2518 n lincoln

Will These Lincoln Park Condos Make Way for Luxury Apartments? 2518 N. Lincoln

Jan 15 • Lincoln Park • 1462 Views • 21 Comments

We’ve chattered about this building at 2518-2540 N. Lincoln in Lincoln Park before.

Many of you who have traveled on the Red, Brown or Purple line also would recognize the back of the building- because it’s the building with the infamous roof top tennis courts (that I’ve never seen anyone EVER playing tennis on.)

Crain’s is reporting that a developer wants to buy out the condo owners, tear down the building, and build a luxury apartment building in its place.

From Crain’s:

Mr. Baker, president of Chicago-based Baker Development Corp., said he has signed contracts to buy all the condos in Lincoln Centre, 2518-2540 N. Lincoln Ave., but declined to say how much he’s paying for them. A Baker venture already owns the retail space in the building, best known for an on-site tennis court that abuts the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line.

After razing the building, Mr. Baker said he would build 225 luxury apartments, 16,000 square feet of retail space and a 200-slot garage. The development, which would rise to 12 stories at its tallest, would cost around $80 million.

Mr. Baker said the property is unsightly and needs to come down, pushing owners to agree to move on.

“People are ready to sell,” he said.

He said the development could revitalize Lincoln Avenue, parts of which have struggled to draw in retail tenants that are choosing the Clybourn Corridor for new stores.

The project is “going to be a game-changer for turning around a street that has been in decline for so long,” Mr. Baker said. Fifty of the parking slots in the garage will be dedicated for public use, which should help draw in new retail tenants, he added.

Mr. Baker introduced the project to Lincoln Park residents Jan. 13, laying out his plans to the Wrightwood Neighbors Association.

According to Crain’s, Alderman Smith had no details about the proposal and declined to comment.

This is the second possible large scale condo building in Lincoln Park that is looking to go back to apartments (or sell out to an investor who will build apartments) we’ve chattered about in the last 6 months.

If the developer does have all the owners on board, does this project have any chance of getting off the ground?

Also, is anyone else surprised that all these condo owners are so eager to sell?

Here’s a picture of the back side of the building, taken from the other side of the El tracks.

2518 n lincoln back side

Developer plans 225-unit apartment building in Lincoln Park [Crain's Chicago Business, Micah Maidenberg, January 13, 2014]

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21 Responses to Will These Lincoln Park Condos Make Way for Luxury Apartments? 2518 N. Lincoln

  1. Vlajos says:

    I hope so.

  2. Ace says:

    This building is pretty terrible – definitely appears stuck in the ’80s. I’d be interested to know what the owners would sell for (and what size condos are in there now?)

    I don’t think this area could handle the retail that is on Clybourn – stores like C&B, West Elm, Best Buy, etc. require a parking lot. But if this and the old Children’s Memorial site get developed, I would think that some smaller retail – restaurants, etc., would move in. Who knows, though. Lincoln b/t Diversey and Belmont is surrounded by million dollar homes and can’t seem to support anything but quasi-religious organizations and an Army-Navy surplus store.

  3. Vlajos says:

    “Also, is anyone else surprised that all these condo owners are so eager to sell?”

    No, it looks like a shit building. I would be ecstatic to get out of it.

  4. sonies says:

    good riddance! although not sure how many are going to live it up in luxury next to 4 sets of busy el tracks…

  5. mh says:

    I seem to remember seeing a House Hunters where someone toured (and maybe bought?) one of these – but that was probably several years ago.
    Putting rental property in this area would make a lot of sense, but I’m not sure how well “luxury” rentals would do, unless there are far fewer drunk 20-somethings wandering around on Lincoln than there used to be.

  6. anon (tfo) says:

    ” I’m not sure how well “luxury” rentals would do”

    ‘Luxury ‘ pretty much means built/reno’d with ss appliances, stone counters and nicer bathrooms, no carpet except (maybe) in the bedroom(s), decent square footage/closets, and pricing to basically exclude (but no rules to prevent, of course) those with section 8 vouchers. It’s hardly a high standard.

    I agree that, if he’s contemplating $3 psf rents, that’s only possible in this location as student housing, which wouldn’t be ‘luxury’–actually, that’s not a terrible idea, having two ‘separate’ (ie, no shared facilities other than (maybe) the garage; obviously all part of the same complex) rental buildings, one that’s student housing, one that’s ‘luxury’. Use the student portion as part of the buffer for the el, maybe.

