Cheaper Than Renting? A Studio in The Brewster at 2800 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview

2800 n pine grove approved

This studio in the historic Brewster building at 2800 N. Pine Grove in East Lakeview just came on the market.

The Brewster was built in 1893 as a luxury apartment building and it has internal iron staircases, cat walks and a huge skylight.

Not only did Charlie Chaplin live in one of the penthouses in 1915-1916, but several movies were filmed in the building including the Untouchables and Child’s Play.

The listing says this studio is one of the largest studios in the building.

It has high ceilings with crown molding and a fireplace along with parquet floors in the main living area.

The kitchen has a big window and wood cabinets and what looks like an original built-in cabinet.

It has white appliances and a European style washer/dryer unit, which is somewhat rare for this building which also has a laundry room.

There is a window air conditioning unit.

There’s no parking with the building. It’s available to rent in the neighborhood.

The listing says this is being sold “as-is.”

It is listed at $110,000. If you put 5% down and finance for 30 years at 3.8%, even while paying PMI, that’s a monthly payment of $732.

There’s taxes and the $238 HOA too.

But does it make sense to buy this rather than pay the record high rents in the neighborhood?

Lucas Augustyn at Chel Group Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit 7J: studio, 525 square feet

  • Sold in September 1995 for $24,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2015
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $110,000
  • Assessments of $238 a month (includes doorman, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $1874
  • No central air- window unit
  • Euro-style washer/dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Living area: 21×9
  • Kitchen: 9×7

12 Responses to “Cheaper Than Renting? A Studio in The Brewster at 2800 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview”

  1. Not a bad place if you want a studio

    There’s probably a fair amount of arch salvage value in this place

    The lobby & ironwork is awesome

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  2. I rented a studio in the Brewster about 20 years ago. To say that building is beautiful is an understatement. It’s breathtaking. Coming come was like being teleported back 100+ years to an opulent, top of the line building, in near new condition.

    The negatives: The studios are really small, and I recall hearing my neighbor thru the wall a lot. My biggest gripe, however, was that the window unit was the only source of heat or AC (a combo unit). It didn’t work well. The floors were as cold as ice in the winter.

    I lasted only one winter, then moved so a bigger studio on Diversey at Racine and Lincoln that had lots of good radiator heat.

    Seeing the lobby and catwalks today makes me want to live there again.

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    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  3. It’s almost worth it just to access those incredibly cool common areas.

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    Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)
  4. The nostalgia of the iron-caged elevator wears off pretty quick. I was once in a building that had one. Most of the time it was faster and less hassle to take the stairs. I was on the 6th floor. The maintenance man would frequently act as an elevator operator. I think because he didn’t want people pounding on the old elevator buttons, which unlike modern elevators, gave no indication that they had been pressed.

    A year of dealing with a vintage elevator gave me a life-long appreciation for high speed elevators.

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  5. “Most of the time it was faster and less hassle to take the stairs. I was on the 6th floor.”

    So, a good idea for someone who wants to lose some weight!

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  6. Wouldn’t want to live anywhere that Chucky has been. Isn’t this the building that the water tower fell from/near and injured someone?

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    Rating: -3 (from 3 votes)
  7. connectedspace on May 13th, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    What a fabulous building! And the neighborhood is nice, too. The apartment could use some love. This place would be great for a writer or artist, IMO. Though the new buyer should be ready to sink some cash into the place.

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  8. what are the different unit types and sizes in the building?

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  9. After walking through that lobby, it would be so depressing to open the door to your unit.

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  10. How much would this studio rent for?

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  11. I am a buyer who asked my agent to look into this property for me. I was told that the building is involved in ongoing litigation and that you can’t get a mortgage on the property. This is a cash-only listing, in the seller’s agent’s notes. This IS the building where the water tower fell in 2013, and there WAS litigation surrounding that incident. However I don’t know if that is the same litigation that the building is currently involved in.

    All of that said, I can’t help but think that this has the potential to be a good transaction for someone who wants a pied a terre with vintage charm, in a great location.

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  12. @Nimesh. My not terribly educated guess would be $950-$1,000 as-is. Don’t do anything other than clean and paint. I am basing this on the fact that I rented a renovated (but coin laundry) studio at Sheridan and Surf from 2004-2005 for…$825/mo. that same unit is currently listed for $1,075 and includes 24/hr maintenance and front desk coverage as well as a gym and amazing common roof deck, cooking gas and water (plus you aren’t responsible for property taxes and insurance or assessments!). Putting some TLC into this unit and maybe you get as much as $1,300 for someone who really loves the lobby and elevator. The problem with studios in Chicago is they upside on rental increases is definitely less than for larger units. Average rental increase of 2.4% for studios in this location (based on my n=1 experience) probably less or in line with how expenses have increased to own the unit so you are really just hoping to make money by holding it very long term and having someone else pay the mortgage.

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