We Love Authentic Lofts: Get 3500 Square Feet in Printers Row at 727 S. Dearborn

727 s dearborn approved #1

This 2-bedroom brick and concrete loft in the Donohue Annex at 727 S. Dearborn in Printers Row came on the market in April 2014.

We’ve chattered about the Annex several times before. It’s the southern most part of the Donohue loft building.

Built in 1883, the Annex has 10.5 foot concrete ceilings (not timber like in the other part of the Donohue) and it still has one of the original building elevators.

The Donohue was one of the first original loft conversion condo buildings in the city.

This unit is a massive 3500 square foot southwest corner unit with city views.

It has floor to ceiling windows and a wide open living/dining and kitchen space.

The kitchen has terracotta floors with a large kitchen island and wine fridge. It has Subzero appliances.

There’s a circular library and one of the bathrooms has a claw foot tub (check out the pictures.)

It is a live/work space so there are some at-home businesses in the building as well as just some businesses (which is why there are desks in the pictures with this unit.)

There’s a washer/dryer hook-up in the unit, central air but no parking. There is leased parking nearby or some buy parking in the Plymouth building across the street.

The listing says it’s in the South Loop Elementary school district.

Since April, it has reduced $46,000 to $849,000.

Who has the vision to turn this loft into their dream home?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #812: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3500 square feet

  • Sold in July 1991 for $380,000
  • Sold in October 1999 for $475,000
  • Sold in July 2000 for $562,000
  • Sold in July 2003 for $718,000
  • Originally listed in April 2014 for $895,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $849,000
  • Assessments of $1801 a month (includes heat, cable)
  • Taxes of $10,998
  • No parking- leased for $200 a month in the neighborhood
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer hook-ups in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×26
  • Bedroom #2: 10×14

 

39 Responses to “We Love Authentic Lofts: Get 3500 Square Feet in Printers Row at 727 S. Dearborn”

  1. Interesting, but lots of drawbacks here and a short list of people who are looking for a place like this. “Minimalist startup loft” is not too hot in Chicago (although I like it) and when it is they’re going to expect updated finishes, residential building, parking, etc. A few hundred k turns this into a killer bachelor pad or retired couple’s place, but not that many people looking for those want a massive loft costing you $3k per month before the mortgage. I’d like to see floor plans on a listing like this. The South Loop is tough to make money in, this one is listed well under the real 2003 price. I think that a sale price is maybe in the high 7s, but it may take a so-called “drama” price reduction in order to move it before the winter.

    Assessments seem unreasonable to me, probably the heating cost is crazy for a building like this without much insulation.

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  2. ” A few hundred k turns this into a killer bachelor pad or retired couple’s place”

    That’s funny you say that because my research of the mortgage holder shows it’s actually the latter…

    It is a cool place though…

    somebody please cue the chorus to scream “this is a great place for a family, lot of room, south loop elementary….”

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  3. check out the floorplan, quite the wierd layout

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  4. oh the floorplan is a link you can click on the right side of the listing sabrina linked

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  5. Interesting space, but the views are nothing to write home about.
    I beg to differ on the comment that SL is hard to make money in.
    It is hard to make a money everywhere if you bought at the height of the market.
    SL is no different. Many of those who bought after 2009 or way earlier than the bubble hit, can make money at SL.
    Check the units at Grant(aka MSP West) and what they are selling for. There was a time one could have bought a north-facing 2BR there for 700K and now they sell at 900K.
    In fact, because SL is up and coming neighborhood (loads of new retails, movie theatre, restaurants, etc…as well as great location IMHO), it is more likely to make money there.

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  6. This isn’t getting feelers at under the 2003 price, which was well before the height of the market. This is the South Loop. Some new luxury high rise 40th floor unit that a few people have managed to flip for a profit in the first sale since it was built is not really the same market as most of the South Loop. Anyway, you didn’t do it – you’re saying that someone did, someone who was willing to pony up $700k at a time when the floor was falling out and you couldn’t get approved for financing, and now they’ve made money. Sounds pretty hard to me. Of course, if they really wanted to make money, they could have put that $700k to work in the markets, even in a few boring and stable broad stock index funds they would have doubled their money – now that is easy.

