Back to the 1999 Price in the Gold Coast: 1212 N. LaSalle

This 1-bedroom unit in the high rise at 1212 N. LaSalle in the Gold Coast is listed as a short sale.

It is currently priced just $3,000 above the 1999 purchase price.

Built in 1989, this is one of the larger one bedroom units in the building at 850 square feet.

It has carpet and what looks to be the original kitchen- with white cabinet, white appliances and white counter tops.

There is no washer/dryer in the unit, but I believe the building does allow it to be installed.

The unit has central air and deeded parking is available in the building.

Is this a deal for this location and square footage?

Wanda Passolano at Re/Max Action has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1404: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 850 square feet

  • Sold in November 1999 for $137,000 (looks like parking might have been included in the sale)
  • Sold in September 2008 for $210,000 (no parking?)
  • Originally listed in September 2010 for $160,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed as a “short sale” for $140,000
  • Assessments of $385 a month (includes heat, A/C, doorman)
  • Taxes of $2265
  • Parking available for lease/purchase
  • Bedroom: 10×10
  • Living room: 12×18
  • Kitchen: 9×9

64 Responses to “Back to the 1999 Price in the Gold Coast: 1212 N. LaSalle”

  1. $99K sells it. Look at that kitchen!

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  2. Joe, you could renovate that kitchen with high end cabinets/counters/appliances for less than 10 thousand. You could actually make this place look REALLY nice and very high end for 20-30k. It would be a great in-town for someone – and, after renovations, would likely only cost 160k (milkster – are you out there?).

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  3. Well run building and in unit laundry allowed. This unit just needs a redo! Very close to Old Town if that is your flavor

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  4. David, what type of people live in this building (I don’t mean race – but in general, older, younger, single, married, kids, etc.) I remember in the late 80s/early90s going there quite often for parties – there were a huge group of spoiled brats from California who went to the Chicago Medical School and rented there, at that time, most of the units were rentals or rented out. These people were so loud that I can’t imagine older and more responsible people living in the building (esp. because nobody ever called the cops on them – at least while I was there). The area was a bit dicey and scary at night (not as bad as western ave) – but all of this must have changed since then. Has it?

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  5. While I could never love either this little apartment or its location on LaSalle St- yes, it IS scary at night- I have to admit this is a good deal for the money.

    You could put in a much nicer kitchen for relatively little money. It’s not the best Gold Coast location, but it’s close to absolutely every thing and it’s great for people who work downtown.

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  6. I don’t know how you could say this area is scary. Old town is the next block over, the Jewel across the street is open 24 hours and well-lit, and there is a significant police presence in the area because of the Division street bars that are a block away. It’s not like it’s a dark area at night. Not exactly a dark alley.

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  7. One bedrooms are to rent NOT to buy-

    -and like that i am gone

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  8. I agree w/ Groove – except if you are looking for an in-town. Those people tend to have a little extra money and, instead of wasting money on hotels every weekend, having a place like this would be perfect. Otherwise, you are right – not good for any other demographic.

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  9. I also agree with the sentiment about not buying. The area, as I noted above, is close by a lot of bars and nightlife. To me, that type of area gets old quickly, and is more suited to the type of transient lifestyle that befits renting. What about this place at that price for a rental? As much as I wouldn’t want to live in this location (not because it is scary, but because I don’t want to be that close to all those bars, etc.), does it make sense as an investment to cater to those same transient folks that relish proximity to nightlife?

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  10. I sold a unit to a late 20’s early 30’s couple a few years back
    great sweeping views north/west/and East from high floors. You can see the Lake profile and air/water show etc

    I’ve seen everyone from 20something to 70 yr old + living in the building

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  11. Dr. Funkenstein on October 28th, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Any ideas what this unit would rent for?

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  12. I agree with Groove, even if looking for an in-town– who wants an in-town without a guest bedroom?

    (Although there have been 2/1s around here for close to this price. . . there’s actually one in sandburg now for $159. . . )

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  13. “The area, as I noted above, is close by a lot of bars and nightlife. To me, that type of area gets old quickly, and is more suited to the type of transient lifestyle that befits renting.”

    While this may be true in most of the rest of the US here in Chicago the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods are covered in bars. They don’t call Chicago the whiskey soaked town for nothing.

