A Rare Vintage 3-Bedroom in the Heart of River North: 55 W. Erie


This top floor vintage 3-bedrom at 55 W. Erie in River North just came on the market..

This building was constructed in 1884 and has 9 units.

It’s one of the few vintage condo buildings that remains standing in the River North neighborhood.

This unit has north and south exposures along with high ceiling.

There’s exposed brick in the living room and the kitchen along with 2 fireplaces, including a wood burning fireplace in the living room.

The listing says the baths have been rehabbed to a “spa-like” level and have remote controlled heated floors.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and a built-in breakfast nook.

The building has no parking but the listing says there is a spot available in 33 W. Ontario for $25,000.

It has the other features buyers look for including central air and washer/dryer in the unit. There is also a storage locker in the basement.

The listing doesn’t indicate that there is an elevator in the building. You would have to take the stairs.

However, a 3-bedroom in a vintage building in River North is rare.

At $499,000, is this priced to sell quickly?

John Mawicke at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #4E: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in May 1998 for $170,000
  • Sold in June 2000 for $245,000
  • Currently listed for $499,000
  • Assessments of $468 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $6673
  • Parking is available at 33 W. Ontario for $25,000
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10
  • Bedroom #3: 10×10

Market Conditions: Is the Day of Reckoning Coming for Luxury Downtown Apartments?

Anyone in Chicago can see the cranes.

They are everywhere. Downtown, Hyde Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview.

Chicago has more construction cranes (over 40) than ANY other city in America.

Most of the buildings going up are luxury apartment towers.

Crain’s says 2,000 of these apartments will be completed this summer in the downtown neighborhood alone.

Who will rent them all?

Developers will complete a record 4,500 apartments in downtown Chicago this year and another 3,500 in 2018, a potential downer for landlords enjoying the best rental market in decades. But the market held up in the first quarter amid strong demand for apartments, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

The average net effective rent at top-tier, or Class A, downtown buildings rose to $3.01 per square foot in the quarter, up 1 percent from first-quarter 2016, according to Appraisal Research. That’s well below the 3 percent to 5 percent rent increases of the past few years, suggesting the market is decelerating, but not shifting in reverse.

The Class A occupancy rate, meanwhile, was 93.9 percent, down from 94.5 percent a year earlier but up from 91.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

The true test for landlords will come in the next several months, when the bulk of those 4,500 new apartments hit the market. About 2,000 will open in June, July and August, which could set off a competitive scramble for tenants, said Appraisal Research Vice President Ron DeVries.

“It’s kind of the calm before the storm,” he said.

But don’t worry. Jobs are being created and demand is strong.

According to the US Census Bureau, the city center gained 42,423 residents from 2010 to 2015.

The market absorbed 1,103 units downtown in the first quarter. That is considered a “strong” quarter.

Strong demand is already filling one new building: Linea, a 33-story tower at 215 W. Lake St. in the Loop that just opened at the beginning of the month. Sixty-seven of the building’s 265 apartments are already leased, ahead of projections, said its developer, Thomas Roszak. He’s seen especially strong interest from couples with two incomes but no children.

“They want to walk to work, walk to the bars, walk to the restaurants,” he said.

Nonetheless, even increased demand won’t keep up with the 4,500-unit supply increase in this year and the 3,500-unit gain in 2018. DeVries expects the downtown Class A occupancy to drop to about 92 percent a year from now.

Roszak also acknowledges that the market could soften as it digests thousands of new apartments.

“It may take a little more time to absorb them,” he said. “Rents might be a little flat.”

Are developers being overly optimistic about the next 12 months or is Chicago’s economy really that hot?

For downtown apartments, it’s the ‘calm before the storm’ [Crain’s Chicago Business, June 5, 2017]

Love Mid-Century Modern? A 3-Bedroom Townhouse at 400 W. Surf in Lakeview

2900 n sheridan

This mid-century modern townhouse at 400 W. Surf in East Lakeview just came on the market.

Built in 1953, there are 18 units in this complex on the corner of Sheridan and Surf.

We’ve chattered about this complex before.  The pictures above and below are of some of the townhouses on the Sheridan side, but you get the idea of what the complex looks like.

