This 2-Flat Is An Original Chicago Firehouse: 1357 N. Wolcott in Wicker Park

First off, the picture sucks (I know!). I didn’t realize how bad it was until hours later but by then I was in another neighborhood so we’re stuck with it for now.

But if you’re looking for unique, this original Chicago firehouse at 1357 N. Wolcott in Wicker Park is it.

The 2-flat has exposed brick and timber with the original hardwood floors.

The building also has the original beamed ceiling.

The two units are as follows:

  1. Unit #1: 1/1 rented for $1850 a month. Has C/A and in-unit washer/dryer
  2. Unit #2: 3/2 rented for $2550 a month. Has C/A and in-unit washer/dryer

There is a two car garage and a rooftop deck.

The listing says it was built in 1800 (but since the city wasn’t even founded yet- that seems doubtful). It is on a 26×69 lot.

The listing also says that “20% down & the rent positive cash flows. Note low taxes.”

Does this building make sense as an investment?

Laura Topp at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

1357 N. Wolcott: 2-flat, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car garage, no square footage listed

  • Sold in June 1989 for $155,000
  • Sold in January 1994 for $242,000
  • Sold in May 1994 for $208,000
  • Sold in May 1999 for $300,000
  • Currently listed for $789,000
  • Taxes of $7748
  • Unit #1 rented for $1850 a month
  • Unit #2: rented for $2550 a month

27 Responses to “This 2-Flat Is An Original Chicago Firehouse: 1357 N. Wolcott in Wicker Park”

  1. Awesome place! I wonder what it would take to turn it into a sfh.

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  2. Price dropped to $749,000 today.

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  3. Seems significantly overpriced based on the rents, and the rent for the first floor unit seems above-market. Probably too expensive and too difficult for a SFH conversion, too. Cool property, though.

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    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  4. Note the low taxes Cause they are goofing to go up!

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    Rating: +2 (from 6 votes)
  5. I dunno, I feel like these units won’t appeal to many people as renters since they could be renting in brand new condos for this much money! New condos are so much more convenient for a renter. Plus, older places like this are kinda ugly. How is the location? Is this plot good enough that this could be a potential tear-down? You could fit a nice, big single-family home on that lot!

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    Rating: -16 (from 22 votes)
  6. I know, how about another three flat condo building with a below grade patio!!!!

    “I dunno, I feel like these units won’t appeal to many people as renters since they could be renting in brand new condos for this much money! New condos are so much more convenient for a renter. Plus, older places like this are kinda ugly. How is the location? Is this plot good enough that this could be a potential tear-down? You could fit a nice, big single-family home on that lot!”

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  7. Where is the pole?

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    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
  8. Apparently the tenants that are paying those rents are minimalist as there are no personal items and/or furniture in any of the photos. Perhaps they meant that the units were “once rented” for those amounts! Somehow I think that the 1 bedroom for $1850 actually seems a bit of a stretch. The three bedroom for $2550 with two spots might make the cut. If the bedrooms are equal that is only $900 per person which could happen in this area.

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    Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)
  9. “Where is the pole?” Based on his comment I suspect that Mr. Lesko is smoking it…..

    “You could fit a nice, big single-family home on that lot!”

    In most areas of our city standard lots are 25×125. This listing suggests that the lot is listed as 26×69. I think that as usual you are completely uninformed on the subject.

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    Rating: +11 (from 13 votes)
  10. is the roofdeck over the garage? wasnt this place on the market in the 600s a few months ago?

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  11. ““Where is the pole?” Based on his comment I suspect that Mr. Lesko is smoking it…..”

    His mom is hiding it.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  12. Matthewlesco knows nothing about the city as he lives in Cary or Crystal Lake. That came out a few weeks back when he was carnival barking about why anyone would live in the city

    That Lot is border line worthless

    It positives well because they previously bought it for $300k

    I’m more pro cop than fire so this place does nothing for me

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  13. “The three bedroom for $2550 with two spots might make the cut. If the bedrooms are equal that is only $900 per person which could happen in this area.”

    jp3chicago- you haven’t been a renter in awhile, right?

