The $1 Million 1-Bedroom Condo: 840 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast

Nope, this million dollar 1-bedroom condo is not in Trump Tower, the Elysian or other similarly well known buildings.

840-n-lake-shore-drive.jpg

It’s in 840 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast.

The listing calls it a “little piece of Paris” as it has a balcony that overlooks the park and Lake Shore Drive/the lake.

It is not one of the small 1-bedrooms you usually see at 800 square feet but at 1800 square feet, it has a full sized dining space.

Located on the second floor, it has dark hardwood floors and a kitchen that is open to the living/dining spaces.

The kitchen has what looks like upscale stainless steel appliances (such as a Viking stove.)

I couldn’t find a prior sales price as I believe this is still developer owned.

The seller is offering a $2500 gift card to the agent who brings a buyer.

What is the market for a 1-bedroom at this price point and location?

Lisa McGuirt at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #202: 1 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1800 square feet

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price- could still be developer owned
  • Currently listed for $995,000 (plus $80,000 for 2-car tandem parking)
  • Assessments of $1501 a month (includes heat, air conditioning, doorman, parking)
  • Taxes of $9244
  • Central Air
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Bedroom: 13×12
  • Living room: 22×19
  • Kitchen: 14×13
  • Dining room: 14×13

79 Responses to “The $1 Million 1-Bedroom Condo: 840 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast”

  1. I definitely want to get to know that person that buys this place – I have several things I would love to sell him/her…… oh, and that 2500 gift card…. really?!!!

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  2. Lovely — for $500k (and even then I’d think they overpaid).

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  3. So I get to pay $1 million for the pleasure of spending $2,300 per month to live here? Anybody have a clue what a place like this would rent for?

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  4. “Anybody have a clue what a place like this would rent for?”

    no more than 5000/month (if that).

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  5. This is a really tough one to comment on. I know everyone will rail on the price…

    Unit 32A at 10 E Delaware closed on 4/21/11 for $710,000 and it is 1023 sq ft.

    The Ritz Carlton going up on Michigan across from the Crate & Barrel are asking 1.4 million for a 1462 sq ft 1 bedroom (including the balcony in square footage).

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  6. so, I don’t know!

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  7. gringozecarioca on May 10th, 2011 at 5:41 am

    on cell, so can’t see the pics, but if this is the building i think it is, i’d be contemplating 550 psf here before I would consider the same psf for the OMP property. 2nd floors gotta suck though.

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  8. So many things about this listing that I just don’t get.
    1. Assessments include tandem parking, but parking is $80,000 extra?
    2. Second floor is such a major fail in my opinion.
    3. Really doesn’t have the wow factor I expected for a million dollar place.
    4. Far cry from Paris.
    5. The GIFT CARD (query to where? Best Buy? Kohl’s? Gibsons?) to THE AGENT, no less. Is the commission insufficient? I would hate my agent if he/she grabbed a gift card in connection with my purchase of a property.

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  9. Interesting pricing strategy. I think agents will be attracted to that gift card, but would appreciate if listing agent hadn’t flagged it in MLS listing. It was easier to do these incentives prior to internet-based “open-access to potential buyers” MLS listing policies.

    At this price, a buyer could buy one or two already generously-sized units at 900/910 LSD, a well-run, well-constructed condo association, gut rehab unit(s) to incorporate high-end finishes (if not already installed), and enjoy floor-to-ceiling uninterrupted views of lakefront, and still spend less.

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  10. 900/910 doesn’t have a balcony or in unit laundry. fail

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  11. well if you had to buy a 1br, then dang it buy a 1800sf 1br!

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  12. Steal! Should sell mighty quickly.

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  13. For nearly $1M for a one-bed, I would expect MUCH better appointments.

    The (over-rated and unreliable) Viking range notwithstanding, most of the fittings, fixtures, and trim in this place are standard and boring.

    $500K max, for space and location and newer building.

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  14. Clearly written by someone who has never been to Paris. Which we all know is famous for it’s lake views.

