Market Conditions: Will Sonies Soon Be Surrounded By Thousands Of New Renters In River North?

One of the big stories of 2012 has turned out to be the sheer number of highrise apartment buildings that are being built and/or are under consideration for construction in the GreenZone, specifically the downtown neighborhoods.

Every few months there are new announcements of yet a couple of more highrises that have gone on the drawing board.

Crain’s recently reported on the latest developer to jump into the apartment fray.

Vancouver, B.C.-based Onni Group of Cos. recently paid a combined $17.8 million for a 30,000-square-foot commercial building at 353 W. Grand Ave., the former site of the Clark & Barlow hardware store, and a 40,900-square-foot parcel at 750 N. Hudson, the former Rezko property, property records show.

Onni, which bought the 30-story office tower at 200 N. LaSalle St. in April, intends to build a mixed-use development on each site that would include 200 or more apartments and retail or office space, said Onni acquisitions executive Dan Bell.

“Obviously we haven’t built anything (in Chicago) yet so it’s a bit of a learning curve for us,” Mr. Bell said, adding that the city’s “diverse economy” and “young and affluent profile” make it attractive from a development standpoint. “I think it’s (a market) that’s not going anywhere and one that, in the long term, you’re not going to go wrong in investing in as long as you’re buying the right locations for the right price.”

Onni is joining the herd of developers that have stampeded into the downtown apartment market in recent years, lured by rising occupancies and rents. Developers are expected to add more than 7,000 units to the downtown market by the end of 2014, raising concerns about a potential glut.

In River North, that includes Amli Residential’s 409-unit development at 71 W. Hubbard St. and Habitat Co.’s 450-unit project at 360 W. Hubbard St., according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

But are the developers worried about the sheer number of units being built?

Not in the least.

While developers are building more apartments today than ever, fueling concerns about overbuilding, Mr. Evans said he is not concerned about supply getting ahead of demand because most condominium developers have been sidelined since the recession, leaving more room in the market for rentals.

“We didn’t buy these things to hold as land, so our intention is to proceed as quickly as we can, but we also need to educate ourselves on certain aspects of the process,” Mr. Bell said.

Any guesses on how this apartment boom is going to play out over the next five years?

  • Answer A: It’s perfectly fine Sabrina. Demand and supply are in sync. Nothing to look at.
  • Answer B: The apartment glut will be solved when they are converted to condos during the next condo boom which Clio believes will start about 2016.
  • Answer C: Developers will get into financial trouble…again.
  • Answer D: None of the above- I’ll supply my own expert analysis in the comments.

Canadian firm plans 2 River North apartment projects [Crain’s Chicago Business, Abraham Tekippe, October 17, 2012]

The Tikki Bar And Jacuzzi Finally Sells in Southport: 1348 W. Addison

We chattered about this 3 bedroom at 1348 W. Addison in Southport several times over the last year.

See our August 2012 chatter here.

In August, we speculated as to who the target buyer might be with a bachelor being at the top of the list.

We also debated how much you’d have to earn to buy this type of property.

If you recall, it had 5 outdoor decks including one terrace measuring 20×25 and a private rooftop deck measuring 1400 square feet complete with a jacuzzi and a custom Tikki Bar.

The kitchen had espresso cabinets and upscale stainless steel appliances. It also had 2 inch concrete counter tops (instead of the standard granite counter tops.)

There were 2 master suites and a home theater in the 2400 square feet.

It had all the other features condo buyers look for including central air and washer/dryer in the unit. It also came with the coveted 2-parking spaces which will be helpful given the unit’s location down the street from Wrigley Field.

This is one of the few properties I’ve seen lately that has actually sold over the 2007 purchase price.

With the housing market improving, is this the start of a trend?

Richard Kasper at Conlon had the listing. You can still see the pictures here.

Unit #3W: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2400 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in November 2007 for $800,000
  • Originally listed in August 2011 for $899,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in December 2011 at $889,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in August 2012 at $879,000
  • Sold in September 2012 for $840,000
  • Assessments of $330 a month
  • Taxes of $11,684
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 1400 square foot rooftop deck
  • 5 decks total
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13 (third level)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10 (third level)
  • Bedroom #3: 16×16 (fourth level)
  • Family room: 21×16 (fourth level)



Get A 3-Bedroom In Roscoe Village $39K Under The 2002 Price: 1801 W. Addison

This 3-bedroom at 1801 W. Addison in Roscoe Village has been on the market since July 2012.

It has an open living/dining room with hardwood floors.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

It has the amenities buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking.

Yes, it is directly across from the Addison Brown line El stop.

The building is between the Metra tracks and the  El tracks.

This unit was originally listed in March 2009 but withdrawn in 2010.

It has now been reduced about $100,000 and is listed $39,000 below the original purchase price in 2002.

The listing calls it an “insane” price reduction.

Is this a deal?