2900 n sheridan #2

This particular unit is on the corner of Surf and Sheridan and has a large, private outdoor terrace that is landscaped and fenced in.

The living room has floor-to-ceiling doors that open onto the outdoor terrace.

The kitchen overlooks the front yard and has gray cabinets, stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops.

It has the layout that buyers look for with all three bedrooms are on the second floor. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and its own master bathroom.

The listing says all the bathrooms have been remodeled.

There are skylights and the listing says it has a newer roof.

The townhouse has a lower level family room with a 100 inch projection television and massive 21×12 laundry and utility rooms.

It has central air and garage parking is included, which I believe is in an underground garage for the complex.

The listing says the property is in the Nettlehorst school district.

Is this the perfect family starter home in this neighborhood?

Michael Hall at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in June 2005 for $350,000
  • Sold in August 2007 for $420,000
  • Currently listed for $625,000 (garage parking included)
  • Assessments of $385 a month (doesn’t list what is included in that)
  • Taxes of $7952
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 16×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 9×6 (second floor)
  • Family room: 22×21 (lower level)
  • Laundry: 21×12 (lower level)
  • Utility room: 21×12 (lower level)
  • Terrace: 23×15

Market Conditions: Is Tight Inventory Keeping Sales Depressed? April Sales Fall YOY

Seward park statute Feb 2017

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the April sales data:

The city of Chicago saw a 4.4 percent year-over-year home sales decline in April 2017 with 2,586 sales, down from 2,706 in April 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in April 2017 was $297,150, up 3.9 percent compared to April 2016 when it was $286,000.

Here are the sales statistics for April since 2007:

  • 2007: 2419 sales
  • 2008: 1886 sales
  • 2009: 1407 sales
  • 2010: 1984 sales
  • 2011: 1466 sales
  • 2012: 1816 sales
  • 2013: 2392 sales
  • 2014: 2256 sales
  • 2015:  2435 sales
  • 2016: 2706 sales
  • 2017: 2586 sales

Here are the median prices:

  • 2007: $289,800
  • 2008: $300,000
  • 2009: $218,000
  • 2010: $225,000
  • 2011: $169,000
  • 2012: $184,400 (IAR says it was $182,000 but I have $184,400 from last year’s data)
  • 2013: $223,500
  • 2014: $250,000
  • 2015: $271,325
  • 2016: $286,000
  • 2017: $297,150

Sales might have dipped year-over-year but 2016 saw the highest number of April sales in 8 years so it was going to be hard to top that with the current inventory.

“With the spring market underway, buyer demand has not abated in the least,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “Rather, increased competition for homes that are priced well and move-in ready will continue to drive prices upward. Both motivated sellers and buyers should be prepared for these conditions to continue in the coming months.”

“Sellers flooded the market in March, and as a result inventories were struggling to keep pace with demand in April,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Orland Hills. “It’s clear from the relatively short average time to sell that buyers really do want to find a home. The problem is they are having to work much harder to find one that meets their criteria due to a shortage of options.”

The number of days on the market dropped to 61 days from 68 a years ago statewide.

The average 30-year mortgage was 4.05% versus 3.6% a year ago.

The U of I housing expert voiced some caution about the market statewide, however, due to recent job losses statewide (Caterpillar layoffs?).

“While sales will continue the usual early summer upward growth, there are some sharp differences in the forecasts for median prices” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “The forecasts for median price indicate continued positive changes, but the REAL Housing Price Index (HPI), which compares specific housing characteristics, suggests declines and may also be reflecting the employment losses in the state over the past two months.”

The hot housing market continued into May as inventory remains low.

Have you been involved in a bidding war? How far are you willing to go to “get” a home?

Illinois home prices increase in April; Sales lower amid tight inventory [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, May 24, 2017]


Love Views? SoNo Still Has Them at 860 W. Blackhawk in Lincoln Park

860 w blackhawk

This 2-bedroom on the 20th floor of SoNo at 860 W. Blackhawk in Lincoln Park recently came on the market.

Built in 2009, SoNo has 198 units and is in the North/Clybourn neighborhood. The building was closing on units just as the recession hit.

