Friday, March 27, 2020

West Ridge condo median price dips a little 1st Quarter 2020

Our most recent West Ridge listing is at 6015 N Mozart Unit 102, Chicago IL 60659 in the West Ridge neighborhood.
We have a listing back on the market in the West Ridge Community Area of the North Side. The first time we listed the unit we had lots of showings and multiple offers in the first week. Unluckily those buyers backed out due to the current virus outbreak situation.  The market has been climbing in West Ridge and the demand for nice condos in stable buildings is strong. Those priced out of Lincoln Square and/or Edgewater are turning to West Ridge to be close to amenities like parks, grocery stores, restaurants and services for less money.

West Ridge attached unit sales (condo/ townhouse)
Sixty attached units have sold from January 1st to March 26th, 2020. The median price of a sold condo is about $126,000. Median price is down about $10,000 from same period in 2019. Condos in the southeastern portion of the West Ridge Community Area tend to sell for more than in the northwest portion of the area. Since 2016 median price is up over the same period about $20,000.

Over the same period of 2019 sixty-four attached units sold with a median price of about $138,500.
Over same period of 2018 sixty-five attached units sold with a median price of about $135,000.
Going back to 2016 sixty-six units sold for a median price of only $105,000.

398 total attached units sold over 2016 with a median price of about $110,000. Three years later in 2019 about 345 attached units sold overall with a median price of about $145,000. Median price climbed about 31%

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

South Loop townhouse sales: Up and down unit sales and median price

We viewed three bedrooms townhouses this morning in peaceful, well located Dearborn Park II development of the South Loop. This particular section is across from South Loop Elementary and conjoining park.
We're all dealing with the reality of the coronavirus outbreak. However some folks have the added complication of needing to move. They may have leases coming up, home sales under contract or moving to Chicago for a new job. Most of our business is on hold while folks wait this out. We currently have some essential business to take care of while taking appropriate precautions. Additionally I'll keep posting observations to my blog and Facebook site as much as possible (when I'm not homeschooling my kids). 
Stately town homes line Jones Park in South Loop. I think most people would be surprised by the tranquil life offered in the middle of South Loop.

We have clients looking to upgrade space from their South Loop two bedroom condo. They want to keep their small family in the immediate area. The convenience to work, shopping, the lakefront and cultural events are too great a draw to jump ship! It's a good time to take a look at South Loop townhouse sales numbers in the ever evolving lakefront neighborhood.
Greater South Loop neighborhood sales area we generally monitor.  All stats based on this footprint.

South Loop Townhouse Sales
In the first three months of 2020 (January 1st to March 20th) eleven townhouses closed in South Loop. The median price is about $600,000. 320 East 18th Street was the highest priced closing at $860,000. Over the same period of 2019 thirteen townhouses closed with a median price of about $500,000.  The highest priced closing reached $1.7M with another closing at $1.5M.

There have been interesting swings in units sales and median price over the last four years. If the $600,000 holds up this year we'll see another swing back up. What's interesting there were no new town homes built over the last four years that might have explained the over $100K median price spike in 2018. Unit sales jumped to ninety-one townhouses sold in 2017 over just fifty-nine sold in 2016.

2019: Sixty-one total townhouses closed with median price of  about $530,000.
2018: Eighty-three townhouses sold with a median price of a whopping $770,000!
2017: Ninety-one townhouses closed with a median price of about $635,000.
2016: Fifty-nine townhouses closed with a median price of about $565,000

One of my favorite South Loop sight-lines... driving northbound down South Indiana Avenue!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Quick Tempel Steel sales update in Bowmanville

A gated entry to the Tempel Steel manufacturing campus. The entire 21 acre property is for sale. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I attended a Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce meeting March 11th with 40th Ward and 47th Ward Aldermen just days before social distancing and the consequent "shelter in place orders progressed. Roots Pizza hosted. We were doing elbow bumps instead of handshakes. What innocent times! We received updates on legislation and services they were focusing on and participated in a Q/A session.

The Tempel Steel site is for sale in the Bowmanville neighborhood of the 40th Ward. This is a hot development topic for surrounding North Side neighbors and businesses. Any development can have an up or down effect on surrounding property values. It would be the largest property sale in the new 40th Ward alderman's early term (and maybe the entire term) and will surely impact housing in Bowmanville and western Edgewater in some way or another.