    A nice 3-bedroom with parking/ca/washer/dryer in the unit isn’t renting to 3 single people. It’s renting to a couple (maybe even one with a child.) $2550 is totally reasonable for this neighborhood (with good public transportation.) I would have to see more pics of the 1-bedroom to see if it’s really worth $1850. But you’d be surprised what the nicer 1-bedrooms are going for. In some areas, even without parking, they are asking $2000 a month (and NOT new high rises either.) Of course- it had better have stainless steel/granite in the kitchen.

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  14. Photos show two empty apartments; perhaps “rents” are optimistic projections of listing agent. How many $800,000 two-flats can the market bear?

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  15. It’s not unheard of to use ‘old’ photos in a listing, even at this price, so the fact that the photos don’t show any evidence of tenants doesn’t mean the units aren’t rented. Personally if I was paying that much rent I’d want a nicer kitchen, the homemade concrete counter doesn’t do it for me.

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  16. “How many $800,000 two-flats can the market bear?”

    There are plenty of them.

    And yes- just because the photos show the apartments empty doesn’t mean they are. Most landlords take stock photos and use them on Craigslist every time they have an opening. It could be that they’re simply using the same ones right now.

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  17. Original purchase in 1999 was 10% $225+$45=$270 ($30k down payment, beginning of the bubble, anyone?)

    Serial refinances in ’02, ’04, ’08 and ’10 with larger and larger balances each instance, with a final mortgage of:

    “Executed Recorded Document Type Amount
    10/22/2010 12/09/2010 MORTGAGE $528,700.00”

    Not a bad run, eh? I wish I had the financial acumen to buy in Wicker Park in 1999 (wasn’t everybody at that time?) and then borrow, borrow borrow the maximum. heheheheh

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  18. “Where is the pole?” Based on his comment I suspect that Mr. Lesko is smoking it…..

    @jp3, nice try but I haven’t smoked since I was in college at MCC. And that was a loooong time ago!

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  19. lack of yard and apparent need for tuckpointing makes me think this place needs a further haircut. But with respect to rentals, this neighborhood is strangely tight on rentals now and is correspondingly expensive because of it. My condo association had three units come up for rental in the past 2 months, each was taken within 1 day for some eye popping prices.

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  20. “@jp3, nice try but I haven’t smoked since I was in college at MCC. And that was a loooong time ago!”

    Lesko – You fail to understand so many basic concepts about real estate and so many comments on this board I’m beginning to think that you are a fake poster made up by someone to increase traffic to cc.

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  21. “My condo association had three units come up for rental in the past 2 months, each was taken within 1 day for some eye popping prices.”

    This seems to be happening in many places in the City. A coworker just signed a 2 year lease on their 2BD/2BA condo that wasn’t selling. They will net $500/month for 24 months.

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  22. “You fail to understand so many basic concepts about real estate and so many comments on this board I’m beginning to think that you are a fake poster made up by someone to increase traffic to cc.”

    Who made him up? Joe Z? (ha!)

    I truly wish I HAD made up the people who post here- but, alas- I’m just not that creative and don’t have the time to think up all the crazy stuff they say.

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  23. “I’m beginning to think that you are a fake poster ”

    *beginning*??

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  24. “I’m just not that creative and don’t have the time to think up all the crazy stuff they say.”

    last night i dance around in a banana hammock jamming to The Bengal’s cover of “hazy shade of winter”.

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  25. Groove wrong wrong wrong…..

    BTW Lesko you should google smoking pole

    Sabrina – I do believe that its not u making it up. Perhaps it’s just some shy person that wants to see people respond to his or her outlandish statements. somehow I find myself missing Clio. And I really miss Westloopelo’s great and usually very insightful comments.

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  26. “And I really miss Westloopelo’s great and usually very insightful comments.”

    i think since he moved out of chicago and back to NY that his comments would have became less relevant but the length would have stayed the same. speaking of length, i guess you didnt like my previous post “Groove wrong wrong wrong…..”

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  27. Groove – here is what was wrong wrong wrong…

    It’s flipping summer! It’s more than ok to play a little Jimmy Buffett in December to jolt your body out of the dreary weather however in June July and August it is time to embrace the moment.

    The Bangals – enough said

    The banana hammock is unique fashion statement that should be best left for use in remote Eastern Europe villages and beaches.

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