Love the All Concrete Look? A 2/2 in 235 W. Van Buren in the Loop

235 w van buren

This 2-bedroom on the 22nd floor at 235 W. Van Buren in the Loop just came on the market.

Built in 2009 just as the housing bust was hitting, this is an enormous building with 714 units and a parking garage.

This unit has exposed concrete walls and a 10 foot ceiling.

The kitchen is open to the living and dining room and has euro cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

It has hardwood flooring.

Only one of the two bedrooms has a window.

This unit has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is $35,000 extra. The listing says it is 16 feet wide, instead of the normal 8 foot wide space.

You can walk to everything in the loop from this location and they are about to begin a big renovation construction project on the Willis Tower, just up the street, which will bring new restaurants.

Additionally, the new Riverline development is being built just south of this building.

Is the modern concrete look still “in”?

Kyle Jamicich at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2216: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in August 2011 for $312,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed at $340,000 (plus $35,000 for the extra wide parking space)
  • Assessments of $450 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, cable, doorman, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $5241
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 12×10
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10

 

40 Responses to “Love the All Concrete Look? A 2/2 in 235 W. Van Buren in the Loop”

  1. Not to my taste, at all what with the “commieblock” construction, but doesn’t seem like a bad deal if you can live with the neighborhood and the small rooms. At least there’s private outdoor space with a bit of a view. HOAs on the low side.

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  2. Looks like it has the square footage of a typical one bedroom. I’ve rarely seen a narrower LR/DR (10 ft?!) in a 1BR, much less a 2. I’m usually a fan of concrete minimalism, but somehow the effect here feels prison-like! I agree the price isn’t bad for the Loop location, and perhaps at this price it would make sense for the right person (hard to find a 2/2 for this price in a newer building anywhere this convenient).

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  3. I don’t know if this is concrete minimalism as much as it the developer cutting corners. Who knows what else is going on in a building where the developer thought that drywalling ceilings was an expense he couldn’t afford to bear.

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  4. “I don’t know if this is concrete minimalism as much as it the developer cutting corners”

    Its a $300k 2br condo, what were you expecting?

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  5. Not sure if I’d pass because it’s too small, or because the developer was shilled so hard by J Zekas. Can it be both?

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  6. I’m always amazed at what drives people to buy certain places. Just based on the owners furniture and decor of this place you would think they were into a more traditional look. But then they go out and purchase a modern concrete loft. Just looks odd together.

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  7. the ceilings are fine, but I would at least figure out how to paint the concrete walls.

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  8. The furniture and decor is just wrong for this style unit. It clashes with the unit and is distracting. It is like Pottery Barn mating with Dwell. It just doesn’t work.

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  9. I am always fascinated by instances where the occupant’s personal esthetic and the building are so incongruous. I am glad to hear I am not the only one bugged by it! Part of why this unit feels so cramped isn’t just that it is in fact a small unit, but also there is so much crap in it!!! At least the parking space is extra wide 😉

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  10. Lived in the building for several years. Positives: convenient location, very warm units, high ceilings, low assessments. Negatives: narrow units, possibility of the condo board restricting rentals, property taxes went up in 2016 and will go up again in 2017.

    This is a great place to rent in. To buy – not to me.

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  11. I’m not trying to troll here, and by all means I’m proud of my southeast Asian heritage (and love Indian food) – but I have family that lives here, and the hallways/building often seem to smell strongly of Indian and Asian food – it would always be hanging over my cousins unit and he hated it….is it problem with the ventilation?
    that and I felt like a LOT of the building was renters fresh out of college.

    Not sure if any of that has changed. That being said…sub 400k with low-ish assessments for a 2 bedroom in the loop is well priced

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  12. “…the developer thought that drywalling ceilings was an expense he couldn’t afford to bear.”

    The developer recognized that the concrete aesthetic had a lot of appeal to buyers. I talked to dozens of 235 buyers who cited the look of the exposed concrete as one of their reasons for purchasing.

    “… the developer was shilled so hard by J Zekas.”

    Defending a client against unwarranted attacks and know-nothing trolls is not shilling.

