Looking for Glass and Steel and 4-Bedrooms in River North? 747 N. Clark

747 n clark

This 4-bedroom in the modern boutique building at 747 N. Clark in River North came on the market in September 2015.

Constructed in 2013, after the housing bust, it has just 6 units.

Made of steel and glass, it has an extra wide interior that is 38 feet.

There is a private elevator into the unit and two balconies.

It has all the features buyers look for in “new” contemporary design construction including 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.

The kitchen has rustic modern Zecchinon cabinets, and luxury appliances and fixtures by Wolf, Subzero, Bosch and Gaggenau along with Ann Sacks tile.

The island is 10 feet long.

The bathrooms have Italian porcelain tile.

There’s garage parking, central air and washer/dryer in the unit.

4-bedrooms are rare in River North.

Yet, this unit has been on and off the market since last September.

Why isn’t this selling?

KC Lau at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #601: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2580 square feet

  • Sold in March 2014 for $1.314 million (doesn’t appear to include the parking spot)
  • Originally listed in September 2015 for $1.7 million (not sure if this included the parking)
  • Reduced (?)
  • Currently listed at $1.65 million (plus $50,000 for parking = $1.7 million)
  • Assessments of $741 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $18,825
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14
  • Bedroom #2: 15×13
  • Bedroom #3: 15×11
  • Bedroom #4: 12×10

Market Conditions: Who’s Going to Rent All These Apartments in Downtown Chicago?

New apartment building on Clark and Chicago June 19, 2016

It seems that several times a month there are announcements for new apartment buildings all over the Green Zone, and sometimes, even outside of the Green Zone.

Last week, Lennar announced yet another new building, this time in River North.

The bulging pipeline of new apartments in River North is swelling a little bit more.

Lennar plans a 180-unit project on a site it’s buying at 675 N. Wells St., according to a marketing flier for the development’s retail space and people familiar with Lennar’s plans.

The Miami-based builder is stepping into a development hot spot, pouncing on a site with nearly 1,000 apartments under construction within a two-block radius. Just to the south, Magellan Development Group is building a 450-unit tower set to open next year.

The downtown apartment market is the strongest it has been in decades— rents hit another high in the first quarter—but surging supply could test that strength in the next few years. Developers will complete 4,000 downtown apartments this year and another 4,400 in 2017, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

The developers keep insisting that all is well in the apartment leasing market and that there isn’t over supply.

Here are two of the other apartment buildings going up on the same block that Lennar will be building on.

New apartment buildings on Wells June 19, 2016

Chicago developer Jim Letchinger, of JDL Development, is building luxury condos as well as apartment high rises.

He just announced a proposal for a new 94-unit condo building in the West Loop at Jefferson and Fulton where 2-bedroom units will start at $800,000.

JDL is one of the few downtown residential developers building condos these days. Developers completed just 191 condos and town homes in downtown Chicago in 2015 and are expected to complete 120 this year, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm. Before the condo market crashed, developers easily added more than 2,000 units to the downtown market every year.

The residential market has flipped over since then: After completing nearly 2,600 downtown apartments last year, developers are on pace to add 4,000 this year and 4,400 in 2017, according to Appraisal Research. Before 2008, they rarely built 1,000 units a year.

If an apartment glut is on the horizon, Letchinger isn’t seeing it yet. Leasing began in March at his South Loop project, and the building is almost 50 percent leased—such a fast pace “I can’t believe it,” he said.

We heard similar statements from condo developers in 2007, just before the market went bust.

A mid-rise at 707 N. Wells called The Hensley, has already completed construction. It’s the building in the middle in this picture below.

That’s another new apartment high rise going up just next to and behind it. It is replacing the old Howard Johnson motel.

707 n wells

It’s marketing slogan is:

“Because you’ve waited long enough”

A quick look at the prices comes up with these:

  • A 4th floor 1-bedroom with 824 square feet for $2700 a month
  • A 5th floor 2/2 with 959 square feet for $3350 a month
  • A 5th floor 2/2 with 1027 square feet for $3690 a month

While no one is moaning the loss of surface parking lots in the western portion of River North, just who is actually renting in all of these buildings?

Are developers building too late in the economic cycle?

Or is the job market hot enough that all these luxury apartments will be absorbed?