The building stock on the 1800 Block of West Balmoral (photo above) across from Tempel Steel remain largely original. There are a handful of converted two-flats to single family homes but much less renovation and new construction activity than you's see on other residential blocks around Bowmanville.  Properties across from the current plant sell for at least a 10% discount than similar properties on fully residential blocks. 
I jotted down some of 40th Ward Alderman Vasquez comments about the prospective development:
First, the alderman stated he'd been approached about residential development. He is adamant that a zoning change application for residential must include an affordable housing component - which is expected and required. However, I took it the affordable housing component must well exceed any minimum required by the City of Chicago Affordable Requirements Ordinance. 

It could stay and industrial/ manufacturing campus "as of right". It won't necessarily be converted to a residential development.

The bottom line is there is nothing close to getting done at the time of the meeting. Any re-development would have to go through the Community Zoning Process of the 40th Ward.  Here's a past statement from Alderman Vasquez and a Block Club story on the Tempel Steel sale offering.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Aldermen debate stronger house sharing regulation

Chicago house sharing regulation may become stricter in the coming months. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I've recently subscribed to The Daily Line for Chicago City Council committee reporting.  Real estate issues are churned out in committee hearings. Developments and housing ordinances live and die in zoning, housing and economic committees.

Recently The Daily Line reported aldermen debated strengthening regulations for the Chicago Shared Housing Ordinance. The new ordinance would prohibit listing a home share on a platform before the City of Chicago approves the registration. Home share operators would have to register with the City first. Among other items the City wants to access more information about the home renters to follow up on complaints and violations. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Penthouse hoops!

A basketball hoop graces the roof deck of a condo building at the 2200 block of North Lincoln Avenue. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Hat's off to this Lincoln Park condo owner on the 2200 block of North Lincoln Avenue. I appreciate Chicagoans carving out space anywhere they can to hoop it up! A top floor unit in this building happens to be under contract.  The two beds, two and one-half baths condo at 2230 N Lincoln Avenue Unit 504 is under contract with an asking price of $750,000! Maybe the neighbors will invite the new owners over for a game of HORSE.

Monday, March 09, 2020

NEW FOR SALE: West Loop loft at 728 West Jackson, one bed, one bath 1400 sq/ft $319,900

The living room at 728 West Jackson Unit 226. 8ft tall windows, gas fireplace, amazing brick, timber and iron details. Photo virtually staged, and Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.

728 West Jackson Unit 226, Chicago IL 60661 asking $319,900. 
Deeded garage parking available for $30,000.
More photos and info here!

Wow! Enormous West Loop brick and timer 1400 sq/ft loft with 12ft ceilings! Amazing architectural details, iron and wood beams throughout. Freshly painted and new carpet. Large entry foyer and hallway with 5'x5' coat closet and greeting area. 

The Haberdasher Square lofts is one of the better known residential buildings at the doorstep of the Loop. A+ location combined with terrific management. 
The building features two common roof decks with iconic views.  Gas grills and tables provided.

Entry foyer allows for greeting area, hanging space and plenty of storage for your everyday accessories needed to take on the city. 5'x5' walk-in closet is just off the entry door (to the left in the photo).  

Loads of entry space and the fantastic gallery wall make this loft layout special.  Create your city dream loft with your art collection. Wall off an area for a study or line the wall with your extensive library.

Truly must see unique 5'x26' galley is an outstanding opportunity for artists, collectors or create a library, den / study. Open, flexible layout for living and dining, 8ft tall windows and gas fireplace. 
Fresh paint and brand new carpet accentuate the many architectural details. 

Large space and neutral decor provides a truly move-in condo.

Updated kitchen includes brand new refrigerator, new gas range and kitchen pantry. 

Refreshed kitchen with brand new refrigerator and gas range. 14'x14' bedroom with 10ft long double closet. Spacious double vanity bathroom (one sink) and IN-UNIT washer and dryer. Deeded large garage parking space available for purchase at $30K. 

Popular Haberdasher Lofts features 24/7 door staff, bright well equipped fitness room, laundry room, roof deck with iconic views, grills and tables, party room and 1/2 basketball court. Strong reserves and amazing on-site management. A+ location steps from H-Mart, Whole Foods, Greek Town, the Loop business district. Endless eating/ cultural opportunities. Close to Clinton Blue Line, Union Station and immediate 90/94 access. Two pet limit, one dog per unit. No rental restrictions great for flexibility, one year lease required. Deeded Garage available for $30,000.

