Who Will Buy the 406 Luxury Condos in Lakeshore East’s Wanda Vista?

The Wanda Vista hotel and condo tower in Lakeshore East has been approved and is moving forward.

A sales center recently opened up downtown.

This is not a small building. At 93-floors, it will be the third tallest in the city.

The condo portion of the building will have 406 residences.

The prices will range from $1 million for the smallest 1,000 square foot 1-bedroom to $17 million for the penthouse.

This is coming at a time when construction on million dollar condos and single family homes has never been hotter.

But even with a hot market, some buildings are still trying to sell million dollar units left over from the bust years including The Legacy on Millennium Park and the Ritz on Michigan Avenue.

With about 30 condos left to sell in the 356-unit Legacy at Millennium Park, the owners yesterday unveiled lower pricing on most of them.

The cuts were not steep, going in several cases from slightly above $2 million to slightly below. For some units, the price did not change.

“We want to close this building out this year,” said Jim Hanson, who was a principal with Mesa Development, which developed the 72-story tower, completed in 2009.

Actor Vince Vaughn has been trying to sell his penthouse in the luxury Palmolive building at 159 E. Walton in the Gold Coast for several years.

159 e walton approved

It is 12,000 square feet and takes up the top 3 floors.

In 2015, it had been reduced to $13.9 million and still didn’t sell.

You can check out the interior pictures of it here.

He has since withdrawn it from the market.

Where will all the buyers for these units come from at these price points?

Is the Wanda Vista just another doomed development like the ambitious Spire?

You can check out the official website of the Vista Residences here.

Rare Joseph Silsbee East Lincoln Park Row House Available for Under $1 Million: 2113 N. Clark

2113 n clark

This 6-bedroom Queen Anne row house at 2113 N. Clark in East Lincoln Park came on the market in early March 2016.

It was built in 1891 by Joseph L. Silsbee, a well known Chicago architect who served as a mentor to many younger architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright.

It has many of its vintage features still intact including 4 original wood burning fireplaces. Check out the fireplace mantel on that first floor beauty.

It also has the original wood staircase and 2 gable and dormer windows on the top floor.

Are those the original wood floors in some of the rooms? They appear to be.

There’s a parlor on the first floor and the living room is on the second floor with the master bedroom.

The kitchen has white cabinets and counter tops with black appliances.

There’s a sun room on the back deck on the second floor.

There’s also a finished basement with a laundry room and one of the bedrooms.

There’s no backyard but there are 2 side-by-side parking spaces.

It even has central air.

It’s a fee simple row house, so there’s no assessments. That’s also probably what accounts for the different colors of the trim on the roof of these row houses (in the picture above.)

This property was under contract once already but it has come back on the market.

This is the first time this row house has been on the market since 1994.

Is this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a vintage lover?

Tracy Boyce at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

2113 N. Clark: 6 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3500 square feet, 2-car parking

  • Sold in September 1986 (no price provided)
  • Sold in September 1994 for $280,000
  • Originally listed in March 2016 for $950,000
  • Under contract
  • Re-activated still priced at $950,000
  • Fee simple- no HOAs
  • Taxes of $12,437
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 17×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×15 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×10 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 12×7 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 12×9 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #6: 12×9 (lower level)

Flipping an East Village 2-Bedroom Loft for $182,500 in 6 Months: 1137 N. Wood


This 2-bedroom duplex up loft at 1137 N. Wood in the East Village just came on the market.

If it looks familiar that’s because we chattered about it twice last year.

You can see our first chatter in July 2015, when it was priced at $500,000, here.

That chatter kind of went off the rails about women postponing marriage, the job market for those in the trades etc.

It wasn’t selling despite the low inventory so it was reduced.

We chattered about it a second time in September 2015 which you can see here.

Here are the comments even after it was reduced:

From Jenny:

“The pole in the kitchen, the view of an alley littered the power line poles, the outdated sinks in the bathroom, the low building reserves, the barely green zone location… $480k for this place is ridiculous.”

From Kathryn:

“I live in this building and I will tell you that the reserves are a non-issue, and that another unit that was on the market at the same time just sold for a higher price than this is listed for. The location cannot be beat and I am sure that plenty of people will be willing to pay the money to do minor updates at this price. Also, the building is a converted factory which is why there’s a pole in the kitchen, not because someone thought it was “cool.” Stroll down the street, you are next to all the bars and restaurants with three community gardens on the block and the building is extremely quiet at night, with parking and an elevator in a 4 floor building. Hard to find something comparable.”

This unit finally sold in October 2015 for $467,500.

Just 6 months later, it has returned with some changes and a $650,000 price tag.

The dark walnut floors are gone. They are now a lighter wood.

The second floor master suite was carpeted. It now has the same lighter wood as the first floor.

There’s a new kitchen island that is bigger than the prior one. The countertops are now marble. The appliances have been upgraded to Viking. There are also white cabinets that now go up to the ceiling.

The prior ceiling, by the way, was supposedly 17 feet. The listing now says they are 14 feet.