This unit has south and west views which includes views of downtown.

It has new walnut flooring throughout.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, including on the island.

It has a split bedroom floor plan with the second bedroom sporting a custom murphy bed.

The master bathroom is marble and has double sinks.

The unit has a large covered balcony which allows grilling.

It has all the features buyers look for including central air, in-unit washer/dryer and 2-car side by side parking.

This unit has come on the market 3 years after its last sale for $61,000 more at $695,000.

Is $700,000 the new asking price for 2/2s with views in this building?

Joe Kennedy at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2002: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1416 square feet

  • Sold in February 2010 for $478,000
  • Sold in September 2014 for $634,000
  • Currently listed for $695,000
  • Assessments of $799 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, parking, doorman, cable, Internet, exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $9128
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Includes 2 parking spaces (looks like they are NOT deeded as they don’t show up in the CCRD record)
  • Bedroom #1: 21×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12
  • Foyer: 15×5
  • Balcony: 12×10


What You Can Buy in River North for $475,000: A 2/2 Loft at 333 W. Hubbard

333 w hubbard

This 2-bedroom loft in the Union Square Lofts at 333 W. Hubbard in River North just came on the market.

It’s on the 8th floor and faces south with views of the Merchandise Mart.

This is the “old” part of the building.

This unit has 13 foot concrete ceilings and what looks like some exposed brick, but I can’t tell if that’s wallpaper or real or what.

The living room/kitchen has diagonal hardwood floors, a fireplace and a balcony.

The kitchen has black granite counter tops and a mix of stainless steel and black appliances.

There is a unique blue pearl granite floor in the master bedroom which also has a full sized wall and a window.

The second bedroom has 3/4th walls and no window, as is common in many loft units.

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

Is this a good starter home in the popular River North neighborhood?

Sheetal Balani at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #809: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in June 2004 for $315,250 (the price is a guess as the CCRD data has an input error)
  • Sold in June 2004 for $403,500
  • Currently listed at $475,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $934 a month (includes cable, Internet, heat, a/c, doorman, heated garage, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal, exterior maintenance, dog run, bike room)
  • Taxes of $7085
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 16×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10

Is the Loop Now One of the Top Residential Neighborhoods? 200 N. Dearborn

200 n dearborn

This 3-bedroom at 200 N. Dearborn in the Theater District in the Loop recently came on the market.

Built in 1989 as apartments, it has 308 units and a parking garage.

This building was owned by American Invsco and was one of the last apartment buildings converted into condos before the bust.

This unit is two combined units and has custom features.

It has south and east views and a pre-wired a/v system.

There are wood floors and a floor medallion.

The kitchen has custom French-style cabinets with a farmhouse sink.

The unit has 3 bathrooms and in-unit washer/dryer.

It appears that there may be 2 parking spaces included.

The building has an indoor pool and a doorman.

The Loop is booming, with new food halls, the River Walk, new restaurants and apartment buildings.

Can this neighborhood command the million dollar price point for a 3-bedroom?

Courtland Townsley at Touchstone Group has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3801-02: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in April 2008 for $832,000 (included 2 parking spaces)
  • Sold in January 2010 for $480,000 (included 2 parking spaces)
  • Currently listed at $1.099 million (parking included???)
  • Assessments of $1130 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, pool, exterior maintenance)
  • Taxes of $7444
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 13×21
  • Bedroom #2: 11×14
  • Bedroom #3: 11×14

Live in the Oakdale Avenue District in this 5-Bedroom SFH: 826 W. Oakdale in Lakeview

826 w oakdale #2

This 5-bedroom single family home at 826 W. Oakdale in Lakeview came on the market in February 2017.

Built in 1890 on a standard Chicago lot of 25×125, it’s located in the Oakdale Avenue District, which is a Chicago landmark district.

It lasts just a block, from Halsted to Mildred on Oakdale. The street is filled with single family homes and mid-rise apartment buildings in the Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque and Classical Revival styles, among others.

In the past we have chattered about the nearby Terra Cotta Row District, which is also landmarked. It stretches for the 1000 West block of Oakdale.