Eric Marcus at Eric Marcus Real Estate Group has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3E: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet, 1 car parking

  • Sold in November 2002 for $389,000
  • Originally listed in March 2009 for $449,000
  • Reduced and then withdrawn
  • Re-listed in July 2012 for $384,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $350,000
  • Assessments of $228 a month
  • Taxes of $5374
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 18×12
  • Bedroom #2: 16×11
  • Bedroom #3: 11×9

On and Off the Market for 8 Years and Now Bank Owned: A Wicker Park Cottage at 1234 N. Marion

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom brick cottage at 1234 N. Marion in Wicker Park in September 2010.

Check out our prior interesting discussion about the mortgages and whether or not this is a teardown here.

Some thought tearing it down would be problematic because there is no alley- only the side driveway.

Financedoc also posted the following in 2011:

“Spent $150 for a full FHA inspection. The home is riddled with termites and crumbling. Minimum $200k to save and rehab. The seller will take $300k if you’re up for it.”

The bank has now taken it back, nearly 3 years after the lis pendens foreclosure was filed.

It was listed as a short sale for $339,000 in June 2011.

It just came back on the market (same realtor as the prior listings) for $359,500.

It is a Fannie Mae Homepath property. A HomePath Renovation Mortgage is available. There is also a 15 day first look for owner occupants- so you can’t complain that the developers/rehabbers are getting them all.

You only need 3% down.

There are now interior pictures.

If you recall, the house was built in 1890 and is on a 33.3×110 lot.

There is no central air but there is a side drive with some parking.

3 out of the 4 bedrooms are on the second floor and the fourth is on the main floor.

Back in 2010 and 2011, some of you thought it had to sell for under $200,000 to make any rehab a viable option.

What do you all think of the price now?

Will this house finally sell in 2012?

Kirby Pearson at Pearson Realty Group still has the listing. See the pictures here (finally with interior pics).

1234 N. Marion Ct.: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1 car parking on side drive, 1992 square feet

  • Sold before 1985
  • Originally listed in October 2005 for $749,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2009
  • Reduced in March 2010 to $399,999
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in September 2010 at $375,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2011 for $339,000
  • Bank owned in July 2012
  • Re-listed as a Fannie Mae Homepath property at $359,500
  • Taxes now $9221 (they were $7241 in September 2010)
  • No central air
  • Bedroom #1: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×8 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 17×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×10 (second floor)




“2nd bed is den/office” At 10 E. Delaware In The Gold Coast

This 2-bedroom at 10 E. Delaware, the newer construction high rise in the Gold Coast, has been on and off the market since January 2010.

It recently came back on the market listed as a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit with the listing saying “2nd bed is den/office.”

A den/office usually doesn’t have a closet. In Chicago, to be a bedroom, it has to have a closet.

Is it a bedroom or a den then?

This is the “A” unit. I have never seen it listed as anything other than a 1 bedroom plus den.

Another A unit, #17A, is also currently on the market. That is listed as a 1-bedroom plus den for $729,900 (parking extra.)

You can see the listing for that unit here.

In fact, in its older listings, #11A was listed as a 1 bedroom plus den just as all the other A units are always listed.

These A units were originally marketed as luxury 1-bedrooms.

Unit #11A has 1023 square feet.

The kitchen is Poggenpohl and has SubZero, Miele and Wolf appliances.

The master bath is marble.

If you include the parking, this unit is listed $125,000 more than the January 2010 purchase price.

Will this unit get the premium over the 2010 sale?

And what will buyers think who go to look at the unit expecting to see a 2-bedroom?

Timothy Salm at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #11A: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1023 square feet

  • Sold in January 2010 for $615,000 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in January 2010 for $699,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed as low as $649,000 in February 2011
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $675,000 (parking $65,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $481 a month (includes pool, doorman, a/c)
  • Taxes of $8392
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 12×12
  • Bedroom #2 (den????): 9×9

Get A Renovated Portage Park 4-Bedroom Bungalow For Under $430K: 5240 W. Cuyler

We’ve been chattering quite a bit about rehabbed properties like this 4-bedroom vintage brick bungalow at 5240 W. Cuyler in Portage Park.

Built in 1916 on a 30×125 lot, it has a 2-car garage and is located just a block and a half from the Park.

The listing says it’s a “gut renovation to the studs”.

If you look at the pictures from the previous listing, when it was a 2 bedroom/1 bath being sold “as-is”, you’ll see what that means.

See the prior pictures here.

It now has a “chef’s kitchen” with dark cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

There are  hardwood floors throughout the main living area and wainscotting.

There is a full basement with a family room, a bedroom and bath.

Otherwise, two of the four bedrooms are on the second floor and the third is on the main level.

Will this rehabber get over $400,000 in this neighborhood?