Skip the gym membership! Bright and well equipped fitness room on the penthouse level.
$670.00/ month assessment includes Heat, Air Conditioning, Water, Gas, Parking, Common Insurance, Doorman, TV/Cable, Exercise Facilities, Exterior Maintenance, Scavenger, Snow Removal.

Exclusively Listed by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614
773-510-1597 -

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Quick video walk-through of West Loop loft, for sale this week

Video sneak peek! 728 West Jackson Unit 226, Chicago IL 60661 asking $319,900 plus $30K for garage parking.
View from kitchen to living room.
Deeded garage parking
In-unit washer and dryer
Storage room
Elevator building
Door person
Fitness room
Common roof deck
Meeting room
670.00 assessments include: heat, gas, cable and Internet, scavenger, common insurance and maintenance, door person, fitness room

Great rooftop deck views from today.

 Exclusively Listed by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614
773-510-1597 -

Friday, February 28, 2020

West Loop condo median price $460,000 in 2019

Views from the common roof deck at 728 West Jackson in West Loop (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty). We've started the year off spending a lot of time in the popular, red hot neighborhood.
An astounding 848 condos (attached units) sold over 2019 in the West Loop neighborhood of the Near West Side. The median price of a sold condo is about $460,000.  This puts you in solid two bedrooms, two bathrooms with a parking spot range.  890 condos sold over 2018 with a median price about $470,000.

71 condos have closed this year (January 1st to February 27th) with a median price of $415,000 so far. At the moment 175 condos are listed for sale this early spring with a median asking price of about $499,900.

We have a current renovation underway in West Loop. The one 1400 sq/ft one bedroom loft will hit the market next month.  The West Loop of my youth was know for industrial lofts and rave parties. New construction condos and top flight retail and dining are the story today.
My clients are looking for a three bedrooms unit.  Well... 167 three bedrooms units sold over 2019 with a median price of $885,000 😬

New construction condos are the real story of West loop over the past five to ten years.  Construction and prices really took off about five years ago. 

Pre- construction condos advertise "Private Elevator Residences 4&5 Bedroom + Den $1.2M to $3.3M" 

Top rate retail, services and amenities surround condos in the West Loop. I swung by the Mariano's for a ready made sandwich and quick groceries after visiting our renovation project. I had my pick of Whole Foods, Mariano's, H-Mart and various small markets all within a few blocks of my location. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

New construction officially begins on Boomer's site, Lincoln Square

The Boomer's property that sat vacant for a very long time along a growing strip of North Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty) 

Construction boom? The Boomer's property in Lincoln Square was demolished a couple months ago.  New construction permits have officially been issued this week for construction. Public info Chicago building permit #100851302 tells us a new six unit condo building with four garage spots and two outdoor parking spots will be built (one of the buildings to be completed on the lot). Boring! LOL
To keep track of building activity among a million other things check out and subscribe to

The Boomer's site is a little more high profile due to it's location and long vacant status. There is a lot of new construction activity in terms of mixed use, small multi-unit and single family homes around the neighborhood.

Over the past 24 months along the blocks of 4800 North Lincoln to 5200 North Lincoln 31 condos have been recorded as sold on our local MLS. The median price of a closed condo is about $530,000 with the top seller closing out at $603,000. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Conspicuous vacancies in Lincoln Park

The former Gamekeepers to the left closed in April of 2019 and Stanley's to the right closed in March 2018... both remain vacant.
I had some condo showings along North Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park earlier this month. What sticks most from the day is the continued vacancies of former long time occupied retail spaces.  Gamekeepers and Stanley's leave the tony corner of Lincoln, Sedgwick and Armitage a ghost town. Lincoln Avenue is much quieter these days from the lake all the way to North Halsted!

The John Barleycorn space at 658 W Belden has been vacant for six years.  The building was bought in 2014 for about $4 million dollars. Children's Memorial had been closed and moved to Streeterville affecting many nearby business. The new residential development is about complete and will help make business nearby viable again.
The completion of the large Lincoln Common development on the former Children's site should set the table for more retail business opening in the vacant spaces. 

The Mrs. Green's build out at the Webster Square development opened in 2013 and closed in 2015.  The 20,000 square foot commercial space remains vacant.