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  14. For this to be bought and rented out, you would have to get at least 1600 to make a 6% return (and that is figuring that you are paying 140k cash, with no specials, no upgrades, no repairs and assuming the the unit is continuously rented) – not a great investment at all.

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  15. It would rent for between $1275 and $1400.

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  16. “I agree w/ Groove – except if you are looking for an in-town. Those people tend to have a little extra money and, instead of wasting money on hotels every weekend, having a place like this would be perfect. Otherwise, you are right – not good for any other demographic.”

    You’re already paying close to $600/mo just for the assessments/taxes, not counting a mortgage or opportunity cost of paying in cash. For the few nights a month one might stay in the city if you’re a suburbanite, I’d much prefer to stay in nice hotels a few times for a similar cost as a dingy place like this and you don’t have to worry about maintenance and all of that. Granted, I’m painting with a very broad brush, but the lure of an in-town is somewhat lost on me.

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  17. planned parenthood on the ground floor, do they still give out free condoms?

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  18. A good friend of mine owned a few units in this building. His first was a studio/convertible that he converted to a 1bed by adding a wall and a door. This looks like the same type of unit. If I remember correctly there were some structural issues with the building. I don’t know if they were dealt with or if they needed attention.

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  19. I agree that this is a good deal at this price. It wouldn’t take much of an investment to make this a very cool place and the location, while it could be better, is just fine.

    I’ve been looking for the right in-town in the Gold Coast (2BR 2BA) for months now. Question: if there were two similar Gold Coast 2/2’s but one had NO PARKING but DID have an in-unit W/D, and the other HAD 1 PARKING SPOT but NO IN UNIT W/D (you have to go to the basement), which would be better for resale? I’m thinking the parking is more important than the in-unit W/D, but I’m curious to hear what others think. Thanks.

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  20. “its location on LaSalle St- yes, it IS scary at night”

    what? really? this isnt the 1980s or 1990s. you need to get out more.

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  21. Chicago ave. & LaSalle is far scarier (at night)

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  22. A few doors down is the sketchy hotel with the big “Transients Welcome” sign above the door. I like this area, but that would be a crappy thing to come home to everyday.

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  23. I remember when that place was built.
    Also I knew someone that worked in the building,
    Lots of mechanical problems with the place.
    the building is for the young and irresponsible.

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  24. “A few doors down is the sketchy hotel with the big “Transients Welcome” sign above the door. I like this area, but that would be a crappy thing to come home to everyday.”

    But, not “scary” necessarily.

    Also, much, much better than late 80s/early 90s. All the evidence you need is on the windows of Old Town Liquors, Glunz and the bar next to it (what was that dive’s name back then?). No more bars.

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  25. “Granted, I’m painting with a very broad brush, but the lure of an in-town is somewhat lost on me.”

    Barry,

    There are a few great things about an in-town (and, yes, none of them are financial):
    1. peace of mind knowing that you have a place to stay at a moments notice (you don’t have to make reservations, etc.).
    2. familiarity – gets you into your “weekend mode faster”
    3. not having to sleep in someone else’s bed – priceless
    4. having a kitchen/fridge to store all your favorite snacks
    5. not having to pack/unpack tons of stuff every weekend

    All of that comes at a price/cost – but if you have some disposable income and enjoy the city, it is worth it!!

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  26. “There are a few great things about an in-town (and, yes, none of them are financial):
    1. peace of mind knowing that you have a place to stay at a moments notice (you don’t have to make reservations, etc.).
    2. familiarity – gets you into your “weekend mode faster”
    3. not having to sleep in someone else’s bed – priceless
    4. having a kitchen/fridge to store all your favorite snacks
    5. not having to pack/unpack tons of stuff every weekend”

    All except #1 I agree with. There are about half a dozen weekends where there’s actually a problem getting a room, if you need not stay a a particular hotel (if you must, then #2 is less a factor), and almost invariably you can cancel your reservation up until 6pm the day of, meaning that making a res isn’t much of a risk.

    You did leave off #6 and #7–“free” place for guests in town and availability at 9am w/o having to stay the night before.

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  27. In chicago depending on flexibility and budget you really shouldn’t have to worry about finding a place, but if you stay downtown 2 nights a week every week at $1600 (Assuming you go low end at 200/night) a month you get close to a jr 1 bed/studio. Of course, this dosen’t take into account starwood points – which let’s face it, are like little gold nuggets to some of us corporate travelers.

