Has Anyone Ever Built a Roof Deck? A Loft at 1439 S. Michigan in the South Loop

This 2-bedroom duplex loft in Trevi Square at 1439 S. Michigan in the South Loop came on the market in April 2019.

Trevi Square was converted into lofts back in 1995-1996.

I found this Chicago Tribune article from 1995 discussing all the recent conversions of commercial/historic buildings into residential spaces that year.

Hospital to homes. The former St. Luke’s Hospital at 1439 S. Michigan Ave. is being revived as a new residential development called Trevi Square. Founded in 1864, the hospital moved to the South Michigan Avenue address in 1871 and played a role in the relief effort following the Great Chicago Fire.

Construction began on the current structure in 1908. Luxury private rooms included such amenities as fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and large windows.

The brick and limestone structure, featuring 20-foot-high Doric columns, had been vacant since the late 1970s. Recently purchased by Laser & Mirro Development, it has been divided into 69 loft condominiums priced from $130,000 to $185,000.

This loft is on the top floor and has 20 foot ceilings along with exposed brick walls.

It has 64 feet of windows, including windows in both bedrooms.

The kitchen has wood cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

There’s one bedroom on the main floor and the second level has a master bathroom.

There is also a bonus room/loft above the living room which has a spiral staircase that leads to a private exit to the roof.

This unit has roof rights for a 950 square foot private roof deck. But since 1995, it has never been built.

It does also have a 160 square foot balcony off the dining room.

It has the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and heated garage parking is included.

This loft originally came on the market in April 2019 for $625,000 and has been under contract. But it was also reduced to $574,900.

Has anyone ever built-out a “roof rights” situation after they bought a condo?

Is it a selling point if it’s not built out?

Mark Zipperer at Re/Max Edge has the listing. See the pictures and floor plan (including the rooftop deck plan) here.

Unit #603: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1850 square feet, duplex, loft

  • Sold in October 1996 for $259,500
  • Sold in August 2004 for $476,000
  • Originally listed in April 2019 at $625,000
  • Under contract in July 2019
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $574,900 (includes heated garage parking)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (main floor)
  • Living room: 26×22 (main floor)
  • Dining room: 15×14 (main floor)
  • Kitchen: 14×14 (main floor)
  • Bonus room/loft: 20×11 (second floor)

10 Responses to “Has Anyone Ever Built a Roof Deck? A Loft at 1439 S. Michigan in the South Loop”

  1. This is a cool space, I really like it. I don’t know what’s up with those black kitchen counters, if it’s Formica, it needs to go. Will need both baths to be totally remodeled. And most likely replace bedroom carpet, as well. So, fair amount of money to update the space. I think you could also do a built in system for an office space, and have space for a dining table. Just do a very long and narrow room against one wall witch can be closed with pocket door. It just seems like a jumbo space for just a table.

    Now, the roof space is massive. And to build it out would be a massive cost. First of all, I’d imagine you need a structural engineer to make sure you can build and how to do it. If you wanted a hot tub, you’d need to be able to support it. It’s really expensive to hire the firms to do these tricked-out roofs. People spends loads of money just to do a 400 sf roof on top of a garage. It’d be really great to do a big floral and veg garden, depending on the type of sunlight received.

    If one has a ton of dough to update interior and then go for it on the roof, it’d be very nice. Very, very, nice.

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  2. WHICH not witch, arrgghhh

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  3. Has anyone ever built a roof deck? Considering I’ve seen at least one roof deck in Chicago, the answer must be yes, someone has. Lmao.

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  4. To me, the benefit of roof rights is that it prevents the association from building a common deck in that space. Who wants that over their heads? In that sense, I think roof rights are a nice option.

    By the way, roof decks seem so overrated. From my treetop condo, I see so many roof decks with all the bells and whistles (outdoor kitchens, entertainment systems). Rarely do I see people use them. Roof decks are like the jetted tub of the 90s….it seems so wonderful when you’re a buyer, but when you’re an owner, the “perk” is more trouble than it’s worth.

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  5. “From my treetop condo, I see so many roof decks with all the bells and whistles (outdoor kitchens, entertainment systems).”

    I think that we would use one rather frequently *IF* (and only if) there were on the same level enough inside space to have a decent-sized wetbar and a half bath. I’d want the indoor wetbar even if I were going over the top with a full Kalamazoo outdoor kitchen, and the half bath is utterly non-negotiable for a truly usable space.

    I do know a few people who use their garage-top decks pretty often, but it’s still fewer than 1 in 4 of the decks I see nearby. And I’m discounting the garage-top sport court (which have become increasingly numerous) in that count.

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  6. We have a roof deck and are currently getting estimates on the cost to rebuild it. Estimates range from “are you f’in kiddin’ me?” to “you gotta be f’in kiddin’ me”. It’s crazy expensive.

    We use ours a lot (I work from home, so I spend a good portion of most summer/fall days up there), but there are 8 or 9 roof decks visible from ours that are almost always empty.

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  7. I always used my front and side yard way more than the roof deck… its so damn hot up there even with a shade umbrella, and then lugging crap up 3 long flights of stairs… bleh

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  8. For certain buyers like myself, outdoor space is a non-negotiable. I use my garage-top deck all the time and front porch occasionally and have made the most of any outdoor space anywhere I’ve lived. But I’d actually shy away from a roof-rights property that wasn’t perfect in every other way because the simple truth is that, in most cases, if the cost and hassles were manageable the deck would have been built long ago.

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  9. @Swannee – – Those counters are honed black granite. They don’t need to be replaced. The bathrooms on the other hand most definitely do.

    I have a roof deck and I use it all the time but the key to roof deck enjoyment is not having more than one floor between your kitchen and your roof deck otherwise entertaining up there is a big PITA. Another consideration is getting a company who does roofs AND builds roof decks so that you don’t void your roof warranty whilst constructing your roof deck. That was a key consideration for us when we built ours.

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  10. But I’d actually shy away from a roof-rights property that wasn’t perfect in every other way because the simple truth is that, in most cases, if the cost and hassles were manageable the deck would have been built long ago.

    Yep- it’s probably a really expensive. Who has the cash? It’s been a couple of decades now. If it hasn’t been built by now, it never will be.

    Lol.

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