Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Under contract! Lincoln Square four-unit building sold (vacant lot still available)


5138 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com)

We recently listed and secured a contract for 5138 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 in the Lincoln Square neighborhood after one week on the market.  The contract is expected to close before the end of the year. We listed the building for $849,900. 

Take a look at more photos and listing information HERE

5130 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 asking $399,900.

For sale: 5130 N Claremont Chicago IL 60625 asking $399,900. Our vacant corner lot listing (standard size 25' x 125') adjacent the south side of the building is available. Build your dream home near Winnemac Park and in the boundaries of 1+ rated Chappell and Amundsen school districts.   More info HERE  

If you are interested in buying or selling small multi-unit buildings, houses or condos in and around Lincoln Square or other Chicago neighborhoods please contact us at erojas@kalerealty.com 

Recent Kenwood Chicago home sales


A home on South Greenwood in Kenwood (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

I took my kids for a walk around Kenwood yesterday with a stop at #44's home for a photo. It dawned on me I've taken my two older kids around a couple times but the eight and five year olds had not been to the neighborhood. My eight year old Stanley likes "mansions" so it was high time he saw THESE mansions. They had fun. 

No one was home... THANKS OBAMA

One of the few contemporary mansions in Kenwood

I use to do much more business in Kenwood/ Hyde Park in the earlier 2000s. This was a product of working with more relocation clients and the sort of heated development market of 2005-2008. That said these days I still frequent the neighborhoods after trips to 31st Street Beach, kids' sports, visiting friends or on bicycle trips down the lakefront. After looking around today I wondered how Kenwood fared in this unique roller coaster of a real estate year.

Kenwood Single Family Home Sales

Kenwood is less dense than many Chicago neighborhoods that reside close to the lakefront. Due to the extremely large parcels in the historic district (relative to the rest of the city) there are fewer single family homes. The price point varies greatly from the historic district homes south of 47th Street and the majority greystones packed a little tighter north of 47th Street.

28 Kenwood single family homes closed from January 1st to December 18th of this year. This is the lowest number of homes sold since 2014. However the median price of a sold home this year is $595,000. That's the highest median price since 2015 ($670,000).

Plenty of space for lawn darts.

The highest priced sold home is 4943 South Woodlawn, Chicago IL 60615 for $2,425,000.  In the past five years the highest priced sold home topped out at $2.75M. The lowest priced single family home sold is 4415 South Berkeley, Chicago IL 60653 for $195,000. The vintage row house style property last sold in 2018 for $135,000 (no improvements look to have been made).  Interestingly five homes sold on the 4400 Block of South Berkley block making it 18% of total Kenwood single family home sales so far this year. 

-2019, 40 single family homes closed over the same period with a median price of about $539,000. 

-2018, 46 homes sold with a median price of $565,000.

-2017, 32 homes sold with a median price of $479,000.

-2016, 32 homes sold with a median price of $580,000

-2015, 30 homes sold with a median price of $670,000

-2014, 28 homes sold with a median price of $426,500

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Large new grocery development coming to Lincoln Square

The Fifth-Third Bank building at 4800 N Western in Lincoln Square. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kaler Realty

The Fifth-Third Bank property on the northwest corner of North Western Avenue and West Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square will be redeveloped with a grocery store tenant. Rumors I've heard were confirmed by a post this week from the 40th Ward Alderman's office. The zoning allows for the re-development of the property "as of right". There would be no need for the community approval or zoning process. The developer of the project has not disclosed the specific grocery store tenant that will lease the space.

A bank drive-through and two bank parking lots are adjacent to the west of the building.

Lincoln Square has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Chicago (if home sale numbers, restaurants, schools, new development and sale prices mean anything). But the high profile corner of Lawrence and Western still has a bit of a gritty underused feel. An old Walgreens with pigeon soiled plaza, a vacant Mattress Firm storefront, the over-sized drabby bank building and vacant adjacent commercial building... and parking lots.  In fact there is a Burger King with a large, barely used surface parking lot across the street from the bank parking lots.  

Looking east over the parking lots.