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  15. gringozecarioca on May 10th, 2011 at 7:34 am

    “Clearly written by someone who has never been to Paris. Which we all know is famous for it’s lake views.”

    Funny… Truth is I used to run in that park all the time. Building always did give off a bit of the Paris feel to it. I think they even went for that feel in the long living room. Missing quite a bit of that 1860’s detail work though. This building always intrigued me as to how close to Paris you can get away with, in a city dominated with modern architecture.

    I don’t like the apartment, but I like, very much, the building and location.

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  16. have always admired that building on runs along the lake.

    and I like the layout of this place, although if I’m buying an 1800SF 1 bedroom I’d expect a big master….

    anyway, I’m sure there’s a buyer but I can’t see one at $995K or anywhere close. maybe in the $7s.

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  17. Maybe an interesting pricing strategy would be as follows:

    Appeal to an investor with 1 million cash to buy this place. Promise 6k/month rental for 5 years (that is a 4-4.5% net return on money – better than a CD or savings account and less risky than other investments). Then, rent the place for 4k/month for 5 years. As the developer, you may be out 120k (2k/month for 5 years) but that would be like selling for 880k which is more than what they can probably get right now. For the investor who buys it – it could work because they could park their 1 million at a set return of 4-4.5% for 5 years at which time the unit will likely be worth 1 million or more (retaining value).

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  18. ^ Total nonsense.

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  19. sorry, this place doesn’t scream million dollar condo even in 2006

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  20. formerroscoevillager on May 10th, 2011 at 8:03 am

    The numbers here are so far beyond my comprehension… I just don’t see the grandeur in the interior finishes to warrant that price, however, the sq ft is pretty nice, extra pooper is a plus then we have the second floor issue which is a minus. 80k for a TANDEM parking spot – any comps for that anywhere (other than actual Paris)?

    This could be considered a steal by someone with vastly different real estate needs and budget from mine…

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  21. The Gold coast is a unique real estate, the only other dense urban neighborhood comparable within thousands of miles is the upper west side. In NY this property would be millions. This is a steal in Chicago. I’m shocked it hasn’t sold.

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  22. Look, if you’re too poor to afford this place, then go look in another neighborhood. Here’s a vintage one bedroom, also on the second floor. It’s near public trans and I-90 and it’s less than $140,000. This is in your price range. The payment is less than $1,000 a month.

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/4126-N-Kedvale-Ave-60641/unit-203/home/12594370

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  23. gringozecarioca on May 10th, 2011 at 8:11 am

    One other nice thing. This is the exact opposite of that OMP place. There, you are setting the high comp which feels very risky. SL 550sf… No f’n way! Here you are the low price unit with no shortage of big value places in the bldg supporting you.

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  24. gringozecarioca on May 10th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    HD? someone sign into your account today?

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  25. Architect – At this price, a buyer could buy one or two already generously-sized units at 900/910 LSD, a well-run, well-constructed condo association, gut rehab unit(s) to incorporate high-end finishes (if not already installed), and enjoy floor-to-ceiling uninterrupted views of lakefront, and still spend less.

    Perhaps you have contacts that could give you great deals on materials given your profession, but an ordinary buyer could not do a gut reno of an 1800 sq foot place with high end finishes and purchase the unit for under a million. Your fees would probably be at least 20-30 K if they redesigned the floorplan. If in 900/910 they would have to redesign the floorplan to get this large of a living room with views and a washer/dryer.

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  26. $700k, with parking.

    One bed and second floor (how’s it sound out on that lovely balcony?). I always like seeing this place when driving/running along the lake. But honestly, as with most Sville locations, the location really isn’t that great. Not much to walk to, compared with the fancy residences in the Mich Ave/GC area. (The low neighborhood value I assign to Sville is mainly based upon a couple of nights spent at Prentice; walking out to get provisions/food was pretty underwhelming; the area is basically a Northwestern campus and hospital neighborhood, with the random residential tower here and there, and has all the charm of that generic financial district that appears to be destroyed at the end of Fight Club).