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  13. “The developer recognized that the concrete aesthetic had a lot of appeal to buyers. I talked to dozens of 235 buyers who cited the look of the exposed concrete as one of their reasons for purchasing.”

    Bullshit. Many buyers painted the ceiling, put a window between the unfinished wall and the ceiling, and made other upgrades. Another common issue that many people had is that if you actually use your kitchen for cooking, the laminated tape used in kitchen cabinets starts to come off after about 2 years.

    The building was made with the cheapest materials possible. I know because I lived there, unlike Mr. Zekas who may have visited several units.

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  14. In addition, Yelp reviews help. Some are good, some are bad. Good thing about all of them is that people actually live in these apartments, unlike Mr. Zekas who only visits. Here is a part that talks about quality:

    “- Units are plain vanilla unless the owner gave it a gut rehab. Our kitchen cabinets are so low quality that the one closest to the stove is actually peeling… something that looks like a plastic wrap that’s printed with wood patterns. ”

    So please do your due diligence and do not rely on individuals whose sole intention is to sell.

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  15. Aleks,

    Do your due diligence rather than making stuff up. You can go to YouTube and watch 235 buyers in my videos talking about the appeal of the concrete aesthetic. Those were buyers of new units, not “individuals whose sole intention is to sell.”

    Read the building codes. That “unfinished wall” is a code requirement and the individuals who added glass are violating the code.

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  16. Concrete walls, laminate cabinets, narrow units and smells from unfamiliar herbs and spices. only $340,000!!! BUY NOW OR BE PRICED OUT FOREVER!!!

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  17. “is it problem with the ventilation?”

    the units most likely use a recirculating vent instead of venting the exhaust outside. i’m sure you can guess what costs more for a developer.

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  18. “most likely use a recirculating vent”

    It’s a micro hood–there is essentially a 100% chance that it recircs, and does so at low CFM, and with poor or no odor filtering (in part bc no one maintains the filter that is there).

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  19. Since I am being attacked by Mr. Zekas who cannot be impartial since he is being reimbursed by the developer, I will repeat what I said before:

    I don’t need to go on Youtube, I lived in the building. And when I purchased, my intention was not too sell. I only sold because we decided to buy a house and needed the funds for downpayment.

    And yes, it was a piss-poor construction by a greedy developed who is cutting corners.

    Did I say I lived in the building?

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  20. Joe:

    Honest question–is you alert set to the buildings of your clients, or your name (which is rare enough to not get too many false hits).

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  21. “Honest question–is you alert set to the buildings of your clients, or your name (which is rare enough to not get too many false hits).”

    Wasn’t it confirmed Joe and Sabrina are the same person (j/k)

    Aleks, sorry meant to upvote one of your comments and hit the downvote instead. Really need the ability to change ones vote here.

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  22. “the units most likely use a recirculating vent instead of venting the exhaust outside. i’m sure you can guess what costs more for a developer.”

    lol I had to pay $1500 extra on my new construction to get an exhaust vent that went outside from my kitchen rather than recirculate… I was like… seriously?

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  23. “It’s a micro hood–there is essentially a 100% chance that it recircs”

    i agree with you but there are micro-hoods that are capable of venting outside. seriously doubt it’s the case there.

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  24. CMK = Cutting Multiple Korners

    but… they do crank out “affordable” housing

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  25. aleks,

    You weren’t “attacked.” You were rightfully called out for misrepresenting who I spoke with – i.e., new buyers at the project. I’m not currently being reimbursed by CMK for my comments here.

    sonies,

    Have you moved or are you still living in the resale unit you bought from one of CMK’s buyers? If you’re still in the same place your comment is misleading – if not flat-out dishonest.

    Does anyone here realize that what saves a developer money saves a buyer money?

    aleks,

    No alert – I pop in here periodically and scan for buildings I’m familiar with. Amusing to see the same crowd hanging out. I always get a good laugh out of homedelete, the pretend-attorney who has his days free to troll this site.

