Who Will Buy the 406 Luxury Condos in Lakeshore East’s Wanda Vista?

The Wanda Vista hotel and condo tower in Lakeshore East has been approved and is moving forward.

A sales center recently opened up downtown.

This is not a small building. At 93-floors, it will be the third tallest in the city.

The condo portion of the building will have 406 residences.

The prices will range from $1 million for the smallest 1,000 square foot 1-bedroom to $17 million for the penthouse.

This is coming at a time when construction on million dollar condos and single family homes has never been hotter.

But even with a hot market, some buildings are still trying to sell million dollar units left over from the bust years including The Legacy on Millennium Park and the Ritz on Michigan Avenue.

With about 30 condos left to sell in the 356-unit Legacy at Millennium Park, the owners yesterday unveiled lower pricing on most of them.

The cuts were not steep, going in several cases from slightly above $2 million to slightly below. For some units, the price did not change.

“We want to close this building out this year,” said Jim Hanson, who was a principal with Mesa Development, which developed the 72-story tower, completed in 2009.

Actor Vince Vaughn has been trying to sell his penthouse in the luxury Palmolive building at 159 E. Walton in the Gold Coast for several years.

159 e walton approved

It is 12,000 square feet and takes up the top 3 floors.

In 2015, it had been reduced to $13.9 million and still didn’t sell.

You can check out the interior pictures of it here.

He has since withdrawn it from the market.

Where will all the buyers for these units come from at these price points?

Is the Wanda Vista just another doomed development like the ambitious Spire?

You can check out the official website of the Vista Residences here.

39 Responses to “Who Will Buy the 406 Luxury Condos in Lakeshore East’s Wanda Vista?”

  1. I would not want to be a condo owner downtown looking to sell within the next few years in this price range. There is way too much condo inventory already. The tribune had an article about Chicago having the greatest number imof millionaires leaving vs all other American cities. I would much rather have a sfh in the north side if only for supply and demand reasons alone.

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  2. Can Chicago really support condos priced at $1,000 per square foot?

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  3. “Can Chicago really support condos priced at $1,000 per square foot?”

    Sell? Maybe. Support? No.

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  4. This building will likely be marketed to wealthy Chinese in 2nd and 3rd tier cities looking to expatriate their money away from the mainland and into 2nd and 3rd tier US cities.

    NYC, Seattle, LA, SF have all gotten relatively expensive compared to Chicago. A cool million hardly buys a foreign investment grade property in any of those cities, but it buys new construction in Chicago.

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  5. I also think this building, to some extent, will be “Chinesed” and further artificially inflate greenzone values.
    How many more “greater fools” can there be?

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  6. “How many more “greater fools” can there be?”

    Have you seen what has happened in Vancouver?

    $7.2mil

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/02/03/abandoned_mansions_-2_0.jpg


    What is happening is quite simple:
    Chinese investors smuggled out millions in embezzled cash, hot money or perfectly legal funds, bypassing the $50,000/year limit in legal capital outflows.
    They make “all cash” purchases, usually sight unseen, using third parties intermediaries to preserve their anonymity, or directly in perso, in cities like Vancouver, New York, London or San Francisco.
    The house becomes a new “Swiss bank account”, providing the promise of an anonymous store of value and retaining the cash equivalent value of the original capital outflow.
    Then the owners disappear, never to be heard from or seen again.”

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  7. No surprise that right now there is an 8+ month supply of $1MM+ condos in the city vs. under 5 months below $1MM. With all this new supply coming on it’s hard to imagine how this works.

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  8. Will be interesting to see, but I’d imagine rich Chinese folks will be parking their illegaly smuggled cash here and it will be a ghost town like most of the buildings in lake shore east

    I mean we have used condos selling for 1k a sqft, so why not an awesome new building?

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  9. “I’d imagine rich Chinese folks will be parking their illegaly smuggled cash here”

    Wait–you think that the high-end condos being built by a mainland Chinese developer as a way to park assets overseas, will likely be heavily marketed to other mainland Chinese as a way to park assets overseas?

    That makes no sense!

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  10. From what I’ve read, they’ve already sold a third of the condo units at the end of 2015. The building is gorgeous. The only things I don’t like about the project is the valet parking (does anyone like valet parking in their won building?) and low ceiling heights (for the price point).

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  11. “it will be a ghost town like most of the buildings in lake shore east”

    That is not a true statement.

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  12. I look forward to bidding on one of these as a distressed sale – maybe when Chinese economy finally implodes. Location is great and building looks pretty awesome.

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  13. Yoss – a Chinese economic meltdown would be the best thing to happen to US metropolitan real estate – they’d be massively withdrawing and buying up these overpriced living-boxes hand over fist! Billions are already sitting in private banks, offshore trading companies, and other businesses that can be deployed if things. Over $200b/year is flowing out of China already.