The listing says this house is a “Brownstone” (is it?) but it has many of its vintage features including an entry foyer, the original woodwork, crown molding, high ceilings and 2 fireplaces.

There’s a formal dining room, a music room and a library.

4 bedrooms are on the second floor with a master suite that has a 20×9 walk-in closet and a marble bathroom.

The lower level is finished and has a recreation room, an office, a big storage room and the 5th bedroom.

It appears that the back of the house was added as it sports the kitchen with white cabinets, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a Dacor double oven and a Bosch dishwasher, and is open to a family room.

There’s a 3-car attached garage, central air and a laundry room on the second floor.

There’s also a back deck.

This house has been reduced about 15% since it first listed in February 2017 and is now listed at $1.699 million.

Is this a deal for the square footage?

Jennifer Mills at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

826 W. Oakdale: 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 5740 square feet

  • Sold in September 1988 for $330,000
  • Sold in April 2008 for $1.275 million
  • Originally listed in February 2017 for $1.999 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1.699 million
  • Taxes of $19,495
  • Central Air
  • Attached 3-car parking
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 24×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 18×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 19×14 (lower level)
  • Walk-in closet: 20×9 (second floor)
  • Family room: 20×15 (main level)
  • Library: 13×12 (main level)
  • Office: 12×11 (lower level)
  • Storage room: 20×10 (lower level)

Moorish Revival Stained Glass and Pocket Doors in the Gold Coast: 1325 N. Dearborn Parkway

1325 n dearborn

This 2-bedroom at 1325 N. Dearborn Parkway in the Gold Coast recently came on the market.

Built in 1890, this building has 3 units and outside parking behind the building.

If you like vintage features, you’ll get plenty of those with this top floor unit.

It has Moorish Revival stained glass windows, high ceilings with medallions and crown molding and two working fireplaces with the original mantles.

There are inlaid wood floors and pocket doors.

There’s a small office with a window and also a family room.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2-car tandem parking which is included in the price.

The kitchen has custom cabinets, luxury appliances and stone counter tops.

The listing says that “dogs are welcome” in the building.

The second floor unit in this building is also on the market but is contingent at $699,000.

See those pictures here.

This unit was last on the market in 2015 but didn’t sell. But it hasn’t changed owners since the 1980s.

Is this a rare chance for vintage lovers to buy into one of the Gold Coast’s most distinctive buildings?

Nancy Joyce at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet

  • Last sold before 1989
  • Currently listed for $745,000 (includes 2-car outdoor tandem parking)
  • Assessments of $450 a month (includes heat, electric)
  • Taxes of $11,360
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 21×14
  • Bedroom #2: 15×9
  • Family room: 20×13
  • Office: 8×6



What a Million Dollar Condo Looks Like in Lakeview: A 4-Bedroom at 2922 N. Sheffield

2922 n sheffield

This 4-bedroom duplex up condo at 2922 N. Sheffield in Lakeview recently came on the market.

This building was constructed in 2015 and has 3 units and garage parking.

The unit is on the top floor and has dark espresso floors and a glass paneled staircase.

3 of the 4 bedrooms are on the second floor, including the master suite which has a bathroom with a steam shower.

The kitchen, along with the living/dining/and family room is on the main floor. It has custom cabinetry and Subzero and Viking appliances.

The unit has a huge private rooftop deck measuring 18×65.

It has all the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1-car garage parking.

This building is among the group of luxury new construction condos that have been built in the last few years all over Lakeview.

It is a block from the Wellington Brown Line stop (and the building is NOT on the El side of the street.)

There are also a bunch of shops and restaurants on this stretch of Sheffield including Barcocina, DMK Burger and Kirkwood.

This unit is listed for $110,000 above the 2015 sales price, at $1,099,000.

With prices rising in the luxury neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Bucktown, is the million dollar condo buyer increasingly looking at Lakeview?

Ian Halpin at Dream Town Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2400 square feet, duplex up

  • Sold in June 2015 for $989,000
  • Currently listed for $1,099,000
  • Assessments of $205 a month (includes scavenger)
  • Taxes aren’t listed yet
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Private roof deck: 18×65
  • Bedroom #1: 17×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×9 (main floor)
  • Family room: 21×17 (main floor)