    That said, *anything* is better than this. And, I think that the prime example of this stretch losing to Clybourn is the departure of BW3 (whatever they call it now). And the absence of a Trader Joes (maybe the one on Diversey is too close??). Not really that many 1200 SF stores on Clybourn that would seriously consider a Lincoln location, imo, and not that many locations on Lincoln bigger than 1200 sf, vacant, and with *any* parking.

  7. anon (tfo) says:

    Most recent (open market) sale:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2520-N-Lincoln-Ave-60614/unit-404/home/12651621

    A 3/2.5 with garage spot for $320k.

  8. anon (tfo) says:

    Next most recent (and only other in past three years):

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2534-N-Lincoln-Ave-60614/unit-418/home/18221885

    $317.5k for what looks like the same basic unit, but converted to 2 bedroom, with a bigger master.

    Those two are both top floor, duplex units, and should be worth quite a bit more than the others. Seems like it’s 30 total condos, so I’d think that something less than $10m would get it done. Highest price redfin shows for any unit in the building is $410k.

  9. Pete says:

    This has got to be one of the worst condo conversions ever. I can’t believe people actually paid money for these shitboxes built on top of this terrible 1980s building. I can’t imagine any owner not wanting to sell and get out, as most people likely regret buying here.

  10. Sabrina says:

    “I agree that, if he’s contemplating $3 psf rents, that’s only possible in this location as student housing, which wouldn’t be ‘luxury’–actually, that’s not a terrible idea, having two ‘separate’ (ie, no shared facilities other than (maybe) the garage; obviously all part of the same complex) rental buildings, one that’s student housing, one that’s ‘luxury’. Use the student portion as part of the buffer for the el, maybe.”

    Why do you say that? The housing stock in Lincoln Park is awful (outside of the new buildings in Old Town). It is screaming out for new construction. They are converting that school along the El tracks south of Armitage into luxury rental lofts (keeping the original brick/windows etc.) Those will be expensive rentals. The high rise near Sono commands premium rents.

    How much do you think they’ll rent out those 4 high rises they’re going to build on the old Children’s Hospital property for? Premium rents. The condos in that new condo building along Lincoln Park are renting for a premium. Renters WANT to be in this location but they don’t want the 1910s crap buildings.

    Many condo buyers are now not buying, they are only renting. So why wouldn’t they rent in LP for $2000 a month the same way they would rent in the Loop for $2000 a month?

  11. Sabrina says:

    “Putting rental property in this area would make a lot of sense, but I’m not sure how well “luxury” rentals would do, unless there are far fewer drunk 20-somethings wandering around on Lincoln than there used to be.”

    Plenty of drunk 20-somethings wandering around River North and Streeterville where they are building thousands of apartments. Ditto for Old Town where the most expensive rental building currently sits on Wells.

    Who do you all think is renting these apartments? 40-somethings?

  12. Sabrina says:

    “good riddance! although not sure how many are going to live it up in luxury next to 4 sets of busy el tracks…”

    You mean the same busy set of El tracks where there are homes, apartment buildings, condo buildings and whatever else there for the last 100 years?

    Plenty of luxury high rises right next to the tracks in River North (in fact, they keep building them.) Of course, that’s the brown/purple only (no red line there.) But plenty busy. There are even some luxury high rises where the green, orange, brown and purple all pass by on an hourly basis. Imagine that! And what about the buildings that also abut the metra? Plenty of those high rises downtown. All “luxury” with rentals starting at $2200 a month. They’re all rented.

    I really don’t think the El or the metra are an issue for most renters (especially with today’s building capabilities where they can put in double pane windows.)

  13. Sabrina says:

    “I don’t think this area could handle the retail that is on Clybourn – stores like C&B, West Elm, Best Buy, etc. require a parking lot.”

    You’re thinking of the furniture retailers that are over there. What about the Gap, Anthropolgie, JCrew, Banana Republic, Forever 21? They’re all in the Clybourn Corridor (not sure Anthro has opened yet but it’s going in by the Whole Foods.)

    Look at Southport by the Southport brown line stop. Not a parking lot to be found but there is: Francesca’s, Gap, Athleta, Lulu, Anthropologie, Free People and more to come.

    The developer is right about Lincoln missing out on retail expansion.

  14. anon (tfo) says:

    “Why do you say that?”