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  28. I think In-towns are like boats, AWESOME when your friends have them.

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  29. “Of course, this dosen’t take into account starwood points – which let’s face it, are like little gold nuggets to some of us corporate travelers.”

    And, if you travel for work, but less frequently, with the additional in-town stays–at even half the frequency you suggest, you’d have your platinum status locked up, easily, which is another nice thing.

    Of course, clio is likely comparing to staying at 4S or the Pen, rather than budget shopping the S’woods, so there’s another difference.

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  30. Regarding in-towns – don’t forget that there WILL be appreciation so if you keep the place 10 years, you could actually do quite well (compared to renting at hotels).

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  31. “there WILL be appreciation”

    You know, if you stuck with “inflation hedge”, you’d be seen as less of a disconnected cheerleader.

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  32. “1. peace of mind knowing that you have a place to stay at a moments notice (you don’t have to make reservations, etc.).
    2. familiarity – gets you into your “weekend mode faster”
    3. not having to sleep in someone else’s bed – priceless
    4. having a kitchen/fridge to store all your favorite snacks
    5. not having to pack/unpack tons of stuff every weekend”

    “clio is likely comparing to staying at 4S or the Pen”

    If you were staying every other weekend or so at the 4S (which granted isn’t the comparison for this particular property, but this particular property is not where clio is staying either), (2) largely goes away as anon says, and I’d bet so do (1) except on very rare occasions, (4) at least the fridge part, and (5).

    I will say (3) freaks me out sometimes when I’m in a hotel. Try not to think about it too much.

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  33. party like it’s 1999 or better!

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  34. hotels are disgusting I dont want to sleep in the same bed as some tourists, have you seen these people? bleeeecccccchhhhhhh nasty ass people man!

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  35. Really – wouldn’t the best compromise between hotel and owning for an in-town be renting a place. You get bascially all clio’s list, but aren’t “stuck” with the property. Plus, if the owner raises the rent too much, you can just leave and rent something else or place hop till you find the best location for you.

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  36. “For this to be bought and rented out, you would have to get at least 1600 to make a 6% return (and that is figuring that you are paying 140k cash, with no specials, no upgrades, no repairs and assuming the the unit is continuously rented) – not a great investment at all.”

    i’m not a landlord so can someone help me with the math, here. i see

    1600*12 = 19,200
    less assessments at 385/month = $4620
    less taxes = $2265

    = 12315

    /$140K = 8.8%

    am i forgetting something?

    and aren’t there some tax advantages one gets from being a landlord that in effect boost this overall return?

    not to mention that Goldman (A rated company on rating watch negative by the way_) just priced 50 year bonds at 6 1/8%.

    so if you’re looking for low risk real estate at much more than 6% maybe you’re not living in the present?

    (thoughts?)

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  37. ME – you are right – but, for some reason, most people who own in-towns just can’t bring ourselves to renting or staying at hotels. Having an in-town is a luxury and may not make the MOST financial sense, but it DOES serve a very important psychological/emotional need for most people (that own one).

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  38. I really like this building and actually got outbid on a unit last summer when I was looking. It was a smaller, but higher, one bedroom, but my $270k bid w/o parking was not enough. Apparently things have fallen quite a bit in 15mo. *depressing*

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  39. Don’t forget inflation. I know near term this does not seem to be a factor but inflation is inevitable. Granted assessments and taxes will rise, what if rent doubles in year 20-30? In addition, what will this do to the value of an asset?
    Plus, I haven’t seen too many places where you can be fairly certain you will be cashflow positive in year one.
    This is a very desirable location in a doorman building. Because of the easy access to transportation and the safety of a doorman many single professional women rent in this building.

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  40. CC peanut gallery, what do you think of MLS#: 07648646 ?

    Next to what appear to be much more expensive homes and almost waterfront property. And if the term Bubble Creek doesn’t float your boat I could refer to it as Champagne Lagoon.

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  41. “but inflation is inevitable.”

    Tell that to the Japanese.

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  42. “Tell that to the Japanese.”

    Japan has never had the foreign trade/foreign-held debt issues we have now.