Looking northeast down West Lawrence Ave.

The property has large underused parking lots in a prime location near the popular shops, restaurants and CTA Western stop of Lincoln Square. 

A legitimate concern is the affect a large chain grocery store may have on local business.  Even with several grocery options within 4 to 6 blocks of this location I feel a quality grocer would not be detrimental to local stores. Harvest Time and Gene's Sausage Shop (closest, local owned shops) have specialty products and service that keep loyal patrons coming back. Tony's Fresh Market serves a large diverse area six blocks north. The Mariano's is six blocks straight east could be affected. However it is a large corporate chain in which most people I talk to feel the quality has gone down since it was purchased by Kroger.

The new development would be just steps away from "downtown" Lincoln Square shops and restaurants.

Just a few stores of many in the main shopping plaza of Lincoln Square.

Friday, December 11, 2020

New Lakeview turf, park near Diversey golf range


I enjoyed a bike commute yesterday and stopped to take a few photos along the lakefront paths. Looking east at the new park area being developed adjacent to the Diversey Driving Range between West Barry and West Diversey. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty unless otherwise noted.

One of my favorite areas for outdoor recreation is getting better. A new turf field with lighting and an improved "natural park" area are being developed in southern Lakeview. The lakefront parks and facilities between West Barry Ave and West Diversey Parkway are really pleasant. There is work-out equipment, gravel trails, a golf driving range, tennis courts, concessions and the harbor. 

Renderings of the turf field and natural area from the 44th Ward Alderman web site

Of course the real estate along this strip of parkland and amenities is fantastic.  There is a mix vintage mid-rise and high-rise buildings overlooking the park. I took a look at sales west of North Sheridan to the lakefront and West Diversey to West Belmont. Attached condos have a relatively accessible median price of $245,000 over the last 12 months. Now, many of these are one bedroom condos with high assessments.  Over the same period the highest priced sale in these boundaries is $1,950,000 at 3030 North Lakeview Drive, Unit 202. Chicago IL 60657.

High-rise and vintage apartment homes overlook the amenities along the lakefront. They will enjoy the improved natural area... although some nearby residents complained about the new turf field with lights. Median price of a condo is $245,000 but a larger home will cost you much more in purchase price and assessments.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Washed up! Lincoln Square laundromat building near Winnemac Park looking to redevelop


4939 North Damen is currently an operating M&M Coin Laundromat

The laundromat building owner has put in a zoning change application and proposal with the 40th Ward. The redevelopment of the one story retail building would feature 12 residential units and ground floor retail. Here's a rendering of the project:

A community zoning meeting will take place today, Wednesday December 9th at 5PM

Looking north down North Damen Avenue

Popular Over Easy Cafe breakfast place building is adjacent to the north of the proposed development (separate building). 

I would like to see this development happen. I'm all for more density along North Damen Avenue to support more business and services near Winnemac Park. We've seen one or two development projects a year from 4800 North Damen to 5200 North Damen over the past decade.

New! South Loop townhouse for sale, great value at $479,900

20 West 15th Street, Unit E, Chicago IL 60605 asking $479,900.
Bright living room with wood burning fireplace looks out onto private courtyard. Willis Tower views outside your door. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com

We love this townhouse value in South Loop! 20 West 15th Street - Unit E is located in the popular Dearborn Park II development between 14th and 15th streets. It's a true walk-to-everything location. Cottontail Park is just steps away. Endless restaurants, bars and services outside your door. Four blocks from CTA Red Line, one mile from world class Museum Campus, Soldier Field, historic Prairie District, Grant Park and the amazing lakefront.  

Wide open floor-plan with true dining area.

Details include:
Two bedrooms plus large den/office (converted from 3rd bedroom).
Parking space in private courtyard
Wood burning fireplace
New bathroom vanities and lighting
Fresh paint and new carpet throughout
Private fenced in patio
In-unit washer and dryer
Fee-simple ownership with low monthly assessment for Homeowners Association
South Loop School district 

Enormous 3rd floor main bedroom with sitting area, ensuite bathroom and Willis Tower views to the north. Fresh paint and brand new carpet. 