There is also custom designed shelving in the living room and a barn door entrance to the bedroom on the main floor.

A pergola was also added to the second floor deck that is off the master bedroom.

The bathrooms also appear to have been rehabbed. The master bathroom now has a frameless glass shower.

However, the pole that some people complained about last year, is still in the kitchen.

There was no square footage listed for the loft last year and there isn’t again this year.

You can still see the 2015 listing pictures here if you want to see what was done to the unit.

Buyers want new.

Inventory is still low.

It’s listed for $182,500 more than it sold for 6 months ago.

Will this set a new comp in the East Village neighborhood?

Bonnie Mersten at Baird & Warner has the listing this time. See the current pictures here.

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

  • Sold in May 2006 for $415,000
  • Originally listed in July 2015 for $500,000
  • Withdrawn in August 2015
  • Re-listed in September 2015 for $480,000
  • Sold in October 2015 for $467,500
  • Currently listed for $650,000
  • Assessments still $310 a month (includes snow removal, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger)
  • The old listing said there were $12,000 in building reserves. There are 16 units in the building.
  • Taxes are now $5223 (they were $5120 in 2015)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 17×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10 (first floor)

A Rare Landmark District Single Family Greystone: 538 W. Deming in Lincoln Park

538 w deming

This 6-bedroom vintage Greystone at 538 W. Deming in Lincoln Park came on the market in February 2016.

This home is smack in the middle of the Arlington-Deming Landmark District.

Built in 1883 on an oversized 27×190 lot, when it was built this wasn’t even part of the city of Chicago. Instead, it was in the Township of Lake View, which stretched from Fullerton all the way north to Devon.

Here’s some more background from the Landmark Commission about how this neighborhood developed thanks, in part, to the Chicago Fire:

These building regulations, besides determining the type of construction allowed within Chicago city limits, also encouraged the development of new neighborhoods just outside Chicago, including the Arlington-Deming District, where property owners built new housing using more affordable wood-frame construction. (As a suburban town, Lake View was initially not subject to City building code requirements which prohibited frame construction in Chicago after the Fire of 1871.) The district’s earliest buildings—small-scale frame cottages and houses—most likely were built during the years of suburban development following the 1871 Fire and are important for their historic associations to the District’s earliest years of development. These include, among others, the cottage at 2454 N. Orchard St. and the house at 2466 N. Orchard St.

During the 1880s, and extending into the early 1890s, residential development on the southern edge of Lake View Township was encouraged first by the extension of city mass transit services into the suburb, then by the annexation of Lake View itself into the City of Chicago in 1889. During this period, the Arlington-Deming District began to develop as a somewhat more densely-populated residential neighborhood. Again, its adjacency to Chicago’s northern border proved a lure for residents wanting suburban-style living close to the City. In 1887 the Town of Lake View was incorporated as a city, electing its own mayor and city council. Two years later, in 1889, Lake View was annexed to the City of Chicago.

This house still has its original leaded windows and at least one stained glass window.

It has high ceilings you find in vintage homes of this era but no crown molding (maybe a renovation along the way?).

It has 2 wood burning fireplaces and an English garden apartment, with 2 bedrooms.

The main house has 4 bedrooms, including three on the third floor.

The kitchen has white cabinets, white appliances and stone counter tops.

It has central air, a 2-car garage and modern floor to ceiling windows overlooking the wooded backyard.

This home has been under the same owners since at least 1987.

This is a rare opportunity to buy a vintage home with all the bells and whistles in a coveted East Lincoln Park location.

Does it still appeal to today’s buyers who all seem to want open concept?

Natasha Motev at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

538 W. Deming Place: 6 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • There’s no prior sales price. In the same family since 1987.
  • Was listed briefly in 2009-2010withdrawn
  • Originally listed in February 2016 for $2.295 million
  • Currently still listed at $2.295 million
  • Taxes of $22,258
  • 2 wood burning fireplaces
  • 2-bedroom English Garden apartment – included in the bedroom count
  • 2 car garage
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 11×21 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 21×15 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 16×14 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 8×16 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5- in the garden apartment: 15×15
  • Bedroom #6- in the garden apartment: 11×13


Is Chicago Back in a Bubble? $575 a Sq Ft for this Lakeview Loft: 3201 N. Seminary

3201 n seminary

This 2-bedroom loft in the Lakeview Lofts at 3201 N. Seminary in Lakeview came on the market in February.

It is a top floor unit with 18 foot timber ceilings and exposed brick walls.

Both bedrooms are enclosed and have windows, which isn’t always the case for lofts.

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

There’s a wood burning fireplace, central air, washer/dryer in the unit and deeded parking is included.

We last chattered about this building in 2012 when a 1-bedroom was priced back at the 1999 price, of $195,000, and most thought it was still overpriced. (no surprise!)

See that chatter here.

Originally listed for $399,999, this loft has been reduced $9,999 to $390,000.

It’s not listed anywhere near its 1990s price. In fact, it is listed for double it.