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  14. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/business/international/chinese-cash-floods-us-real-estate-market.html?_r=0

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  15. Elliot – when China crashes the dollar will strengthen and the yuan will weaken. This will 1. Make the already owned $ denominated assets worth more in yuan terms 2. Make any non-owned $ denominated assets more expensive in yuan terms. 3. All domestically owned assets (stocks / chinese corp debt / etc) will be worth less. So just as happens in every other case (example Japanese investors in US in 90s) they will sell their foreign holdings and move the $$ back home and those who don’t already own said holdings will not be buying because things will get more expensive.
    Also don’t forget China is one of the most authoritarian regimes out there. If the Chinese economy is imploding and money flowing out of China the wealthy will be “encouraged” by the government to repatriate their assets and invest domestically.
    It is insane to think that the Chinese economy tanking would benefit US property prices.

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  16. Wanda is likely too large of a development and too expensive price point for it to ever get built; 94 stories, 406 units, $1 million for cheapest unit. Chicago is not London or New York, two “world-class” cities, where super-expensive residential market is perceptibly weakening and sky-high $/SF prices falling. Wanda is a reboot “star-architect/foreign developer/ pie-in-the-sky” of failed Spire project. And Chinese wheeler-dealers don’t bringing their smuggled mega-bucks to Chicago; here the main-land Chinese buyers mostly buy $400,000 2 bedrm/2 bath mid-market condos.

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  17. They clearly based their prices around 340 which is selling well at similar prices per square foot. The 3 BR units are competitively priced. I don’t know why you would buy a 340 unit at the same price when you can get a new Wanda unit (aside from the fact that it’s not built yet). Even if you renovate a 340 unit, it won’t come close to matching Wandas ammenities / hallways / doors / etc. Most of the contracts are Chinese buyers so far. It’s being marketed there and Chinese buyers know what they are getting when buying a Wanda property.

    The Ritz doesn’t sell because the views are poor compared to Wanda/Legacy views. You need a killer timeless view to justify those prices.

    Legacy has 10 units left over a mil which isn’t much, as I said before they suffer from old finishes for new units. They chose price incentives over throwing in some newer wide plank flooring, new tiling / countertops. They totally ignored Related’s success with the Grants “Signature” units and now they can have fun competing with resales.

    For those of you predicting a sky is falling scenario and that all of these luxury condos are going to halve in price, time for a head examination. 07-08 isn’t happening again. 07-08 had a lot more issues than just negative growth that won’t be replicated. All the nonsense posters on various threads here spewing about millennials not being able to afford this or that is silly. Prime location areas aren’t for starter condos.

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  18. “Prime location areas aren’t for starter condos.”

    Millennials think they should be. And that they should be able to afford them working part time, while also doing improv.

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  19. All this Chinese wealth proves Trump right.

    All the naysayers who have a built-in reflex to argue this are the same types of idiots who were brainwashed into calling fiscally coherent people “teabaggers”. yeah now look at Illinois and Chicago, the tea party has always been right.

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  20. “All this Chinese wealth proves Trump right.
    All the naysayers who have a built-in reflex to argue this are the same types of idiots who were brainwashed into calling fiscally coherent people “teabaggers”. yeah now look at Illinois and Chicago, the tea party has always been right.”

    As a fiscal conservative and a republican, I could not disagree with you more. Donald trump is neither a tea partier, a conservative, or a republican. He hijacked the party and is running on more democrat ideas than anything else. I wish he would just run as a democrat.

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  21. “Most of the contracts are Chinese buyers so far. It’s being marketed there and Chinese buyers know what they are getting when buying a Wanda property.”

    The Spire was targeted to Asian buyers too, including the Chinese.

    The Chinese aren’t buying nearly as many condos in the United States or Australia as even a year ago. The government has clamped down on how much money can move out of the country and their economy is already in a recession.

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  22. Sonies- that article was from 6 months ago. A lot has changed in that time period. The money, while still flowing, isn’t flowing as freely. That’s why even the New York high end is slowing (that over $10 million.)

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  23. “The only things I don’t like about the project is the valet parking (does anyone like valet parking in their won building?)”

    The Palmolive is valet parking but it’s a much smaller building with just 90 units. They’re going to need more people working in the parking garage for 406 units.

    It’s actually a really great feature once you have it for a little while. You just call down and say, “I will need my car in 10 minutes.” Then you take the elevator down and it’s sitting right there, waiting for you. No more going into the dirty parking garage to retrieve it yourself.

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  24. “No surprise that right now there is an 8+ month supply of $1MM+ condos in the city vs. under 5 months below $1MM. With all this new supply coming on it’s hard to imagine how this works.”

