Buy a Penthouse With Lake Views in Chicago’s First Condo Tower: 339 W. Barry in Lakeview

339 w barry

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 339 W. Barry in East Lakeview came on the market in October 2016.

This building has a prestigious pedigree.

Built in 1963/1964, and designed by Fridstein & Fitch, the building was Chicago’s first condominium tower. Prior to this time, co-ops or rentals were the preferred high rise living arrangements.

“Built on the site of an earlier symbol of luxury—a greystone mansion-like home—on a side street east of Sheridan Road two blocks south of Belmont Avenue, the 26-story tower was designed in the style of Mies van der Rohe. This minimalist architect was best known for his iconic unadorned skyscrapers on Lake Shore Drive north of Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile” that translated modern office buildings into residential towers. 339 Barry could be thought of as either a tribute or a knock-off, depending on your level of purist admiration.

Perhaps more significant were the construction details. The foundation was said to be substantial enough to support a much taller building and the original central heating-air conditioning system was identical to some of those in downtown office buildings. Window walls in all four directions (although most of the west-facing glass covered solid walls) brought the outside in, so to speak, augmented by open-air balconies. A higher level of sound-proofing than found in similar-size rental buildings also supported the claim for quality features that would appeal to prospective buyers.”

I saw one listing say there are just 2 units per floor but there are also 67 units in the building so that can’t be correct.

There’s no parking and most units don’t have in-unit washer/dryer but some of the big units have it, including this one.

This top floor unit also has floor-to-ceiling windows facing east and north.

There are wood laminate floors in the main living areas.

The listing says it has 2 large master suites.

There’s a walk-in closet and a 19×5 gallery.

The kitchen has white cabinets, stone counter tops and a mix of stainless steel and white appliances.

The strange thing about this unit is that it last sold on September 30, 2016. But it was relisted not even a month later, on October 27, 2016.

A lis pendens foreclosure was recently filed in November 2017.

The unit is now listed for $30,100 under the 2016 purchase price.

Will someone be able to get a deal on this penthouse?

Benjamin Martin at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

But you should really look at the prior listing pictures instead because they have furniture in them and really show how the property will live. If you have a Redfin account, you can see those pictures here.

Unit #25A: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2152 square feet

  • Sold in May 2001 for $355,000
  • Sold in September 2016 for $600,000
  • Listed in October 2017 (I don’t have the exact price- but it was over $600,000)
  • Reduced
  • Listed in September 2017 for $589,900
  • Reduced
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in November 2017
  • Currently listed at $569,900
  • Assessments of $1406 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable, exterior maintenance, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $7861
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • No parking with the building
  • Bedroom #1: 20×12
  • Bedroom #2: 19×12
  • Bedroom #3: 12×14
  • Gallery: 19×5
  • Laundry room: 5×6
  • Walk-in closet: 7×8
  • 2 east facing balconies: 13×6 and 8×6

18 Responses to “Buy a Penthouse With Lake Views in Chicago’s First Condo Tower: 339 W. Barry in Lakeview”

  1. Cool place and if it were mine it would look like they filmed Mad Men

    Instead if will be filled with Room & Bored/CB2 schlock

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  2. http://www.339barry.com/339barry/picture/80199826339_barry_typical_floorplan.pdf

    Here’s some info on the Floor plate(s)

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  3. Nice place. Good price. It’s a little too far north for me, but the price seems great.

    I wonder what happened here. I imagine there must have been some sort of fraud.

    “Instead if will be filled with Room & Bored/CB2 schlock”

    Not everyone can afford $50,000+ on furniture to fill a house. I’m stressing out over buying a new couch. At this price point, people will most likely fill it with schlock because that’s all they can afford.

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  4. FRAUD NEVER HAPPENS LOLZ!!!
    JAN TERRI FILLZ IT WITH OLD STYLE AND PATIO FURNISHINGS!!!
    GO CUBBIES LOLZ!!!!!

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    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  5. “No parking with the building”

    The listing says “Garage Parking, Garage On-Site”. Looks like parking has a monthly fee. What it doesn’t say is if a parking space is guaranteed to the unit owner.

