First Time on the Market in 61 Years: The Only Duplex in 320 W. Oakdale in Lakeview

320 w oakdale

This 4-bedroom duplex in the mid-century modern high rise at 320 W. Oakdale in Lakeview came on the market in May 2017.

The building was designed by Milton Schwartz in 1956 and has 51 units and covered parking.

This is from Wikipedia about the building’s history:

The building at 320 West Oakdale is representative of the apartment building boom in Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s and 1960s. Milton M. Schwartz served as the building’s architect, contractor, and developer, and the building was his first major design. As such, he had complete control over the creative direction of the building, and so was able to tailor it to his interests.

Schwartz intended the building to serve as luxury apartments for the city elite. The apartment was designed so that residences had windows in three or four directions. Rooms were designed to resemble single-story ranch homes. The building was one of the first completely air conditioned all-glass apartments in Chicago.

Stark in its repetition and simplicity, it is a good example of the International Style. The building was highlighted in a 1955 Architectural Forum article about recent Chicago apartment buildings. In the article, it was compared favorably to nearby works by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. On April 23, 2013, the building was recognized by the National Park Service with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

This unit is on the 19th and 20th floors and looks to be a combined unit as it has 2 kitchens, one on each floor.

It’s not the penthouse. Those are on the 21st floor.

The listing says its the only duplex in the building.

It has floor to ceiling windows with east and south views.

I won’t go into the description of the two kitchens, because, well, everyone should check it out for themselves.

The unit has some hardwood floors as well as wood paneling with moldings.

It has central air, in-unit washer/dryer and one covered parking space.

The listing says this is the first time this unit has been on the market. If they moved in right away, that would be 61 years.

The owners in this building seem very loyal.

In 2012, Chicago Magazine had a story about the two penthouses and talked to Schwartz’s widow who still lived in one.  You can read it and see the pictures here.

This unit has been under contract once already.

It’s been reduced $24,100 since May.

Who’s ready to take on this project?

Amanda McMillan at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1901: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, duplex

  • First time on the market since 1956
  • Originally listed in May 2017 for $799,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $775,000 (includes one covered parking spot)
  • Assessments of $2337 a month (includes heat, a/c, cable, Internet, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $11,885
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Wet bar
  • Bedroom #1: 29×14 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 15×11 (second floor)
  • Foyer: 18×7
  • Study: 15×11 (main level)
  • 2 kitchens (one on each level)

 

 

 

28 Responses to “First Time on the Market in 61 Years: The Only Duplex in 320 W. Oakdale in Lakeview”

  1. WOW. STANLEY KUBRICK CALLED JAN TERRI. HES DOING A SEQUEL LOLZ!!!!
    NIGHTMARES. OLD STYLE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!
    GO BEARS?!?!

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  2. They better keep the cheetah print carpeting!!!

    Wow this place has a lot of potential for sure, it looks huge why didn’t they put the square footage?

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  3. I feel like I went back in time looking at this listing. As someone who is 6’3″, the ceiling height gives me concern. I’ve been in buildings like this where the ceilings are approx 7′-7.5′ and it feels incredibly cramped, no matter how much horizontal space you have. Though I’m sure it keeps the heating/cooling costs lower for HOA.

    I filter out any property with assessments over $600 on redfin and I know many other colleagues who are looking to buy that do this too. It makes me wonder how big of a market there is for these older buildings with behemoth assessments.

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  4. Assessment levels on older buildings has been a staple cribchatter debate. At some point, you do have to wonder if a building simply is not functional financially in regards to assessments. A comparable sized house would not have a $2300/month nut for maintenance and utilities.

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  5. I definitely think there is enough wood there for Groove

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  6. My take on assessment levels is that it depends on what you get for the money spent. In older buildings, like this one, you get maintenance and utilities. In newer buildings, you get a boatload of amenities. This building doesn’t even have “old building” amenities like a pool or valet parking.

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  7. Unless I’m missing something, there is no doorman for this building. Which means there is not much staff given the assessment levels. I would guess a manager and a couple maintenance guys.

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  8. Man. If I bought this the green kitchen would stay!! Love the flowers on the ceiling.

    The brown kitchen reminds me of my cousin’s childhood home on Long Island. How that was ever in vogue intrigues me.

    So much about this place is worth saving. That assessment is bananas. Then again a 4-bed/3.5 bath in this location for less than $1MM+ is pretty unusual.

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  9. Similar-sized alternative on a single floor:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/320-W-Oakdale-Ave-60657/unit-1001/home/13369284

    Per that listing, staff is “live-in engineer and part-time manager”.

    1003 just closed, so missed a chance to combine w/this listing for a full floor.

    Seems the assessment is about $3150/mo/floor, so that’s around $750k annually.

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  10. When I said “this location” I meant that neighborhood not another unit in the exact same building with similarly bananas assessments and need of a gut rehab.

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  11. I would say that the assessment is probably where it needs to be for this kind of building: heating and air conditioning with single pane windows ain’t cheap (those are probably the two biggest expenses here, along with staff – I live in a much older building and our biggest single expense is gas, by far). I don’t know that much about this building specifically, but things like elevator service contracts are also a big ticket item, plus maintaining the exterior and perhaps saving up for replacement windows, boilers, chillers, etc. That can add up pretty quickly.

    My feeling is a lot of newer buildings have their assessments too low and aren’t building reserves and owners will get hit with big special assessments sooner, especially if routine and repair maintenance isn’t dealt with before problems develop.

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  12. “I meant that neighborhood not another unit in the exact same building”

    We all got that.

    I was citing for the reference to building staff, and comparative assessments (to get approx total).