    It’s just 8 months?

    That’s not as bad as I thought. But I would expect that to continue to rise.

    There is NO inventory in the affordable category.

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  25. Valet parking, in theory, may be a great feature to some. The truth is, you and everybody else is calling down at the same time so nobody answers the phone as the valets are busy with retrieving other cars. So you go down there and find 5 people standing there ahead of you, looking around for the valets who are underground moving cars around. Or my personal favorite: 6 cars come up at once and the first car is the lady with the baby carriage that has to be completely dismantled and put in her RangeRover and little Isabella tucked into her chair. Meanwhile, the second person in line is on her cell and doesn’t notice her car has come up so she just hangs on her phone. Every. Single. Morning.

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  26. “There is NO inventory in the affordable category.”

    what are you talking about? theres tons of affordable inventory… it just isn’t in neighborhoods yuppies want to live in or your website wants to cover

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  27. Valet parking is a cancer. Workers mostly want their cars at the same times coming and going. Then you have to wait 10-30 mins for your car when you could get it yourself in 5. You give others access to your car and what if you forget something and need to go back to your car to get it? Another huge wait. Do you tip every pick up and drop off? how much? Do they keep track of good tippers and bad tippers and make you wait longer if you don’t tip enough? So $2/time is good? That’s at least $4/day or over $100 month in addition to other parking fees. Crazy.

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  28. and hikers as they’re are all in the industry are all unionized.

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  29. “hikers as they are called in the industry….”

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  30. “there is an 8+ month supply of $1MM+ condos in the city ”

    add to that the 60 units at 9 Walton and the 30 units at 4 Elm that are being sold pre-construction and probably all aren’t on the mls.

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  31. And the 50-ish units at 808 Wells, which also appear to not be listed yet.

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  32. “The only things I don’t like about the project is the valet parking (does anyone like valet parking in their won building?)”

    Back in the early 2000’s I had that in my Lakeview condo. Mainly because I had an SUV that had to stay on the upper level as the lower level was for cars only. Got to know the guys and tipped a few bucks on occasion. Never a daily tip! But treated em with respect. Bought em a couple of pizzas. Donated a case of bottled water from the grocery store in the summertime. Etc.

    They got to know my routines and I’m not sure it was legit by the condo assoc rules but my SUV was almost always in a fwd spot keys on the dash meaning that I could access it and drive right out whenever I needed to go.

    Being good and respectful has its upside!

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  33. “Being good and respectful has its upside!”

    I agree. My car was always up top, up front, and ready to go every morning at the same time when I lived in a building with valet parking. That was so nice.

    It was extremely rare that the valets were backed up or there was a long wait for the car. Mostly, it was like Sabrina said, I called down and said “Bring up my car”. By the time I got down to the garage, the car was parked in front of the door.

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  34. A bonus to high rises in Chicago is that, in the spring, one can enjoy watching the snowflakes go upwards. Doesn’t even seem to be snowing down on the street level.

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  35. A lot of those hikers have been valeting for many years, it’s sort of a career. So they get better at it and can anticipate when cars need to be moved, or where they need to go. It’s not necessarily a lucrative job but with tips and christmas bonuses from building members it’s what the SJW’s call a ‘living wage’. Many of those guys stay there for years and years and in a well run building there’s not much turnover, absent employees who fall asleep on the job during overnight shifts or whatnot. Getting a job as a hiker in a good building is surprisingly difficult because the turnover is often pretty low.

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  36. The main stream opinion is that foreign investors are smarter and more successful than American investors. Wrong! Usually it is the foreign investors who get ripped off while we laugh all the way to the bank.

    Sure the British, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, etc. own a lot of our treasury bonds. We are getting the better end of this deal; we get to enjoy the night out on the town, they pay for it and at the end of the night they get a peck on the cheek.

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  37. Jp3Chicago has a good point: be respectful and nice to everyone. Here is one example. How often do you go to a mall or a grocery store and a person loads up their car with goods and then they just leave the empty grocery cart a few feet from their car and they zoom away. Then the poor person who works at the store has to coralle all of the grocery carts. To me that is just selfish behavior. It does not take a lot of effort to walk thirty feet and place the empty cart in that holding cart thing (whatever it is called).

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  38. I always leave my cart a few feet from my car. I’m keeping someone employed when I do that.

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  39. As a guy who, for his very first job many eons ago, inter alia, pushed shopping carts for a local grocer; it makes no difference whatsoever where you leave your cart. The cart corrals are for liability purposes only: errant carts damage cars. The biggest PITA was the bums and vagrants who took the carts *behind* the store and god only knows what they were doing with them back there.

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