Lennar adds another 180 apartments to River North building boom [Crain’s Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, June 15, 2016]

27-story condo tower planned for West Loop [Crain’s Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, June 15, 2016]

The Hensley (website)


This 1-Bedroom in Streeterville Doesn’t Meet Redfin’s Minimum Pricing Rule: 230 E. Ontario

230 e ontario

This 1-bedroom in 230 E. Ontario in Streeterville just came on the market.

The building was built in 1969 and has 144 units.

In the listing on Redfin there was this clause in the column to the right of the pictures of the property that said:

Below Minimum Price
Please contact the listing agent directly to see this home or learn more:
Jennifer Ames 312-XXX-7525
Coldwell Banker Residential
To ensure every client gets the highest level of Redfin service during strong demand, Redfin is currently unable to service this property

You can click on a link to “learn more details” and it turns out that Redfin can’t help you if the price is too low.

Does Redfin have a minimum price limit?

Yes, though this price will vary depending on which part of the country you’re in. If you’re interested in a home with a list price under our minimum price, we’ll connect you to a local partner agent who can help you tour the home and make an offer.

This one bedroom has a wall of sunny, south facing windows.

It has carpet throughout the main living areas.

The kitchen has white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

The bedroom has an open wall to the living room but the listing says there is a curtain on a floating track if you want privacy.

The unit has central air but no in-unit washer/dryer. Parking is leased in the building.

However, this is a full service building with a doorman, a rooftop outdoor pool and an exercise room.

230 e ontario pool

Has anyone ever run across this minimum pricing limit in the Green Zone before?

Is Redfin just so busy it can’t help you with certain listings?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1804: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 675 square feet

  • Sold in June 2004 for $140,000 (per Zillow)
  • Currently listed for $169,500
  • Assessments of $579 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable, exercise room, scavenger and pool)
  • Taxes of $2521
  • Central Air
  • No in-unit washer/dryer- laundry room is in the building
  • Leased parking (not sure how much that is)
  • Bedroom: 12×11
  • Livingroom: 20×12

Has the Far South Loop Recovered from the Bust? The Opera Lofts at 2545 S. Dearborn

2545 s dearborn

This 2-bedroom in the Opera Lofts at 2545 S. Dearborn in Chinatown/Far South Loop just came on the market.

The Opera Lofts were converted at the very end of the boom, in 2008.

The building has 95 units.

It was the old storage facility for the Chicago Opera (hence the name.) It is a brick building, with some ceilings up to 30 feet tall.  The ceilings are concrete.

It sits south of the Stevenson Expressway.  The north side of the building, with the largest units, is right on the Stevenson Expressway.

Is this the Chinatown neighborhood or the far South Loop? I’m not sure it has really been defined.

This loft has 19 foot exposed brick walls with concrete ceilings.

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

It has the standard features of central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking is included.

This loft faces east and has a balcony.

It has come on the market for $47,499 more than the 2008 sale which closed before the housing and economic crash.

Have home prices fully recovered, and then some, in this Chinatown/far South Loop neighborhood?

Here’s the developer’s model of this building:

2545 s dearborn developer model

Pamika McWhorter at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #505: 2 bedroom, 2 baths, 1140 square feet

  • Sold in March 2008 for $302,500 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed for $349,999 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $301 a month (includes exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4037
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×11
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11


Love Levels? A 3-Bedroom Duplex in the Gold Coast: 1100 N. Lake Shore Drive

1100 n lake shore drive #2

This 3-bedroom duplex in 1100 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

Built in 1980, this doorman building has just 76 units.

There are people who dislike one floor living, which is common in most condos, but this duplex has split living with an open staircase in the middle of the condo.

The living room, dining room and kitchen are on the main floor, along with a half bath.

The second floor has the three bedrooms, including the master suite with a walk-in closet and master bathroom.

There are dark solid oak hardwood floors throughout.

The kitchen has contemporary white cabinets with black granite counter tops and Viking stainless steel appliances with a subway tile backsplash.

The unit faces south and west, so there is no view of the lake or Lake Shore Drive.

It has wall air conditioning/heating units and in-unit washer/dryer.

Parking is leased in the building for $230 a month per car and you can have multiple cars.

The listing says there are no current specials or planned unbudgeted projects. The building is 100% owner occupied.