    South Loop in general sucks from an appreciation perspective, the housing stock is old and the conversions are old and the assessments are high. Long history of oversupply and distressed units. You have to want to live there because you like it and not because you are trying to get rich from your house.

    WHOA, now multiplication in the CAPTCHA?

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  7. On first blush, I don’t even see any flips at “South Loop Luxury by Related presents The Grant” – all the developer trying to sell units that have never been sold, and been on and off the market for 6 years, current list prices about 10-30% (real) off of the 2006 prices.

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  8. Wow,
    Miumiu.. long time.

    So has deux deux played his first recital yet?

    Anon,
    Do you think there would be a PC issue to create a Bobbo SWPL inflation index, in memory of him?

    Ok.. six * X = 48 ??? I think you set the international spam detection to extra hard…

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  9. “Do you think there would be a PC issue to create a Bobbo SWPL inflation index, in memory of him?”

    Do I think that there is a PC issue with mocking UMC+ (and strivers, etc to that) *white* people? Other than having certain ‘sensitive types’ (iykwim) complain about how unfair it is that you are making fun of white people but they “can’t” make fun of [________]? No I think it’s safe from the PC police.

    Now, based on experience here, if the gist is to make fun of folks (like bob) from the hollow, you *must* be careful about using the compound word combining the word for a thing smaller than a mountain, and a nickname for the 42d POTUS. *That* will get you deleted round these parts.

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  10. hmmmm…..I think there are very few buyers (and none of them educated, sensible people) who would want to live here. If I was the seller, I would spend a little money to make it a lot sexier to appeal to the few people out there who might buy it (spoiled “artist” kid of a multimillionaire, nouveau riche bachelor).

    Even if you have the cash to buy the place without a mortgage, you still will need about 3500 to pay assessments, tax, utilities. If you need a mortgage and only have 20% to pay as a down payment, you will need to shell out 170,000 for the opportunity to pay 6500/month (everything included) to live there. For that amount you can rent a much nicer place and have the freedom to move whenever you want!

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  11. Hi Ze, long time indeed : )

    @JJJ, I am not sure I understand your post. This is listed way above the 2003 price.
    As for SL sales, why not put 60605 in redfin for the zipcode and check the recent sales. I am amazed how high stuff are selling. Sure Grant is new, but there are many flips that are selling pretty well albeit below the bubble prices, but this is true everywhere.
    As for getting rich by living somewhere, I think this is not going to happen almost anywhere unless we hit another bubble or if some neighborhood gentrifies drastically.
    f

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  12. Here are some pretty decent resales:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1478-S-Prairie-Ave-60605/unit-K/home/14083807

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1235-S-Prairie-Ave-APT-3105-Chicago-IL-60605/87705716_zpid/

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/100-E-14th-St-APT-2508-Chicago-IL-60605/99358148_zpid/

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1235-S-Prairie-Ave-APT-2607-Chicago-IL-60605/87701538_zpid/

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  13. $652k –> $710k = $58k over 9 years, that’s losing money on a real basis.

    $530.5k –> $560.5k = $30k over 8 years, same thing

    $295k –> $320k = $25k over 5 years, TURRIBLE.

    I can’t see the last one. This is not making money. This is losing real money, and real money is what matters.

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  14. “As for getting rich by living somewhere, I think this is not going to happen almost anywhere unless we hit another bubble or if some neighborhood gentrifies drastically.”

    Ain’t that the truth. I always find it curious when someone claims to have actually made real money when they do sell their place. We’re expected to believe that they put a dollar in the slot machine and receiving five back. That simple. But somehow the years of paying for property taxes, assessments/special assessments, repairs, renovations, the interest on your mortgage, brokers/lawyer fees, transfer taxes, moving costs, insurance, utilities, capital gains, furniture that’s worthless now, on and on, is money that doesn’t really count. You may have made money on the actual structure itself, but that’s about it. So say you made $200K after all is said and done. That’s a respectable amount of money, but can you retire on the interest that $200K yields?