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  27. going going gone;

    i don’t usually guess on individual props but since the stock market is up; balancing all the theories I say it sells for 888K.



    and has all the charm of that generic financial district that appears to be destroyed at the end of Fight Club).

    “HD? someone sign into your account today?”

    “Look, if you’re too poor to afford this place, then go look in another neighborhood.”

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  28. anonny said: “(The low neighborhood value I assign to Sville is mainly based upon a couple of nights spent at Prentice; walking out to get provisions/food was pretty underwhelming; the area is basically a Northwestern campus and hospital neighborhood, with the random residential tower here and there, and has all the charm of that generic financial district that appears to be destroyed at the end of Fight Club).”

    I completely disagree with you about Streeterville — north of Chicago Avenue, that is. That part of Streeterville feels VERY much like a neighborhood and you are just blocks away from the best shopping in the city and some pretty good food, too. Maybe not the city’s best restaurants, but not too many people are eating at the city’s finest on a daily basis.

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  29. gringozecarioca on May 10th, 2011 at 8:36 am

    ” But honestly, as with most Sville locations, the location really isn’t that great.”

    I never got that same 99.4% antiseptic feel of Streeterville when I was north of Chicago Ave. Other than that, I think this place is pretty much near everything. I know the wife would be out shopping even on the coldest of days.

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  30. Maybe the person who buys unit 201 for 3.6 million will buy this too in order to create a mega unit.

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/840-N-Lake-Shore-Dr-60611/unit-201/home/12673326

    I am with David on this, I really don’t know. But if Clio thinks it is too expensive I don’t see anyone else on this site defending the price.

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  31. Make it a hotel room! Put it up on Craigs list, VRBO, and other vacation swap sites. Id suspect that you could get $250-$300 per night for 15 nights per month from April to November and 10 nights per month for December to March. That would drive the association NUTS but would also bring in around 40k per year before cleaning expenses etc.

    Perhaps It could also be rented to affluent foriegner families with a family member staying at Northwestern Memorial or Rehab Institute that will be treating for an extended time. Board would hate that as well.

    Finally a “crash pad” for flight attendants! Rent it to multiple girls who are constantly coming and going. Im sure that most of the board would hate this as well but there is always one dirty old divorced guy on the board who will support the “opportunity to meet those hot stewardesses” and yes he would still be calling them stewardesses. Too bad most of them are his age these days.

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  32. Yes, Sville north of Chicago is significantly better than south to the river, but this place is just one block over that important barrier, and all the way on LSD. I’m not saying this a “bad” location (it’s not), only that, if I’m living as a fancy Mich Ave/GC type, I’d rather be in one of the Mich Ave luxury buildings (or just east of Mich), or up on Astor/State/Dearborn between North and Scott.

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  33. HD – I agree with your take. The Realtor (TM) needs to comp this out against Central Park West addresses. Assuming $1400/sq foot (to compensate for low floor) and $200k for parking ($100k per spot), plus just a little bump to round out the numbers, this thing is a steal for any price under $2.75 million.

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  34. The Dakota this is not.

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  35. I can’t comment on the price, as this is just too high for me to take seriously. I’v also never understood the appeal of living in a high rise. High $/sqft, High assessments, & neighbors coming at you from all sides. If I had this kind of money to spend on housing per month, I would buy a SFH instead.

    Disclosure: Im a bit misanthropic and not a giant fan of heights.

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  36. I can see a wealthy single Doc going through a midlife crisis buying this place. This kind of place probably would appeal to an older divorcee looking for midlife bachelor pad.

    I don’t really like Streeterville, but some folks love it. I’d rather be up in the Gold Coast.

    There are always a few buildings in every city that command large outsized premiums. This building is one of them.