This unit last sold a little over 2 years ago for just $502,000.

It is priced $187,900 higher at $689,900 but there are new kitchen appliances and the 2014 listing showed dark blue carpet in the bedrooms.

To check that out, and what other changes were made, see the 2014 listing pictures here.


Will it get the premium in this hot market?

Steven Johnson at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #7C: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2160 square feet, duplex

  • Sold in June 1992 for $292,000
  • Sold in October 2002 for $664,500
  • Sold in April 2014 for $502,000
  • Currently listed for $689,900
  • Assessments of $1371 a month (includes doorman, cable, Internet, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8450
  • No central air- wall units
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking is leased in the building for $230 a month per car
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 18×13 (second floor)



Looking for Views? 4 Balconies from the 43rd Floor in Lakeview: 3660 N. Lake Shore Drive

3660 n lake shore drive approved

This 3-bedroom in the New York Private Residences at 3660 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview came on the market in April 2016.

The New York was built in 1987. It has 49 floors, which makes it one of the tallest buildings north of North Avenue.

It is a full amenity building with 580 units and includes a parking garage.

I always thought most of the units were either 1 or 2 bedrooms but this 3-bedroom has 2460 square feet.

It appears to be a combined unit.

It has 4 balconies with views north, south and east, including of the Lake and downtown Chicago.

The unit has maple hardwood floors and the kitchen has luxury appliances by Subzero, Miele and Gaggenau.

There’s a master bedroom with a big spa tub and 2 walk-in closets.

The second bedroom is en suite.

2 garage parking spots are included. It also has central air and in-unit washer/dryer (which is rare for the building.)

Originally listed at nearly $1 million, it has been reduced to $948,500.

If you’re looking for a lot of space and views, is this a good alternative, for the money, to living right in the middle of downtown?

Stephanie Derderian at Berkshire Hathaway Koenig Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #4301-2: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2460 square feet

  • #4301 sold in 2000 for $352,000. I don’t have an original sales price on #4302
  • Sold in August 2014 for $890,000 (included the 2-parking spaces)
  • Originally listed in April 2016 for $996,500
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $948,500 (includes 2 parking spaces)
  • Assessments of $1550 a month (includes a/c, parking, doorman, cable, exterior maintenance, Internet, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Built-in bar
  • Bedroom #1: 22×13
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12
  • Bedroom #3: 16×12




Looking for a Trendy 1-Bedroom With Views in Streeterville? 240 E. Illinois

240 e illinois

This corner 1-bedroom on the 20th floor at Fairbanks at Cityfront Plaza at 240 E. Illinois in Streeterville just came on the market.

It faces northeast, so it has city views.

The unit has dark wide plank wood floors and a built-in office nook.

The kitchen has custom white Italian cabinetry, granite counter tops and luxury stainless steel appliances.

The island is wrapped in custom reclaimed wood. Wood finishes on the walls and on cabinets are “in” right now.

At 1025 square feet, it is big enough to have its own dining room space.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit but there’s no parking.

Is this a better deal than renting in the neighborhood?

Monica Sobieski has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2010: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1025 square feet

  • Sold in March 2012 for $370,000 (looks like from the developer)
  • Sold in October 2014 for $475,000
  • Currently listed for $499,000
  • Assessments of $643 a month (includes a/c, gas, doorman, cable, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6057
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Bedroom: 14×13



Have You Always Wanted a Brick and Timber Bucktown Loft? A 2-Bedroom at 2300 W. Wabansia

2300 w wabansia

This 2-bedroom duplex up loft in the Clocktower Lofts at 2300 W. Wabansia in Bucktown just came on the market.

The Clocktower Lofts are a brick and timber authentic loft building with indoor garage parking.

Converted in the 1990s, it is one of the most popular loft buildings in Bucktown because it has kept most of its original loft features and the layouts aren’t cookie cutter.

This loft has one bedroom on the main level and the second bedroom on the second floor.

Many of the duplex units have a unique wall of skylights along one wall of the second floor, as this unit does, which certainly lets the light in.

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

There’s only one bathroom.

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

Bucktown continues to be one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city and inventory is extremely limited.

Is this loft a way to get a toe into this neighborhood?