The median price of a sold condo along Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park over the past 12 months is about $305,000. The highest priced condo sale along Lincoln Avenue over the last 12 months was $1,800,000. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Slow snowy start to Lincoln Square area spring market

My block in Lincoln Square on this snowy morning. Homes in the sub-neighborhoods of Bowmanville and Winnemac Park have been been slow to come on. Many listed homes either need renovations or have been priced over $1 million.

I have clients looking to get into a Lincoln Square house. It's been a slow start for good houses in the $850,000 to one million range. Many houses in the $900s to just over one million are re-treads from the fall and/or sitting on the market. The market does not see them as priced well. We're seeing homes bought over the last five years in Lincoln Square, Edgewater and North Center now listed just over a million dollars that will have to re-sell for less. That reality can slow things up!

While new re-sale listings have dripped on the market I've noticed a healthy dose full gut renovations and new construction homes in the works around Lincoln Square.

Mortgage interest rates are low.  However low inventory and high initial asking prices combined with another whopper national election may bode for a slow year in unit sales. Currently twenty-four houses are for sale in all of Lincoln Square with an eye opening median asking price of $925,000.  Yet the median price for a sold Lincoln Square single family home is about $715,000.   Current listed homes are priced from about $400K to $3.2M. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Still holding out on Halsted: Lincoln Park condos tower over neighbor

I walked by 2509 N Halsted a couple weeks ago. The building is close to my old Rubloff office I worked in many years ago prior to the the two condo buildings being built. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We wrote about this building last year when the lot to the north was sold and the property torn down. At the time 2509 N Halsted in Lincoln Park was for sale asking $925,000. The frame multi-unit is now squeezed between two newer construction condo buildings. We see this dynamic occasionally around town but this example along a bustling strip is striking. North Halsted Street from West Fullerton to West Diversey is a mix of residential condos, bars, small retail, restaurants and a spattering of old frame buildings hanging on.

Photo taken in spring of 2019 before the six unit building rose to the north.
I don't see any recent sale records for 2509 N Halsted since the listing last year.  According to public records the current owners bought the property for $679,000 some time in 2013.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Downtown building preservation fight back in the news

I walk by the 42-46 East Superior buildings often. The property owner is entangled in a preservation fight. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Block Club has followed the story of beloved downtown buildings some preservationists and owners are looking to protect. Other owners object to landmark status as it will hurt their investment. I pass many of buildings in the Block Club story often. 
42 East Superior is the long time home to Sunnyside Up Breakfast and Brunch.
Selfishly, the buildings do make me happy to see. Some seem like "slam dunks" to preserve like 17 East Erie Street (below) while others are definitely grey area. An ordinance or zoning change that affects the the market value of your current property can be life changing! Baring health and safety issues should local government be able to change the status of a building owned for decades by a private owner?
17 East Erie owned by Richard Driehaus is part of a fifteen building list being considered for landmark status. The owner supports landmark status. I took this photo a couple winters ago when the courtyard was getting an overhaul.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Old Town: 633 West North Avenue's 261 apartments close to completion

633 North Avenue progress as seen last week. The large residential development is adjacent to the CTA Brown Line tracks. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

We've been working in Old Town and Lincoln Park early this year.  Here's a look at another large development we were watching over a year ago. We would frequent the Macello's restaurant in the former strip mall and still come to the area often for the Menomonee Club, Lurie Children's offices, Jump Zone, work etc... The residential rental development has taken full form.

261 units are near completion at North and Larrabee in Old Town. The development goes up on the former Father and Son Plaza at 609-657 West North Avenue... also former home of Marcello's Father and Son Restaurant. I went to the restaurant often for industry breakfast events. The new development address is 633 West North Avenue, Chicago IL 60610.

Report! Old Town Treasure Island property sold late last year for $14.7M

I walked by the former Treasure Island store in tony Old Town last week.  The building was recently sold and a large multi-unit development is sure to come. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

One year ago we pondered what would become of the closed and vacant Treasure Island building at 1639 N Wells Street in Old Town.  A report from the Chicago Tribune tells us the building sold rather quickly for about $14.7M (recorded in November of 2019).

Surely a large multi-unit building will be developed. Only questions will be if it is a rental or condo building and how much retail space will be included (another SoulCycle 😀).