    Sure there are flippers who make money, the common farmer who sold some land to a developer and made money, the person who bought a house in the West Village 40 years ago and made a few million after expenses, but for the *vast* majority of regular Americans regardless of where they live, you’ll be lucky to break even, and that’s counting every penny you ever shelled out to keep a roof over your head, when you sell. And then what? You’ll need another place to live. It’s deceptive and endless.

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  15. there’s a huge difference between buying a place to live, and buying an investment… usually they are mutually exclusive except during exceptional times such as the bubble years

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  16. As I have always said, the groove loves him some authentic chicago lofts.

    Still at 850k it’s a bit high

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  17. “there’s a huge difference between buying a place to live, and buying an investment”

    Well, sure, but there’s still a spectrum of buying real estate to live in from “I don’t care what the financial outcome is, I just want to live exactly where I want” Kennedy Castle type places to “investment quality is the most important factor for where I live.” You can still buy a place to live in with an eye towards it being a not unreasonable place to park your down payment and incur the obligation to repay the rest of the purchase price and the other required obligations. This all started with my statement that the South Loop is a hard place to make money, and the “exceptions” cited prove the rule.

    How common is it that a place in Lincoln Park that isn’t a run down teardown cost $720k nominal in 2003 and can’t sell for $800k nominal today? I would guess that places like this are more common: https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2630-N-Greenview-Ave-60614/home/13362474 . Doubled their purchase price in 10 years – Even with the TURRIBLE CG pictures. And it’s in GASP FAR WEST Lincoln Park.

    Actually, I will concede on this point and buy a round* at the next meetup if anyone can actually find a pair of market sales, ten years or more apart, in another good neighborhood, where over 04 or before to now, the seller of a nice place in this price range, that wasn’t all screwed up, couldn’t get their purchase price back.

    * Not of good stuff, calls or standard beer and wine, because I might lose this one. But I doubt it.

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  18. anon(tfo) said:

    “Do I think that there is a PC issue with mocking UMC+ (and strivers, etc to that) *white* people? Other than having certain ‘sensitive types’ (iykwim) complain about how unfair it is that you are making fun of white people but they “can’t” make fun of [________]? No I think it’s safe from the PC police.

    Now, based on experience here, if the gist is to make fun of folks (like bob) from the hollow, you *must* be careful about using the compound word combining the word for a thing smaller than a mountain, and a nickname for the 42d POTUS. *That* will get you deleted round these parts.”

    IS THIS A RIDDLE?

    It took me a minute to understand hillbilly riddle but the rest of it, I can honestly say that after reading it and rereading it twice, I can’t understand anything that you’re saying!

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  19. In re 2630 N Greenview:

    JJJ, the redfin MLS price history can sometimes be totally wrong.

    These sellers did NOT double their money. They bought the house for $1,625,000.00 in 2004. They took two mortgages for $1,000,000 and $137,500….Look it up at the county recorder’s website…

    Which means they made $57,000….

    So they made their nominal money back, but as you said, “This is losing real money, and real money is what matters.”

    I’ll take you up on that round….

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  20. “Actually, I will concede on this point and buy a round* at the next meetup if anyone can actually find a pair of market sales, ten years or more apart, in another good neighborhood, where over 04 or before to now, the seller of a nice place in this price range, that wasn’t all screwed up, couldn’t get their purchase price back.”

    I see people who bought in 2004 losing money every day (i.e. selling for LESS than they bought in 2004) in Lincoln Park and Lakeview (even in the “good” parts.)

    Usually it’s because they didn’t bother to update anything. Same kitchen and baths as when they bought. Those just don’t get you the resale value in today’s market so they’re stuck.

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  21. It took me five minutes to find another example of someone selling 10 years later in Lincoln Park who isn’t going to get their purchase price back. It still is happening all the time (more so in the neighborhoods than downtown in Streeterville and River North- where investors are pushing up prices.)

    It’s not the upper bracket- but I see those too. Just check out some of the older townhouse communities. If they don’t update the finishes- they don’t end up selling for more. The upper bracket buyers want move-in ready properties.