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  43. “CC peanut gallery, what do you think of MLS#: 07648646 ? ”

    Anything in Bridgeport Village–get a *extremely* thorough inspection. There are some places down there that just weren’t built right.

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  44. “most people who own in-towns just can’t bring ourselves to renting or staying at hotels. Having an in-town is a luxury and may not make the MOST financial sense, but it DOES serve a very important psychological/emotional need for most people (that own one).”

    Clio: Damn you hit the nail on the head. We probably should have rented for the in town, but it his a luxury that we felt we deserved. Makes us feel proud of ourselves. On the other hand we drive a ten year old Isuzu Trooper and a six year old Isuzu Rodeo. No lambos for us.

    We get there Friday night. Pick up a pizza from Lou’s. Open a bottle of champagne. Pull up the blinds to the magnificently lit up skyline, and we begin to relax. Feels great.

    I’ve written this before, but let me repeat it. The first time our mid-20 year old son visited with us in Chicago and we pulled up the windows shades to see the high rises all lit up at night, he looked at us and said: “When did you guys get so cool.”

    You don’t think that’s worth the cost?

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  45. Steve A – good for you – you really seem to understand the balue of having a few extra bucks!! By buying your intown, not only are you investing in your mental/psychological well being, but you get to share in the enjoyment with your son. In addition, I bet that if you sell in 10-15 years and calculate your costs, you will be better off (financially) than you would have been if you had rented. The psychological/emotional benefits – priceless!!!

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  46. old hickory,

    you are missing the following:

    1. one month rental fee for the agent that finds your renter
    2. gap of one month between rentals (assuming it is rented right away)
    3. insurance.

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  47. would have kicked the kid out and made him stay at the ohio house for not realizing I was always so cool.

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  48. Back to the property at hand, the semi-scary area is the Red Line stop at Division. I did know a girl that rented in the area (and insisted on a high rise so there would be a doorman for security). But she ended up moving because she wasn’t comfortable coming home late at night from downtown and running into the mix of people at that Red Line stop.

    Now, I am not bothered by that Red Line stop, but perhaps my friend as a young female had a different perspective.

    I’d add that we all have our differing comfort levels and there are things that when I was younger didn’t think about like why women will take the bus late at night instead of the “L” even though the bus takes longer.

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  49. chichow, I think you may be measuring red line stops with brown line standards.

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  50. nah, he’s measuring them with chick standards, but it’s kind of the same thing.

    Had a girlfriend who lived in a not super nice part of west town, her hood never bothered me but she hated it bc dudes sitting on the steps would make comments at her walking down the street like they were construction workers.

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  51. I don’t know… I think fear and sense of safety is just a function of how observant/attentive and sober you are. Two examples:

    1. When I was dating my wife 20 years ago, we decided to walk west from her place on Chicago and McClurg. We were talking and walking and before we knew it, I looked up and I think we were somewhere near this place w/several public housing looking places and questionable characters. I, of course, realized this and was trying desperately to figure out where we were and how to get out of there ASAP but she was cluelessly walking/skipping along not even understanding how close to being robbed/raped/murdered we were.

    2. When I am drunk and walking the streets of chicago, I don’t think that ANY place is dangerous (not even Western Ave).

    So, safety and danger are very subjective and directly correlated with one’s awareness of his surroundings as well as their state of sobriety!!

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  52. For two years while in grad school I had three evening classes/week. I used to get off at Clark/Division Red Line stop at 9:30-10 pm and walk 2-3 blocks. Never had a problem. Only once guy standing behind me on escalator tried to steel my wallet. But this was during the day and could have happen on any El stop or bus.
    I grew up in the city with a very high criminal rate and consider Chicago to be very safe in general, so my standards might be little different.

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  53. “CC peanut gallery, what do you think of MLS#: 07648646 ? ”

    Good spot on the price, if you want BPV. . . agree w/anon on the inspection, but that’s true for any house.

    You know you can get new construction, just a little south of here at this price point, right? (Might be attached, e.g. lexington sq, but these places are pretty close).

    (Plus, aren’t you supposed to have a place with a turret?)

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  54. “but that’s true for any house.”