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  26. “there are micro-hoods that are capable of venting outside”

    Yep, but I’m not aware of one with a big enough fan to move air the 15-20′ (minimum) needed here–unless they had a vent stack in the wall with a aux fan, which would be challenging (ie expensive) to engineer and maintain.

    A good microhood can work well if it’s on an exterior wall and basically direct venting outside.

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  27. “Have you moved or are you still living in the resale unit you bought from one of CMK’s buyers? If you’re still in the same place your comment is misleading – if not flat-out dishonest.

    Does anyone here realize that what saves a developer money saves a buyer money?

    I moved to Basecamp from 630N and its not misleading or dishonest its the fucking truth… I have more truth to drop about shitty CMK realty if you want me to

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  28. OT: did we every decide what was the best brand/model of Dishwasher?

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  29. “best brand/model of Dishwasher”

    You looking to use it as a garbage disposal, too?

    If not, I say Bosch or Miele. Both super quiet, lots of usable space inside and clean ‘normal’ dishes very well.

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  30. sonies,

    I’m happy to see that you bought from another one of my clients.

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  31. So, who exactly are CMK? As in people – – and who are the architects they use? None of this information is available on their website…as if they are ashamed of what they do. In fact there are even links to articles on their website….articles about topics like “Why Architecture Matters” with quotes from actual notable architects…and no mention of CMK anywhere in the article. So utterly confusing.

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  32. “and who are the architects they use?”

    They have used Brinistool + Lynch on many and Perkins + Will on a few…..

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  33. Interestingly from a quick look at the photos I didn’t see an exhaust from the kitchen at all – but all angles were covered. If there isn’t one, it’s no wonder smells make their way into the corridors. Typically in high-rises you have a central exhaust rather than directly outside – risk of leaks/maintenance around the vents.

    Wasn’t this one B+L? Some of their developer buildings, while nice looking, are a bit, well, developer quality.

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  34. The exhaust is built-in the microwave and no, it does not go outside but gets “cleans” the air and routes it back into the kitchen.

    Another example indicating a piss-poor construction by a greedy developed who is cutting corners.

    If something is cheap, it is cheap for a reason. There is no free cheese.

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  35. “Another example indicating a piss-poor construction by a greedy developed who is cutting corners.”

    but in reality, most high-rises are built this way, excluding high end buildings.

    you get what you pay for…

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  36. Liz asked “So, who exactly are CMK? As in people…”
    Iirc CMK’s mainly Colin Kihnke (pronounced kink-kay , who 20 years ago was just another young small developer buying teardowns in west Bucktown & building ‘cool looking’ cost effective (aka cheap) not too well built (imo) sfh’s & 3-6 unit condo projects. Kihnke then catapulted himself into doing big-time developments using same approach. Colin’s brother Matt worked @ CMK (cc featured Matt’s unit at 201 W Grand a few years ago) but Matt’s off developing his own projects in FL.

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  37. I live in more modern building but my furniture could be described as similar to this. In my case, the issue is that I bought furniture before I moved into my condo.

    I’m slowly replacing. Key word slowly. But its going to take awhile. I could see this owner bringing their old furniture with them into a new place just like I did. Who knows.

    It is out of place though. And as my GF would say. “Oh god everything is brown. Gross”

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  38. There’s nothing wrong with the furniture, only the little desk seems truly out of place to me. The brown tones are nice, at least it’s not all gray and white, talk about “gross”.

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  39. Southbound – – Thanks. I like the IDEA of affordable “high end” design..the Target analogy is appropriate. Frankly if that means the interior finishes are bit “cheap” so be it – – put in the nicer kitchen when you can afford it… BUT I would draw the line if the cheapness meant I could hear my neighbors or a bunch of outside noise…or constantly be assaulted by my neighbor’s cooking. Kitchen cabinets de-laminating near the stove is a whole ‘nuther level of cheap…

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  40. “The developer recognized that the concrete aesthetic had a lot of appeal to buyers. I talked to dozens of 235 buyers who cited the look of the exposed concrete as one of their reasons for purchasing.”

    The same architecture of failed Cabrini-Green! LOL.

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