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  6. That floor plate could make for an interesting combined unit. Easily a 5/6 bedroom unit it’s den, bar, pantry, and laundry room. But the carry costs would be quite high.

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  7. Low ceilings. Interesting building, but not enough parking, some capital improvement repairs apparently deferred by its association, and oppressively low ceilings in units make this an unlikely choice for most buyers.

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  8. R&B’s quality has steadily gone down hill while still wanting a “premium” in the consumer space.

    Bought some nice walnut bedroom dressers 8+ years ago, bought walnut nightstands and they are junk.

    You’d be better off hitting the Merch Mart or finding a custom millwork shop.

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  9. Since we’re on the room and board topic, just wanted to comment – the wife and i ‘splurged’ 4k on what was seen as a high quality R/B couch 2 years ago for our family room – it has near completely fell apart. Garbage quality.

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  10. The first condo in Chicago was the 30-unit Fountain View at 6359 N Ridge. It was built in 1961 by Dunbar Builders as a “common law condo” before the adoption of the Condominium Property Act, which became effective in 1963. Dunbar had previously built its multi-unit buildings as co-ops.

    My old law firm, Jenner & Block, represented the developer, was largely responsible for the drafting of the Act and for doing the background work with the Assessor’s office and title companies to make condos feasible.

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  11. I like this place. I have a really bad association with the name Barry so not sure if I could live on that street. But if it was on some other street, I would buy it. But, speaking of Room and Board, I always thought it was cheap furniture, like IKEA. The name “room and board” says cheap lodging to me, not premium pricing.

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  12. “The first condo in Chicago was the 30-unit Fountain View at 6359 N Ridge. It was built in 1961 by Dunbar Builders as a “common law condo” before the adoption of the Condominium Property Act, which became effective in 1963. Dunbar had previously built its multi-unit buildings as co-ops.”

    I should have been more specific in the post.

    339 W Barry was the first condo tower in Chicago, not “building.” According to the association website, condos were restricted to low rise buildings before the 1963 Condominium Property Act.

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  13. “the wife and i ‘splurged’ 4k on what was seen as a high quality R/B couch 2 years ago for our family room – it has near completely fell apart. Garbage quality.”

    Riz- it’s pretty rare for a couch to fall apart in 2 years unless it’s from IKEA. Lol.

    You could probably contact R&B and see if they’ll be of some assistance. Maybe there was some kind of defect? It takes a LOT to “fall apart.”

    I had a low cost couch from Macy’s for 18 years. It never fell apart. But it had great down pillows.

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  14. “oppressively low ceilings in units make this an unlikely choice for most buyers.”

    They would likely be a little over 8 feet.

    There’s a lot an interior designer can do with that. You’d be surprised.

    I don’t understand the 11 foot high ceilings in new condo construction. If I want ceilings that tall, I’ll buy a loft.

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  15. Sabrina I have to disagree as I find those 11 foot ceilings in new construction really nice. They do add drama in larger rooms such as the living spaces. Although often in smaller bedrooms and baths they seem out of proportion.

    When coupled with a wall of windows the extra ceiling height really adds power. Otherwise I’d agree to just spec that extra foot throughout the space and make the unit nine foot ceilings. Visually it is quite noticeable and makes almost as big of an impact.

    Perhaps the reason I like them so much is that I’m tall. Or maybe it is because I got used to them when I lived in that 13 or 14 foot loft space for many years.

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  16. Sabrina, look at ceiling heights over some of those interior doors in photos. I toured building, found many low-ceiling areas within units.

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  17. Eight-foot ceilings don’t bother me, but the small room sizes do. And between the assessment and taxes, that’s a lot of money to shell out every month above and beyond the mortgage for a building that doesn’t seem too distinctive. It is a great location, and the view is nice. Honestly, I can’;t decide on this one. It needs far more photos in the listing, and better photos.

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  18. OK -just saw the Redfin pics and they’re much better. Nice looking unit. I’d love to see a floor plan. And at this price, parking had better be an option.

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