern baseboards for a terrific clean look. Assessment includes water, insurance, cable, Internet, heat and A/C! Parking garage on site with spots around $200 / month.  Building owners may rent out the units.  Storage space included, bike storage available for $75.00 / month.

The kitchen has been opened up to the living space for optimal entertaining.

Open, bright living space.

The large outdoor pool area is beautifully landscaped and looks out over Lincoln Park
Living at 330 West Diversey is all about lifestyle. Enjoy endless leisure and fitness activities steps from the famous Chicago lakefront. It is a really beautiful area filled with parks, restaurants, bars and every day services to make life easy.
330 West Diversey is only steps from Diversey Harbor

Endless opportunities for recreation in the park filled lakefront at your doorsteps!
Exclusively listed by
Eric Rojas, Broker
Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614