D. Waveland Kendt at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

5240 W. Cuyler: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car garage, no square footage listed

  • There are no older records for this property
  • Sold in September 2011 for $90,000
  • Currently listed for $429,900
  • Taxes of $5001
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 24×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 9×14 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 14×8 (basement)
  • Family room: 23×20 (basement)


We Love River North Penthouses With Wrap Around Terraces: 340 W. Superior

This 2-bedroom penthouse at 340 W. Superior in River North has been on the market since June 2012.

It has an open floorplan with a double-sided fireplace in the living room and dining room.

You can see the 1200 square foot terrace from anywhere in the living/dining room as it wraps around the unit.

The kitchen is “gourmet” with cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

It also has hand-fired Italian tiles and built in speakers.

Unlike a lot of the other penthouses we’ve been chattering about, however, it is not a 3-bedroom unit but is just 2-bedrooms.

It does have the coveted 2-car parking however.

Will the lack of a third bedroom make this a harder sell?

Millie Rosenbloom at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit PH2: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 car parking, 2698 square feet

  • I couldn’t find a prior sale
  • Originally listed in June 2012 for $1.4 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1.35 million
  • Assessments of $1894 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $16,750
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 20×18
  • Bedroom #2: 13×9

Not Your Cookie Cutter 3-Bedroom In The Montgomery At 500 W. Superior In River North

This 3-bedroom in The Montgomery at 500 W. Superior in River North has some unique finishes.

The listing says it is architect owned and has finishes out of the pages of architectural digest and the Merchandise Mart.

It has 10 foot ceilings and a top of the line kitchen with luxury upgrades.

The bathrooms are slate and soapstone.

There are stone walls and dark hardwood floors.

At 2245 square feet, the unit also has a family room.

First listed in May 2010 for $1.2 million, it has been listed on and off between $1.2 million and $975,000 since then.

Will it finally find a buyer in 2012?

Michael Rosenblum at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #912: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2245 square feet

  • Sold in July 2005 for $679,000
  • Sold in September 2006 for $975,000
  • Originally listed in May 2010 for $1.2 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in February 2011 at $975,000
  • Raised back to $1.2 million in February 2011
  • Withdrawn in March 2011
  • Re-listed in July 2012 at $975,000
  • Raised
  • Currently listed at $1 million (2 car tandem parking available for $49,000)
  • Assessments of $1257 a month (includes a/c, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $10,570
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 13×16
  • Bedroom #2: 11×16
  • Bedroom #3: 10×14
  • Family room: 15×15

This 2-Flat Greystone On The Boulevard Has Been Rehabbed Into A 6-Bedroom SFH: 3051 W. Logan Boulevard

This 6-bedroom greystone single family home at 3051 W. Logan Boulevard in Logan Square recently came on the market. (Thanks to DZ for the excellent picture.)

It was previously a 2-flat and had been bank owned in 2009.

The property has been renovated into a single family home with 6000 square feet.

Built in 1910 on an oversized irregular lot measuring 50×92.1×59.85×125, the house has a coveted 3-car garage and multiple new decks.

None of the original vintage features in the interior appear to be remaining.

The entire interior has been gutted with a new kitchen with custom cabinets and SubZero and Wolf appliances and all new stone baths.

Three bedrooms are on the second floor, two on the third and one in the basement along with a family room and a theater room.

The Boulevard has been hot in the last few years.

Can this location support this nearly $2 million price point?

Victor Lang at Cloudview Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

You can also see the previous listing when the house was a bank owned 2-flat here (but no interior pics).

3051 W. Logan Boulevard: 6 bedrooms, 4 full and 3 half baths, 6000 square feet, 3 car garage

  • Sold in January 1987 (no price listed)
  • Sold in June 2004 for $740,000
  • Lis pendens filed in June 2008
  • Bank owned in April 2009
  • Sold in November 2009 for $505,000
  • Currently listed at $1,788,800
  • Taxes are $8213
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 16×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 14×10 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 11×14 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #6: 14×13 (basement)
  • Family room: 21×17 (basement)
  • Theater room: 15×17 (basement)

Is Now The Time To Be Listing? A 3-Bedroom In 550 N. St. Clair In Streeterville

This 3-bedroom in 550 N. St. Clair in Streeterville recently came on the market.

It has one of the preferred views- north and west- which overlooks Michigan Avenue.

This building was new construction in 2007.

It has concrete ceilings and a modern kitchen and baths.

The kitchen has Subzero and Bosch appliances and the larger bath has a spa/shower.

The pictures don’t tell us much else.

The unit is listed $67,500 under its 2008 purchase price.

Parking is included in the price.

But seeing those interior pictures made me wonder- has the market improved enough that just anything can be listed and there will be interest in it?

Gerald Clark at Caren Real Estate has the listing. It is agent owned. See the pictures here.

Unit #1508: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1625 square feet

  • Sold in March 2008 for $766,500 (parking included)
  • Currently listed for $699,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $674 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, pool)
  • Taxes of $11,500
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11
  • Bedroom #3: 15×10