    Because the location –assuming non-lincoln facing, non-el-adjacent–is maybe 50th percentile in 60614. either lincoln facing or el adjacent, maybe 35th percentile. Thus, I think that top-of-market rents aren’t realistic. 10% off (~$2.75 psf)? Sure. 20% off ($2.50)–absolutely. But the place is at best a B-minus location (in a solid-A hood, so still well above average overall).

    I’m prepared to be surprised, but I would question his ability to get a $50m construction loan based on pro forma rents of $3 in this location (for a non-student-housing project), *unless* there’s a new pipeline of foreign construction lending that I have missed so far, or if he pre-leases 100% of the retail to credit tenants at prime-Clybourn-type rents (which they would be *crazy* to pay on spec).

  15. Sabrina says:

    “Because the location –assuming non-lincoln facing, non-el-adjacent–is maybe 50th percentile in 60614. either lincoln facing or el adjacent, maybe 35th percentile. Thus, I think that top-of-market rents aren’t realistic. 10% off (~$2.75 psf)? Sure. 20% off ($2.50)–absolutely. But the place is at best a B-minus location (in a solid-A hood, so still well above average overall).”

    The developer has said he’s going to charge $2000 a month for a 900 square foot 1-bedroom. And yes- it will have “luxury” finishes. This is under what they’re getting in Old Town, of course. But it’s not exactly affordable for DePaul students either.

  16. anon (tfo) says:

    “The developer has said he’s going to charge $2000 a month for a 900 square foot 1-bedroom. ”

    So, in other words, I was right. Basically 30% less than ‘top of market’ rents.

    “not exactly affordable for DePaul students”

    1. Strawman. 2. One of the private DePaul ‘dorms’–http://www.1237west.com/ –is about $1600/month/kid for a 2 bed. Yes, many of them are 3 and 4 bedrooms, but those are still *more* per square foot than the $2000/900 sf–a 1200 sf 2 bed at the same rate as the 1-bed would be *cheaper* ($2700) than the private dorm (~$3200). 3. So, your strawman wasn’t even internally consistent.

  17. homedelete says:

    $2,000 a month is affordable for plenty of DePaul student parents. If there’s anything that I learned from attending two private colleges in the city of Chicago, it’s that there is no shortage of wealth among the upper and the upper middle classes. High costs of living are part of the package if you choose to attend a private college in Lincoln Park. Price conscious families who sent their children to college spend 2 years in community college, or go to large state schools; they aren’t fretting over expensive off campus rents. I’m sure my experiences aren’t all that much different from the rest of you on this board, but my roommates and college buddies come from families that owned car dealerships, or were physicians, other lawyers, or had what appeared to be substantial family wealth. My friends who went to state schools (Northern, ISU and UIC/UofI to some extent) tended – mostly but not all – to be the middle class type of student who was concerned about paying more than $400 per month for a room in a large house off campus, or lived completely off student loans.

  18. sonies says:

    so upwards of 50k a year to send your dumb kid to a crap school like depaul? LOL this won’t end well

  19. anon (tfo) says:

    “$2,000 a month is affordable for plenty of DePaul student parents.”

    Of course it is. There’s a reason that the ‘luxe’ student housing market has been booming. As I showed, if kids are willing to share a bedroom, it’s *cheap* compared to some other options. My freshman year (long long ago) the probably 450 sf dorm room 3 of us shared was effectively about $1500 a month, total. It’s not a big leap.

    I do agree that it is the rare u-grad kid who is getting her own 1 br apartment for $2k/month.

  20. Sabrina says:

    “$2,000 a month is affordable for plenty of DePaul student parents.”

    Sure. That’s why 85.9% of the freshman for the class of 2011-2012 applied for financial aid. There’s always the 15% who can “afford” it- right?

    Average amount of debt for the class of 2012: $28,000 (that doesn’t include their credit cards, obviously.)

  21. anon (tfo) says:

    “Sure. That’s why 85.9% of the freshman for the class of 2011-2012 applied for financial aid. There’s always the 15% who can “afford” it- right?”

    1. If you don’t apply for financial aid, you are a moron, or legitimately “rich” (ie $10m+ liquid). Even the “rich” kids should apply.
    2. 15% of DePaul U-grads (assuming even rate every year) is how many people? 16k+ undergrads, so 2400 “rich” kids–that seems like a sufficient market to think that you might find a dozen tenants from that pool. As you always say, the rental stock in LP sucks, and these kids are so rich that they didn’t apply for financial aid–they must be accustomed to *luxury*!

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