    It’s especially true of this development as they are alleged to have cut significant corners.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-02-26/news/ct-met-kass-0226-20100226_1_clout-birthday-party-city-hall/2

    “Even before construction was complete, the Ruiz suit claims, the walls of the $900,000 home would shake in the wind. The wall joists were 36 inches apart, rather than the 16 inches specified by the blueprints, according to the lawsuit.

    Jose and Sandra also allege in their suit that the house shifted, causing leaks that ruined the floors. And they say that when the floors were removed, they found that 18 floor trusses were missing.”

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  55. “You know you can get new construction, just a little south of here at this price point, right? (Might be attached, e.g. lexington sq, but these places are pretty close). ”

    I wouldn’t consider Lexington Square. BPV is much nicer, is on the water, is north of 35th st and the homes are more spacious.

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  56. “I wouldn’t consider Lexington Square. BPV is much nicer, is on the water, is north of 35th st and the homes are more spacious.”

    If you prefer BPV, then you’re totally on the right track with your place and I’d probably jump on it. I have always preferred the more traditional BP areas to BPV. . . (but then I’d be buying a vintage place).

    I would not have considered Lex Sq either. . . but after seeing it a couple months ago, I had to admit it was way higher quality than I’d assumed, and the nabe seemed to have changed bigtime, so thought I’d pass that on my second positive sentiment about the RE mkt in one week.

    p.s. you can watch the joe z video on lex sq if you wanna puke for real.

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  57. “If you prefer BPV, then you’re totally on the right track with your place and I’d probably jump on it.”

    Need 20% downpayment so I’m not ready yet. Will take me about three more years. But I’m not worried about being priced out in the interim. :D

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  58. Interesting group of comments here! Here are mine:

    I imagine that there are some married men out there who would convince their wives that an “in-town” would be a good investment, and wifey agrees and goes along with the deal…not realizing that hubby will sometimes be occupying it “after working late” (wink wink) with some other roommate (nudge nudge). And with the unspoken advantage of avoiding “all dem fish-eyes from da hotel cloik,” as Adelaide so memorably put it in “Guys and Dolls.”

    Yeah, Chicago and LaSalle is REALLY SCARY! All those wierdos from the Moody Bible Institute handing out pamphlets really can freak a person out!

    Women who live in urban neighborhoods often get “street smart” very quickly and are less likely to get all “verklempt” about walking close to a perceived “unsafe” area than their suburban-tourist boyfriends.

    BPV and Lex Sq were hastily assembled (with a little help from certain “connected” folks”) during that brief part of the boom years (2005) when some optimists felt that living by the Cell would have the same “hipness factor” as living near Wrigley.

    I imagine that right about now, that “cachet” belongs to houseboats docked at McCovey’s Cove.

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  59. Clio-at our ages we are not going to hold on to the in-town for 10-15 years. Two reasons: we could be dead by then, and the ability to purchase the place in Chicago was based on our retirement jobs, which we will only keep for the next five years. So Chicago will have to go, and I do expect to get less then I paid for it.

    CH “would have kicked the kid out and made him stay at the ohio house for not realizing I was always so cool.”

    It’s Wisconsin not Ohio and he lives in LA. My answer to his question as to when we became so cool was: “When we were able to stop paying for you to go to USC.”

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  60. I think referring to “Ohio House” is a motel in downtown Chicago.

    http://www.ohiohousemotel.com

    600 ish north Lasalle

    fwiw

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  61. yes they have great cheap breakfast specials there, not that i’ve ever eaten there, but I will have the guts to do so, someday

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  62. OK. I know the Ohio House. Looks scary, but the parking lot is always full with out of state cars, at least on weekends, so it’s probably not as bad as it looks.

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  63. BTW, can someone tell me the history of the whole Moody thing. They own huge amounts of assumedly valuable real estate on LaSalle.

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  64. If someone was truly uneasy about the Clark/Division Red Line stop at night, they could always get off at North/Clybourn and take the $5 cab ride home. This building has a very hotel-style off-street drop-off area. It may be a bit ridiculous, but what’s peace-of-mind/not-getting-raped worth?

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  65. I’ve lived in the hood for 35 years. have seen a lot of change. I’m 60 and would like to retire to 1212 lasalle. the price (with parking), views and floor plans are attractive. I’m anticipating newer mechanical systems, because other buildings are old, like sandburg. since it’s 2014, is the party-central issue still in the mix? please advise, thanks, dan

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