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  13. “I filter out any property with assessments over $600 on redfin and I know many other colleagues who are looking to buy that do this too. It makes me wonder how big of a market there is for these older buildings with behemoth assessments.”

    Is this for a 1 or 2 bedroom?

    If it’s for a 2-bedroom+ that means you’re only looking at 3-4 flat buildings or other midsized buildings that are like 6-8 units.

    And just looking at a number like that is, actually, quite dumb because you don’t know what it includes.

    You can have a 2/2 loft that only includes maintenance, doorman, scavenger and snow removal for $450 or you can have a 2/2 loft that includes all of that plus heat a/c and cable/internet that is $650. Which is a better deal? Most likely the one that is $650 because heat or a/c is certainly more than $100 a month for most 2/2s and cable/internet can run the solo owner $200+.

    Most large buildings do the bundling and you end up paying like $60 for the complete cable package (all movie channels) plus high speed internet. No smaller building or solo can get the same deal.

    So, to conclude, you really have to look at what it includes, what the reserves are like in the building and if there have been specials.

    You get what you pay for. If you don’t care about a doorman, then don’t live in a building where you have to pay for that. Similarly for a pool, exercise room or other amenities that add costs.

    And yes, some buildings are better run than others. It’s something to carefully consider when buying.

    But don’t be naïve that 15 years after being built that that 3-unit building won’t need tuck pointing or other maintenance and, whoops, the “reserves” are only $8,000 but it’s going to cost $20,000 (if it even HAS reserves).

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  14. Call Hollywood. They could rent this location to film a period piece.

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  15. Simply awesome. But I’d kill for that penthouse unit. Living up there with that crazy cool terrace as view would be worth the assessments and hassle of an “update” rehab. Those concrete and teak log floors would actually go back to having the pebbles between boards. Really cool!

    Good find Sabrina!

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  16. I think this unit has a ton of potential…If updated it could be a truly awesome place in a great neighborhood.

    The assessments though – that’s got to be close to what the mortgage payment would be. I understand they run high in these older buildings…but 2k+ is tooooo much.

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  17. oh wow. had they made those balconies curved, they could’ve called it Aqua and it would win awards.

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  18. Love, love, love this building. I’ve been in a unit here and they’re amazing. A duplex would be even better, and this one is quite nice. Price is high but these are huge units. Assessment is a big drawback. So is the fact that a high rise was built directly east of here in the 1980s that cuts off lake views and means half your windows look right into someone else’s building.

    Those are factors to consider. I still could see living here someday when my wife and I retire and we move back to the city. Mid-century steel high rises like this have a lot of character.

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  19. “…Price is high but these are huge units. Assessment is a big drawback. So is the fact that a high rise was built directly east of here in the 1980s that cuts off lake views and means half your windows look right into someone else’s building.
    Those are factors to consider….”

    While I love this location imo factors to consider include A.) proximity to St Joseph hospital’s 24/7 ER ambulance arrival entrance (incidentally IME an excellent ER without crowds, wait times & drama experienced @ Northwestern & Rush)- it’s adj S of hospital’s parking gar. which is across Oakdale and B.) high rise to E is Brookdale senior care facility so likely source of additional ambulance traffic.

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  20. Southbound,

    That’s a good thought. I wonder how noisy it gets. I lived a few blocks from here in the late 90’s in a high rise and definitely heard lots of sirens. Maybe they were going to St. Joseph. That never occurred to me until now.

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  21. “While I love this location imo factors to consider include A.) proximity to St Joseph hospital’s 24/7 ER ambulance arrival entrance (incidentally IME an excellent ER without crowds, wait times & drama experienced @ Northwestern & Rush)- it’s adj S of hospital’s parking gar. which is across Oakdale and B.) high rise to E is Brookdale senior care facility so likely source of additional ambulance traffic.”

    But ambulances usually don’t sound their siren within the immediate blocks around the hospitals that are in residential neighborhoods like this. We’ve chattered about this with other hospitals before. So, the sirens due to living within, say a block of the hospital, are non-existent.

    Not sure of the senior care facility, which should have a lot of ambulances, but they’re usually not speeding away with a gunshot victim, you know?

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  22. “had they made those balconies curved, they could’ve called it Aqua and it would win awards.”

    It DID win awards. It’s a famous building.

    But you would know that if you actually lived in Chicago.

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  23. “Call Hollywood. They could rent this location to film a period piece.”

    Lol. You’re totally right GoneFishin. Any kind of mid-century film or tv show could use this apartment just as it is.

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  24. I would love to have a look at association budget to how exactly they burn $750K every year. Not buying the heating theory, even with old single pane windows all around.

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  25. “I would love to have a look at association budget to how exactly they burn $750K every year. Not buying the heating theory, even with old single pane windows all around.”

    There’s just 66 units.

    1. Multiple doormen
    2. “motor court with valet”

    And that’s just to start.

    These are rich people with high demands. Do you think their packages won’t be delivered directly to their units each day among other things?

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  26. The decor in this place is only rivaled by the unit that was in Winston Towers earlier this year.

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  27. “There’s just 66 units.
    1. Multiple doormen
    2. “motor court with valet””

    Wrong property. Only 50 units, no doorman, no valet here.

    I would wager that they either have fairly hefty reserves (for some planned project) or an association mortgage for some sort of prior work (perhaps asbestos remediation, given the age of the building).

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  28. Wrong property. Only 50 units, no doorman, no valet here.

    Ha! ha!

    I thought it was No 9 Walton, obviously.

    Similar sized buildings though. Both will have high assessments because there are few units to maintain the building. 320 W. Oakdale is much older. Needs more maintenance. Elevators etc.

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