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  37. Having seen several units in this building the views on the upper floors can be quite lovely especially the west/south corner units looking at the Water Tower, Navy Pier and Trump directions. The penthouse has the nicest interior space. This unit is rather plain and a bit overpriced by 100K (and needs to include the parking.)The building has some major design issues that do not put it anything close to Belle Epoch France (looks like a cookie cannister)and I am never a fan of central placed kitchens in a formal home. The Children’s Memorial move will enliven the street seen (negatively IMO).

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  38. This is a beautiful unit, it shows that good architecture is worth the money, and if this building was instead typical, boring, tired, modernist dilettante crap, like 600 N. LSD, it would fetch less psf.

    I could see the $1 million price if the unit were higher.

    There is no place to eat around here other than Foodlife which is a ripoff.

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  39. “There is no place to eat around here other than Foodlife which is a ripoff.”

    If you are buying this unit, I don’t think you will be phazed by foodlife prices.

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  40. “If you are buying this unit, I don’t think you will be phazed by foodlife prices.”

    Not so fast. Intelligent people understand marginal utility and they don’t like getting ripped off at the margin. There was a story of a Japanese billionaire who (before digital cameras) couldn’t bear to develop film in his camera until he had used it all up first.

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  41. You know, they were going to open up a second foodlife in that Block37 space in the loop. Im not sure that’s happening any more.

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  42. “You know, they were going to open up a second foodlife in that Block37 space in the loop. Im not sure that’s happening any more.”

    Wish they would. Perhaps with its founder winning a Beard Award, they’ll go through with the plans.

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  43. chestnut street cafe is solid food. not open to dinner however.

    this part of streetrvlle is pretty quiet, an oasis from the hoards of tourists on mich ave. I dont know why anyone would prefer to live on mich ave vs here. it’s a gd cattle call of hoosiers, buckeyes and dairy staters most of the week. oh, and hs age mallrats. imo this isnt far enough away from mich ave.

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  44. IAR numbers out today and WOW they are brutal.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chibrkbus-chicago-home-sales-tumble-in-first-quarter-20110510,0,2236740.story

    Just when you think the market can’t get any worse, it does. And will continue to do so.

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  45. There is nothing about the interior of this apartment that is even remotely similar to a Parisian apartment. I sent out the link to my friends for a laugh.

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  46. @ HD, I receive bunch of MLS listing through my Realtor and almost everything in my favorite list is getting a price cut or is pulled off the market and becomes rental. The search includes SL and down town area. So cannot say I am surprised. The interesting thing is then some of the rentals pop up later on as short sales.

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  47. Those IAR numbers are quite bad. Imagine if they reported all of the data that G has. I think we are still 15% off from the bottom at this point, but it may take another 18 months to get there.

    This place may look slightly like a Paris building from the outside, but this unit is overpriced mainly because it’s on the 2nd floor right on LSD, and they are charging $80K for parking. Maybe the person above them on the 3rd floor will buy it to combine with their unit or something.

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  48. This unit is neither sophisticated nor special looking. In fact the kitchen is pretty unattractive. I would take the 3Br OMP with the fab. views over this any day. There are properties that demand a premium because of architectural significance, vintage uniqueness, amazing views or name recognition and exclusivity. I am not sure this unit meets any of the aforementioned criteria.

    “One other nice thing. This is the exact opposite of that OMP place. There, you are setting the high comp which feels very risky. SL 550sf… No f’n way! Here you are the low price unit with no shortage of big value places in the bldg supporting you.”

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  49. I would take the OMP place 10/10 times over this overpriced POS and not even think twice about it

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  50. Dave M:

    18 months to fall 15%?

    Granted ‘median’ is different than then CS index but the ‘median’ has fallen 11.7 *though the end of march*! At this pace your 15% prediction will come to fruition in July!

    “Sales of existing homes in the nine-county Chicago-area fell 9.9 percent in the first-quarter from their pace a year ago, to 12,937 homes sold, while the first-quarter median price of $155,000 was down 11.7 percent from the first three months of 2010, the Illinois Association of Realtors said Tuesday.”

