The Chicago Tribune recently reported on people who keep second homes in Chicago.
Some used to live here and simply kept their apartments.
Others buy because Chicago has great restaurants, museums and culture and it’s still affordable compared to “comparable” large cities with the same amenities.
O’Hare Airport, and its many international routes, doesn’t hurt either.
The Gold Coast used to be the most in-demand area for pied-a-terres, Malkin said. But she added that River North is also popular, as are areas near Grant Park that are walking distance from museums and summer concerts.
Liz Brooks, vice president of sales and marketing for developer Belgravia Group, said many out-of-state apartment owners live in driving-distance states like Michigan.
“They come in with friends and relatives to entertain or for a quick weekend getaway,” she said.
One couple, for example, has a home in Ann Arbor, Mich., but keeps an apartment to visit their son and grandchildren in Lincoln Square. Another couple’s primary home is in Houston, yet one spouse regularly travels to Amsterdam and often stays in Chicago.
Pied-a-terres vary from a one-bedroom to apartments with extra bedrooms to entertain family for the holidays.
Key on the second-home shopping list? Amenities and a management company to take care of anything that needs fixing. For example, when a toilet exploded in Jones’ apartment.
“When you’re not living there on a full-time basis, it’s rather nerve-wracking,” Jones said. “What if there’s a leak going on, and you don’t find it until you go home weeks after it started?”
Some even come to stay during the, gasp, winter.
Joe Hanauer lived in Chicago for decades before moving to Laguna Beach, Calif., in the 1980s.
He and his spouse often returned, staying in hotels.
“We recognized how much we missed Chicago,” he said. “Not just because we have a lot of friends, but also the culture, the feeling of the city.”
So 15 years ago, they bought a two-bedroom condo at the Drake Tower on East Lake Shore Drive. Hanauer had always loved the view of the city from that street, and its walking distance to downtown hot spots.
Ahead of visits, they call Treasure Island and get groceries delivered, which building personnel stock in the refrigerator.
When winter strikes, they love the convenience of simply walking downstairs to dine.
Now, unable to travel as often, the Hanauers have put the condo up for sale.
Over the years on Crib Chatter, many commenters have noted that Chicago is “cheap” compared to [fill in the blank]: New York, Washington DC, London, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco etc.
Is Chicago the best deal in the country for high rise living?
Is the Gold Coast still the place to be or will Streeterville, River North or even the South Loop eventually take the second home crown?
Chicago’s diverse appeal as a second home city [Chicago Tribune, by Alison Bowen, November 30, 2016]