Large brand new vanity and lighting. 

Kitchen completely renovated and opened up about four years ago. Awesome counter space, storage and walk-out patio. 

The South Loop neighborhood is full of great views, restaurants, shopping and parks. 

Miles of lakefront parks, beaches, concert venues and public facilities to get outside!

South Loop is  great neighborhood to bike around... easy to the lakefront paths.

World class art and museums outside your door.

Easy shopping with Trader Joe's, Jewel, Whole Foods, Target and small markets in every direction.

Chicago is known for its great restaurants and South Loop is no different! Eleven City Diner has been one of my favorite spots.

Pre-volleyball meal at the The Weather Mark Tavern last fall.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Sneak Peek! Pre-MLS walk through a new South Loop townhouse listing


20 West 15th Street Unit E. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com

Check out the video sneak peak walk through of our new 

South Loop townhouse listing. 

20 West 15th Street, Unit E, Chicago IL 60605 asking $489,900.

Pricing and information at erojas@kalerelaty.com

Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614

312-939-5253 - ericrojasblog.com

Legal ceiling height for Chicago basement apartments


Hopefully... very soon... this will be your dream apartment! All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com unless otherwise noted.

We're working with several buyers and sellers that are dealing with potential basement apartments. There was a lot of buzz early this year about the the introduction of a new Chicago Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance. Among other things it would make converting a basement to a legal apartment dwelling much easier. Here's an explanation of the ordinance introduced early spring. Foremost if your property is zoned RS3 or above you would not need a zoning change under the new ordinance to convert the basement to an apartment. 

As it stands... Chicago awaits the new ordinance. A property owner still needs to apply for a zoning change to create a basement dwelling.  Luckily, the Chicago building code changes have "reduced" some requirements for a legal basement unit.  Mainly the ceiling height for living spaces has been lowered six inches to 7' from 7'6".  This is helpful now... the new ordinance may be helpful in the near future.

This great article and illustration from MAPS covers the new basement dwelling code enacted last year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Pre-MLS for sale! Lincoln Square four (4) unit building and adjacent vacant lot (video!)

5138 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 asking $849,900. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com. Adjacent vacant lot for sale  $399,900

Inquiries Erojas@kalerealty.com

We'll be listing two Lincoln Square properties near Winnemac Park after the Thanksgiving holiday. Please take a look at preview video link. Photos / video of 2nd floor Unit 2.  Both properties reside in 1+ rated Chappell Elementary School and 1+ rated Amundsen High School attendance districts.

5138 North Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 for sale $849,900 
Legal four unit building in great shape on 31' x 125' lot. Terrific value add or rent as is. Unit 1, 2 and 3 all above grade. All units vacant. Each with three bedrooms, one bath with same finish level and similar condition. Radiant baseboard heat and (2) wall mounted AC units in each apartment with condenser. Basement unit is discontinued and will need gut renovation. Basement also includes storage, washer/ dryer, boiler, separate water heaters and separate electrical panels for each unit. Separate gas meters for each unit.

Unit 2 living and dining rooms

Unit 2 dining room

Unit 2 kitchen with dishwasher
Unit 2 kitchen 

Unit 2 living room

Unit 2 bathroom

Unit 2 bedroom one

Unit 2 bedroom two

Unit 2 bedroom three

Unit 2 kitchen


Backyard and covered back porches

Two car garage



5130 North Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 asking $399,900
*Zoning ordinance completed and restrictive covenant to allow 2800 sq/ft (above grade) single family home build on 25' x 125' lot.

*Current zoning RM-4.5 however only a single family home may be built on the vacant lot and the multi-unit must remain the same per restrictive covenant (i.e. if torn down only single family would be allowed). After any building permits approved for the vacant lot, properties to revert back to the uniform single family zoning RS-3 for the block per zoning ordinance approval and restrictive covenant. Public documentation of recent zoning ordinance and 40th Ward Alderman restrictive covenant available at broker discretion.

Exclusive listing by:
Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614
312.939.5253 - ericrojasblog.com erojas@kalerealty.com - kalerealty.com