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  51. Oh wait, I have reading comprehension issues….nevermind that previous post. multi-tsking = fail

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  52. BTW, on Redfin I saw a 2008 prior sale price of $1,250,000. Unless I am looking at the wrong unit, it is a bargain at the current price…lol

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  53. 15% off the $180,000 median would be $153,000, and 15% off the $250,000 median for condos would be $212,500. Sounds about right. And I’m not even going to talk about the decoupling that the luxury market has supposedly experienced. Tell that to anyone in Winnetka, Wilmette, or Park Ridge where they can’t sell their $1M+ property.

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  54. Also the RE market is totally dead right now, TOTALLY dead… I haven’t heard about anyone buying or even thinking of buying, unlike last year where all I heard was about people buying and the good deals out there

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  55. The second floor is a major drawback. I’m kind of surprised the architects/developers put units so low in the building. A lot of new high rises these days start the residential floors higher up, say around the 5th or 7th floor, and fill the space below with parking. But I guess these developers wanted to fit in as many units as possible.

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  56. Why live in a tall building if there’s no view. That’s how I feel. We used to live on a high floor in a Lincoln Park condo, and the lake and city views were the best thing the building had going. I still miss those views, and someday we will again live high up.

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  57. are you talking about when you die and go to heaven?

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  58. @sonies

    I don’t know if you mean individual people looking for a home, or a RE broker; but Im looking for a home right now. Im definitely not in a hurry though. Im taking my time and looking around. I’ll most likely buy something under 300k before the year ends.

    I worry that the current state of the market is going to encourage sellers to turtle up and try to wait it out.

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  59. Sonies, you must be living in Mars or something.

    Dan #2, there is a market for low-floor units, there are a good number of people out there who enjoy the convenience of condo living but don’t necessarily like the heights. Some people just like being closer to the ground.

    MiuMiu
    I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to get back to you on your response to my question a while back. I’m genuinely trying to understand your perspective. I think, if you genuinely want to buy, especially someone like you, who seem to have a unique taste, I think you’d have to get use to the idea that you’re not going to be able to get the both the deal of the century and that one very rare and unique building/unit that you like, and the 1000 other requirements that you probably have :) all at the same time.

    Everything has a price my dear, and as cliche as it may sound there is no free lunch. You’ll always have to pay more for unique; the only difference, is that this market allows you to pay less for unique, but you’ll still operate slightly above market.

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  60. Where are they hiding the 1800 sf? Is it all hallways and closets?

    Also, the quasi-comp driving this *may* be 1102, which sold in Dec-10 for $1.47mm. Yeah, its a 2/2 (tho set up as a 1 br), and a bit bigger at 2158, and more expensively finished, but this one is also almost 20% less psf:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/840-N-Lake-Shore-Dr-60611/unit-1102/home/12553568

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  61. I hate this building, I love the idea of the unit but hate the style, but I can assure you that there is a very good market for both this building and this unit in Chicago.

    This is like the ultimate bachelor pad or maybe a good option for someone slightly older age, who likes/needs the convenience of a condo living, but also likes the secure feeling of being on a low-floor.

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  62. Miumiu I guess La Defense is technically Paris right?! I could see this out there. Perhaps Bercy. Lol.

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  63. “quasi-comp driving this *may* be 1102…more expensively finished”

    “hand-scraped cherry countertop”

    Learn something new every day on CC, I do. (It’s also 11th floor versus 2nd, and 11 may be enough not to suck.)

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  64. Dozens of 1 bedrooms have sold in 10 e Delaware over the past 12 months for 600 even 700,000 and they run from 845 to around 1050 sq ft.

    Unit 47B in Trump, 401 N Wabash, is 1071 sq ft and closed on 5/6/11 for $655,000.

    #
    David on May 10th, 2011 at 5:38 am e

    This is a really tough one to comment on. I know everyone will rail on the price…

    Unit 32A at 10 E Delaware closed on 4/21/11 for $710,000 and it is 1023 sq ft.