    But here’s an example of what is happening out there at the lower price point. This 3/2 is in central Lincoln Park just a few blocks from the Diversey El stop. It’s not ON the El line.

    Elevator building. Garage parking. C/A. Washer/Dryer in the unit.

    What more could you want?

    It’s listed for $15,000 less than they paid in 2004.

    Bought in 2004 for $450,000.
    On the market for 26 days at $435,000.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2728-N-Lincoln-Ave-60614/unit-3E/home/12753753

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  22. Sabrina, that one fails the requirements. It’s not a pair of sales, plus it’s not decent if it’s in a cookie-cutter place along Lincoln Avenue. Plus they crazy overpaid in 2004. I’ll look a hd’s tomorrow.

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  23. “Sabrina, that one fails the requirements. It’s not a pair of sales, plus it’s not decent if it’s in a cookie-cutter place along Lincoln Avenue. Plus they crazy overpaid in 2004. I’ll look a hd’s tomorrow.”

    It will be a pair of sales once they sell.

    Oh- so now being “cookie cutter” is the new requirement? Then you might as well exclude 90% of properties in the city including nearly ALL new construction.

    Finding properties selling for less than 10 years ago in Lincoln Park is actually quite easy- as I said. It’s happening all the time. Actually, if you want to find out where the REAL appreciation is in the city- you need to look in neighborhoods like Lincoln Square, North Center and the Southport neighborhood.

    My gosh- the appreciation in Southport has been crazy. In the last 10 years it went from a middle class enclave for 20-somethings to a rich man’s neighborhood of 30 and 40-somethings. If you bought a house for $600,000 in the Blaine school district in 2004, you’re probably getting $900,000 or more today (as long as it was decently maintained.) Ditto for decent townhouses.

    Lincoln Park was already a “mature” market by 2004. The appreciation was done there. That remains true even today. That house that was bought for $1.2 million back in 2004 isn’t selling for $1.7 million today (barring any big renovation/make-over in the interior.) The only way to make a lot of money in LP now is to tear down the existing house and build a newer home (but there are costs associated with that.)

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  24. JJJ: Here’s a house that’s in LP that fits your criteria pretty closely although not quite 10 years.

    Currently listed at $1.095 million
    Sold in 2008 for $1.252 million
    Sold in 2006 for $980,000
    Sold in 1992 for $385,000

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1438-W-Altgeld-St-60614/home/13361208

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  25. Don’t forget- this week I’m testing the site to see if I can narrow down what is causing the lag. There will be something different tested every day.

    I KNOW I can count on all of you to tell me when the lag disappears.

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  26. “In re 2630 N Greenview”
    “Which means they made $57,000″

    and that number is even smaller considering the money put into the ” Incredible new master suite”

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  27. “Sabrina, that one fails the requirements. It’s not a pair of sales, plus it’s not decent if it’s in a cookie-cutter place along Lincoln Avenue. Plus they crazy overpaid in 2004.”

    It’s really close enough to a pair of sales. It’s currently listed for less so that it is reasonable to conclude the sellers would take the ask and having been on the market long enough we can be reasonably confident it won’t be bid up above ask. Close enough you should be buying drinks.

    As for cookie cutter, if that were a condition, you should have included. And as for crazy overpaid, I have no idea, but again not a condition.

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  28. “Don’t forget- this week I’m testing the site to see if I can narrow down what is causing the lag. There will be something different tested every day.”

    There’s at least some lag. When I try a browser on which I’m not logged in, I can’t see the post I just made.

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  29. Ha, HD, you’re right, good catch, I almost provided my own, but they still got the nominal purchase price back. And the years matter – of course you will find people hosed on 05 or 06 or later purchases. NO winners so far.

    2 (divided by) .5 – we’re doing decimals now? Or is that a plus? This is gonna crash my progr

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  30. ‘JJJ on September 21st, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Sabrina, that one fails the requirements. It’s not a pair of sales, plus it’s not decent if it’s in a cookie-cutter place along Lincoln Avenue. Plus they crazy overpaid in 2004. I’ll look a hd’s tomorrow.”

