Living on the Penthouse Floor for Under $400,000: A 2/1 at 545 N. Dearborn in River North


This 2-bedroom in the Grand Plaza at 545 N. Dearborn in River North came on the market in August 2016.

Grand Plaza was built in 2003 but it wasn’t converted into condos until 2005.

It has 283 units over a rental parking garage.

Grand Plaza is a full amenity building with an outdoor pool, fitness room, outdoor track, basketball court, library, party room and doorman.

Floors 30 through 36 were marketed during the boom as the “Grand Plaza Penthouses.”

This is a 33rd floor unit which the listing calls a penthouse.

It is a corner unit with north and west views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

The listing says it is designer owned and decorated and has dark wide plank hardwood floors and a “completely remodeled” bath.

There’s a chef’s kitchen with a walnut breakfast bar, LG stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops and backsplash.

It has central air and in-unit washer/dryer. Parking is rental in the building for $253 a month.

Originally listed in August for $399,724, it has been reduced nearly $25,000 to $375,000.

Is this a good luxury rental apartment alternative for a River North millennial?

Matt Laricy at Americorp has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3303: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1070 square feet

  • Sold in August 2009 for $339,500
  • Originally listed in August 2016 for $399,724
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $375,000
  • Assessments of $862 a month (includes heat, a/c, cable, gas, doorman and all the amenities listed above)
  • Taxes of $5447
  • Parking is rental for $253 a month
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 11×16
  • Bedroom #2: 22×18 (is this really the living room in the pictures?)
  • Living room: 15×13

11 Responses to “Living on the Penthouse Floor for Under $400,000: A 2/1 at 545 N. Dearborn in River North”

  1. I know this building quite well as rent here and have also shopped for condos here. It’s a large 1 bed with NO balcony (love how they dropped the price and made up a bedroom, shady). They call it a penthouse because it’s on the same floor as the true penthouses which face south/west. The XX10 units (with basic updates) sell for about $330K as 870sqft 1 beds, with 2 walk in closets and space for an office nook / 4-seater table if you plan things correctly. I personally would not pay another 40K to lose my amazing balcony for basically a separate dining area I would rarely use, but I think it will sell at $370K.

    The assessments are quite high in general, but point me to a condo that you get more for the same price with? 10 E Ontario is the closest (in more ways than one haha). For those that actually lift they have 3 Olympic bars, free weights to 100lbs, plenty of machines, a 1/3 bball court, small (but sufficient) running track, and a steam/sauna. There’s also free coffee in the office / library (drinking some now!), party room (with okay pool table and large tv), and they have EVENTS. Today it’s free Oktoberfest beer (from Rock Bottom across the street) & snacks on the pool deck. Oh, and I almost forgot, if you are a 30yo in finance, it’s the best pool deck in the city (1M was just spent in remodeling the grills, etc.)

    PS: Parking should not even be mentioned as you live above the Grand L stop (the most expensive per sqft in the city). You also have a Jewel, Chipotle (!), and BBB in the building.

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  2. 1. This is a 1 bedroom. Even the virtual tour link acknowledges this. My guess is that this is one of those that claims you could build a wall in the middle of the living room and create another bedroom. Heck, why not build 2 walls and make it a 3-bedroom. IMO, this is an idiotic marketing maneuver because you get people who really want 2 bedrooms interested.

    2. This is a penthouse because the marketing materials say so? Disingenuous, to say the least. Penthouse is top floor; this is not.

    3. Unless you really like the aesthetic of the designer, who cares that it is “designer-owned” — this designer appears to like clutter and over-designing.

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  3. A “formal dining room” in a 1br unit is almost as much wasted space than having a powder room in a 1/1.

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  4. I used to go to the Jewel here all the time, I couldn’t imagine living here its too busy and touristy

    especially for $1568 before your damn mortgage (with parking)

    which wouldn’t be that small either for basically a 1 bedroom on a high floor

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  5. link for the lazy

    Also that virtual “walking tour” is pretty cool but kind of shows how far off these “room dimensions” in the listing are and how cramped the place is in general.

    And how the fuck can the realtor list this as a 2 bedroom? Are there any standards at all in that industry regarding this? Can these clowns be fired or fined for lying so blatantly? Or is it just the wild west

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  6. Apparently, the tactics of these clowns work or they wouldn’t use them.

    It looks like this unit was redone nicely. The ceilings are just so low though.

    I wonder how much it costs for the common insurance in these high amenity buildings.

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    The corner 1-beds give you much better value IMO (04 faces North and 10 faces South, aka the better few). With two walk in closets, you can live here with you SO comfortably until finding a larger place. The building is more about lifestyle and is heavily social. As noted, the ceilings are definitely not loft height, but the views, space, location, and price are all on point generally speaking.

    Location wise, there are pros & cons. I agree that the Jewel is terrible and the area can get touristy; however, overall if you want to live the ‘bro banker’ life, you are a few blocks from hubbard, great eats, and all the nightlife you could imagine. The beach or the loop (work) is not too far away either. With a one stop transfer you can get on the blue to the airport, wicker, or logan. Even going further north is easy, as it’s 20 min to Aragon if you’re keen for shows, etc.

    Oh and yes Ms. Terri, THERE WILL BE 4 KEGS TODAY (seriously tho)

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  9. A comment about the virtual walking tour – it’s excellent for the potential buyer. It definitely gives you a feel for the space, views and finishes. However, if I were a seller, I would have serious reservations about anyone and everyone getting a full and complete view of my apartment including my wedding photos, what books I read, what shampoo I use, and how much gin I had left in the Tanqueray bottle.

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  10. “jenny
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    jenny is +4 today bc she focused on the legit merits, rather than digression responding to duffer about why you have to have a half bath in a 1 bed to keep everyone out of your bathroom (I was positive she was going to respond to taht when I read). and really a second full bath if she is to have anyone overnight.

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  11. i disagree with jenny about making shit up in listing because it works. lots of professions do things that don’t work all the time yet they keep doing them. it’s called custom and practice. medicine is full of this stuff. they do it because that’s just what they do even though it doesn’t work.

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