    The Ritz Carlton going up on Michigan across from the Crate & Barrel are asking 1.4 million for a 1462 sq ft 1 bedroom (including the balcony in square footage).

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  65. @ Jeniffer, lmao…you might be right about La Defense even though not sure it is Paris proper, it is not a suburb either, so who know? : )
    As for Bercy, there aren’t that many apartments in 12e arrondissement but perhaps the Realtor knows something we all missed…hehe

    @ Spinoza, you are right that the more criteria one has it is harder to get a bargain but given the negative gradient of the market, I think a bit of wait and see what transpires is not a bad strategy at least for now. That being said, I have never made money in RE or anything for that matter so might as well be wrong. My forte is spending money not making it : )

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  66. lol…darn it…I cannot even count on that one.

    “are you talking about when you die and go to heaven?”

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  67. The market for $500,000+ one bedroom condos died with the housing bust, and thank God. Talk about the smallest possible segment of the market.

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  68. Miumiu the postal address for La Defense is ‘Paris La Defense’ so hard to tell.

    Actually I think most of the apartment buildings in Bercy are only 3-4 stories, you’re right.

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  69. Pete,

    Making the assumption that the market for $500K + was uniquely a phenomenon of a market in bubble is completely wrong.

    There was/is a market for brand new/high-end 1BR’s in top nhoods, and that’s why they were built in the first place,

    While it may be true that there is less of a market for them right now, and that they now cost less, they are still selling, and they are still the highest priced segment of that 1BR market.

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  70. Spinoza, it seems like you are trying to spin this one. What do you think this will sell for? You make it sound like it’s going to go for above asking price or something.

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  71. MiuMiu

    You’re just looking at the notion of “bargain” from the wrong perspective. What you will end up buying will be a bargain in comparison to the bubble market of the previous years, or in comparison to a normally operating economic cycle, not in comparison to the current market.

    This market is allowing some people to get into buildings they could not afford even in normal economic cycles, let alone the bubble, others to be in nhoods they always wanted to live, and some other people to buy the square footage they need, but could not afford until now. But, if you are not in the market for speculative purposes, i.e. investor, and you are a primary residence buyer, you’ll always be at the top of the market curve in each of these instances.

    Of course, you will never make money in real estate, because you are not listening to yourself in the first place: the primary driving force for you is not the speculative aspect, the primary driving force for you is more focused on the need/want/like factor. Of course you are market sensitive, and you should be but that is enough of a security cushion for someone like you not to over pay for what you are buying and that’s all that should matter in your case…

    I’ll offer you a simple math: If you had bought in the 4th Q.of 2010, where people were getting rates in the high 3’s in certain instances, you would have had saved yourself $30K-$40K (over 30 years)

    I’m just sayin’…

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  72. I’m hoping to live high up before I die – not afterward!

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  73. Well, afterward too if there is such a place.

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  74. gringozecarioca on May 10th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    equities just feel like they wanna run again. Residential will remain in the wheelchair.

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  75. Dave M,

    No spinning here, because I hate the unit personally, but I can definitely see a market for it. I think it would go $100K-$200K below the listed price, depending on how motivated the seller is.

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  76. Nothing says “I don’t like houseguests like a million dollar 1 bedroom.

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  77. “…where people were getting rates in the high 3’s in certain instances, you would have had saved yourself $30K-$40K (over 30 years)”

    I think a lot of people are missing this important fact.

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  78. “I can see a wealthy single Doc going through a midlife crisis buying this place. This kind of place probably would appeal to an older divorcee looking for midlife bachelor pad.”

    uhh – I don’t think so – even I am not THAT stupid!!!

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  79. Just a couple buildings over was a building taken over by investors if I recall.

    I really like this building. I haven’t been inside though.

    Driving past it on LSD all the time.

    Valid point: Nice protected views from the building

    Query point: Don’t know what 2nd floor views and noise is like.

    Silly point: Lovely Christmas lights in the winter

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