Median price of a sold condo within a couple blocks of the Treasure Island building is an accessible $270,000. However that price will only get you a one bedroom unit with relatively high monthly assessment. Condos with two and three bedrooms sell in the $400s to $800s nearby... with proportionally high monthly assessments!

Monday, February 03, 2020

Roscoe Village single family home sales

Roscoe Village is a mix of mostly traditional style newer construction houses, small frame multi-unit apartments and a splattering of modern  house and condo construction. The modern home at the above left sold this past year for $2.7M.  All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

We recently viewed a private home listing in the Roscoe Village neighborhood or North Center.  Private listings can only be viewed by brokers with access to the MLS.  Sellers list "private" for any number of reasons including seasonal considerations or they simply do not want the home listed on the million third party sites that feed from our MLS.

The neighborhood remains one of the more desirable on the North Side due to well rated schools and outstanding dining, bars and amenities. The median price of a house is nearly $1.2M over the last year. Homes considered a value under the median price sell fast! We have to be on top of all private, pre-MLS and newly listed homes on the MLS every day to give our buyers a chance.

I lived in Roscoe Village in the 90s / early 2000s. The famous kiosk marked the diverse neighborhood of those times.  The socioeconomic demographic has changed in the last 20 years. 
Sixty-two Roscoe Village single family homes closed over 2019.  The median price for a sold home was just over $1.2M. The highest priced sold home was 3310 North Leavitt for $2,700,000. The double-lot modern dream home was built in 2008. The lowest priced house sold in Roscoe Village at 3444 North Damen sold for $432,000. It was a pretty good price for the small frame home on a standard lot bought to tear down and develop a new home.

Looking back at 2015 about fifty-seven homes sold with median price just over $1,000,000.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Looking for Edgewater single family homes (and a peek at sales)

Homes along West Edgewater Avenue last weekend. Several homes are listed for sale on the block.

I was out last weekend with our buyers looking at newer construction homes in southwestern Edgewater. We're creeping through a slow January for home new listings. I tell my motivated clients to hang in there! However a couple of the open houses we went to had tons of foot traffic despite being on the market for awhile.  I've also shown my clients Pre-MLS listings and private listings that will go on the MLS (or not) next month.

Let's take a quick look at Edgewater home sales.

2019 Edgewater single family home sales 

The Edgewater Community Area recorded 64 single family home sales over 2019.  The median price of a home sale was about $700K. The highest sale was an amazing custom renovation at 1341 W Balmoral for $2,155,000.  The least expensive home sold was 6069 N Ridge for $246,000. The small three beds, one bath home on a busy traffic stretch has a long 138' lot.

Five homes closed in the month of January of 2019.  With one more day in January 2020 (a Friday), four homes have closed. Ten homes are currently under contract and I estimate maybe two will close by tomorrow before the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Under Contract! West Ridge condo near great parks and shopping gets multiple offers

Our latest North Side Chicago listing in the West Ridge neighborhood (just northwest of Lincoln Square) went under contract over the weekend with multiple offers.  The two bedrooms, two baths newer construction home at 6015 N Mozart Unit 102, Chicago IL 60659 listed at $199,900 showed great. Buyers jumped at the value in this challenging price-point! We enjoyed preparing the condo for sale and showing the unit. The contract is now in attorney review period. More details HERE

Take a quick walk-through of the unit!

Large kitchen island overlooks the living room with gas fireplace.
 The unit had been rented for many years and needed a refresh. We brought in our contractors for painting, new carpets, buffing the floors, new appliances and changing out a few fixtures. The home looks like brand new construction!

Master bedroom with double closets and large en suite bathroom

Double vanity, jet tub and separate shower.
The walk-out terrace is off both the kitchen and master bedroom

The building is just northwest of the pricey Lincoln Square and Andersonville neighborhoods and west of Edgewater. The location is easy to many great amenities and institutions such as Northeastern Illinois University, North Park University, Swedish Covenant Hospital, Legion and River Parks, Mather High School, North Park Nature Center, Indian Boundary Park, Green Briar Park, Warren Park, Target and Wolfy's!  I94 and the North Shore communities are easily reached.

This condo unit attracted a ton of showings and multiple offers. There is a demand for value just outside of the hottest North Side neighborhood centers. Give us a call or email to buy and sell in Chicago and the near suburbs.