    …..OK, that’s like Steve Heitman’s thesis that a good buy is retrospective because it makes money; and a bad buy is one that loses money; but you can never know what is a good buy or a bad buy until years later after the property is resold!

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  31. “This 3/2 is in central Lincoln Park just a few blocks from the Diversey El stop”

    Central, as in central to LP and LV? It’s a half block to Diversey – the northern boundary of LP. Not that I didn’t appreciate all that Diversey has to offer (not to mention all the beauty and charm along that block of Lincoln Ave). But I wouldn’t call, say, Dickens at LPW central LP, even though it’s fairly central within ELP (which is probably more like Belden/Clark). The area between Oz and DePaul seems pretty central…and also looks/feels/is different that things at Lincoln/Diversey.

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  32. “Central, as in central to LP and LV? It’s a half block to Diversey – the northern boundary of LP. Not that I didn’t appreciate all that Diversey has to offer (not to mention all the beauty and charm along that block of Lincoln Ave).”

    anonny- you’re such a snob. Sure- there are differences between Lincoln Park addresses. Always has been and always will be. But neighborhoods change and are fluid. The lakefront you covet so much is no longer the most desirable area of the city (not even close). Is it the most desirable of LP? Depends on who you ask. Heck, Southport is more popular than East Lincoln Park now and it’s nowhere near the lake and not even in Lincoln Park.

    But I can find example after example after example of long term owners losing money – yes, even in your “precious” East Lincoln Park. Some will make, some will lose. But there is a myth that the housing rebound has lifted all boats and it hasn’t.

    And, in fact, the “rebound” is over and was simply a dead cat bounce.

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  33. “.OK, that’s like Steve Heitman’s thesis that a good buy is retrospective because it makes money; and a bad buy is one that loses money; but you can never know what is a good buy or a bad buy until years later after the property is resold”

    No it’s not, you can’t even deliver one that actually has 2 sales, you’re making assumptions based on list price. If there are so many examples, why can’t anyone actually find one?

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  34. “why can’t anyone actually find one?”

    Just to be clear on the challenge:

    1. A property in 60614
    2. That isn’t ridiculous crap (note: this clearly makes 2555 Clark not count)
    3. That sold in or before 2004
    4. That sold again 10+ years later
    5. Later sale lower in nominal dollars, ignoring all transaction costs
    6. In a price bracket from $300k (??) to $1.5m (??)
    7. Excluding REO/other non-market sales

    Anything else? Don’t want to bother spending even 5 minutes looking and get Heitman’d with “that doesn’t count because…”.

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  35. “Anything else? Don’t want to bother spending even 5 minutes looking and get Heitman’d with “that doesn’t count because…”.”

    Remember, nothing on which someone “crazy overpaid” in the pre-period (which ==”paid more than someone else 10+ years later”).

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  36. You can have 60657, too.

    I’ll interpret rule 2 re: ridiculous crap to exclude properties that haven’t been maintained properly or which were bad ideas in the first place – the idea is to focus on market properties without the utter crap that people of course take a bath on when they try to sell it.

    I won’t really exclude too much base on “crazy overpriced”, just the true outliers because one fool who paid too much for a place not getting his nominal money back isn’t the point.

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  37. lag check: 3:00 pm last.

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  38. of course, for the sale to be ‘break even’ (in real $$ terms) over any recent 10 year period, it has to be up 25%+, even ignoring the transaction costs, and any repair/maintenance expenses. Which I realize is to one of the points you made above.

    So, to really ‘break even’ (and treating repair/maintenance + taxes + interest + op cost of equity as “rent”), need to be up about 35%. Which is really rare in ’14 & ’57.

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  39. “lag check: 3:00 pm last.”

    Yikes!

    Thanks for chiming in everyone. I have reactivated that last plug-in so hopefully the lag won’t be as bad tomorrow.

    The experiment will continue tomorrow with a different one deactivated. There aren’t that many. I should be through testing them by next week.

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