George Morgan at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #300: 2 bedroom, 1 bath, duplex up, no square footage listed

  • Sold in March 2002 for $239,000 (included the parking)
  • Sold in September 2006 for $316,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed at $350,000 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $382 a month (includes cable, exercise, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $3638
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 19×17
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10


10 Months on the Market Even With Lake and Lincoln Park Views: 2314 N. Lincoln Park West

2314 n lincoln park west approved

This 2-bedroom on the 20th floor of The Conservatory at 2314 N. Lincoln Park West in Lincoln Park came on the market in September 2015.

Built in 1979, the Conservatory has just 2 units per floor and looks out over Lincoln Park, the actual conservatory, the Zoo and Lake Michigan.

If you’re out on your east facing balcony, you also have a downtown view.

This unit has an east facing view.

It also has diagonal hardwood floors throughout.

The listing says it has an “upgraded kitchen and baths.”

The kitchen has wood cabinets (maple?), stainless steel appliances and what looks like stone counter tops.

There’s a boxed ceiling in the kitchen/dining area.

The unit has parking, central air and a rare 6×5 laundry room (with- apparently- in-unit washer/dryer but see below for more on that).

On the market since September 2015, it has been reduced and was also recently under contract before coming back on the market.

With the market as hot as it is, and record low inventory, it’s unusual to see a property for sale for 10 months in East Lincoln Park.

What will it take to sell this unit?

Barbara Proctor at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #20S: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet

  • I couldn’t find an original sales price as the ccrd was “down”
  • Listed in September 2015 for $693,000
  • Reduced
  • Under contract in May 2016
  • Currently listed for $599,000 (includes garage parking)
  • Assessments of $1353 a month (includes heat, a/c, parking, cable, exterior maintenance and scavenger- also doorman, I believe- but it’s not listed on Redfin)
  • Taxes of $9960
  • Central Air
  • In the public listing, under the appliances, it does NOT list the washer/dryer. But it seems to have one as there is a 6×5 laundry room. Could this be the reason it isn’t selling? That it’s not showing up in buyer’s trackers who are looking for a 2/2 WITH in-unit washer/dryer? Perhaps the agents could chime in…
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14
  • Bedroom #2: 11×11
  • Laundry room: 6×5


Market Conditions: Will State Budget and CPS Chaos Impact the Green Zone Housing Market?

Roscoe Village kiosk 2015

This is one of the hottest housing markets that Chicago has ever seen…in the Green Zone.

The entire city isn’t as hot as it was in 2005-2007, but in certain Green Zone neighborhoods, the price is well past peak with multiple offers, bidding wars, buying sight unseen and other nonsense association with super hot housing markets.

In many of the listings in certain neighborhoods you would see the mention of the school such as “it’s in the highly desirable Nettlehorst school district” or “it’s in Blaine” or “it’s an affordable option in Bell.”

But now, some of the teachers and principals are fleeing CPS and heading to the suburbs.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Lake View high school principal Scott Grens is going to Lincolnwood:

The School Board announced Thursday that Lake View High School principal Scott Grens would be the new principal of Rutledge Hall for the 2016-17 school year.

Rutledge Hall is an elementary school serving about 400 students in grades 3 through 5.

And nearby Lane Tech principal Kathryn Anderson, who had been principal for less than a year, is going to Deerfield. From DNA Info:

“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to inform you that I have accepted a new position outside of the district, as the principal at Deerfield High School effective July 1, 2016,” Anderson said.

“While I look forward to the opportunities that await me, I will never forget my experiences at Lane that have shaped my educational outlook,” she said.

According to the job posting for the Deerfield postion, the principal’s job paid “in the range of $165,000 plus an excellent comprehensive benefits package.” According to CPS data, her salary at Lane Tech was $134,511 plus benefits as of March of 2016.

Lane Tech is one of the largest high schools in the state.

Over the past 15 years, home buyers in the Green Zone have been sold the idea that CPS was turning around and that families didn’t need to move to the suburbs for the schools anymore.

It’s not a surprise that home prices in both Bell and Blaine are now among the highest in the city as that’s where Blaine and Bell, highly touted neighborhood elementary schools, are located.

Is that narrative about to change?

Could it be the state budget problems, and not the Fed or a recession, that cools off the Green Zone housing market?