At just 700 square feet, that is $575 per square foot.

Is bubble pricing making a big comeback?

Mary Gibala at 33 Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #310: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 700 square feet

  • Sold in January 1997 for $178,000
  • Sold in May 2000 for $255,000
  • Sold in October 2009 for $330,000
  • Originally listed in February 2016 for $399,999 (includes the parking)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $390,000 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $223 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4526
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14
  • Bedroom #2: 10×12

There Are Still Foreclosures Available: A Vintage 2/2 at 5646 N. Kenmore in Edgewater


This 2-bedroom in Kenmore Court at 5646 N. Kenmore in Edgewater came on the market in November 2015.

The building is in the Bryn Mawr Historic District and was built in 1927. It has 28 units.

It is a Fannie Mae HomePath property.

It’s been under contract once but came back on the market.

It has wood floors in the main living room along with a wall of windows.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and white appliances (which appear intact in the pictures.)

There’s an in-unit washer/dryer.

While there is no central air, you can use window units and the unit has ceiling fans. There also is no deeded parking, but leased parking is available (there’s a picture in the listing.)

Fannie Mae keeps cutting the price. It is now listed at $184,500, which is $45,500 under the 2005 purchase price.

Is this a deal?

Stanislaw Krozel at Royal Service Realty Metro Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3A: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1000 square feet

  • Sold in August 2000 for $143,000
  • Sold in March 2005 for $230,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in July 2012
  • Bank owned in February 2015
  • Originally listed in November 2015 for $257,000
  • Under contract in December 2015
  • Re-listed
  • Reduced several times
  • Currently listed for $184,500
  • Assessments of $396 a month (includes heat, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $3392
  • No central air- but window units
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Leased parking available
  • Bedroom #1: 17×11
  • Bedroom #2: 10×10



Looking for that Elusive West Loop Loft? A 2/2 at 11 N. Green


This 2-bedroom duplex up loft in 11 N. Green in the West Loop just came on the market.

It has 17 foot timber ceilings with exposed brick and a wall of glass block for extra light.

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

The master bedroom is on the second floor with its own bathroom.

The second bedroom is directly under the master on the main level.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking is $25,000.

If you need extra storage there is also a 200 square foot storage space in the basement of the building.

This unit hasn’t been on the market since 2009.

With inventory near record lows, will this loft get multiple bids?

Allen Schild at Charles Rutenberg Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2A: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1400 square feet, duplex up

  • Sold in October 1995 for $194,500
  • Sold in September 2000 for $312,000
  • Sold in June 2003 for $315,000
  • Sold in June 2009 for $332,500
  • Currently listed for $410,000 (plus $25,000 for the parking)
  • Assessments of $368 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4287
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom#1: 16×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×11 (first floor)

Love City Views? A 3-Bedroom River North Penthouse: 150 W. Superior

150 w superior PH4 view approved

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 150 W. Superior in River North came on the market in March 2016.

It’s a southeast corner unit with a private 300 square foot terrace with views of the downtown skyline.

The unit has 12 foot ceilings and crown molding.

The kitchen has luxury stainless steel appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking and Bosch along with granite counter tops.

The master suite has a spa-like bathroom.

It has the other features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1 car parking is included, with a second space available for $45,000.

This is a boutique building constructed in 2006 with just 54 units and a doorman.

Do the downtown city views beat the lake views?

150 w superior PH4 living room approved

150 w superior PH4 kitchen approved

150 w superior PH4 terrace approved

Nicole Tempesta at City Point Realty has the listing. See all the pictures here.

Unit #PH4: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, no square footage listed

  • I couldn’t find a prior purchase price
  • Currently listed for $1,249,900 (includes 1 parking spot, a 2nd spot available for another $45,000)
  • Assessments of $1597 a month (includes doorman, cable, Internet, lawn care, exterior maintenance, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $16,455
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×16
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11
  • Bedroom #3: 10×11

38% Appreciation in 5 Years for This 2-Bedroom Bucktown Loft: 1750 N. Wolcott

1750 n wolcott

This 2-bedroom loft at 1750 N. Wolcott in Bucktown just came on the market.

This building is right in the heart of the neighborhood and butts up against the 606- literally.

This loft is a first floor unit with a wrap-around balcony, part of which runs up against the 606.

It has timber ceilings and exposed brick.

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

The master suite contains a walk-in closet and a bathroom with a double vanity.

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

If it sells at its list price of $599,900, that would mean 38.5% appreciation over the last 5 years as it sold in 2011 for $433,000.

If prices continue to rise at this rate, does this make Bucktown the most lucrative GreenZone neighborhood?

Peter Basile at AP Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #105: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in August 2001 for $351,500
  • Sold in September 2011 for $433,000
  • Currently listed for $599,900 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $362 a month (includes exterior maintenance and scavenger)
  • Taxes of $7277
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×13
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10
  • Living room: 22×16
  • Kitchen: 16×12

Would You Pay $609,000 For a 5-Bedroom SFH in Portage Park? 5528 W. Wilson

5528 w wilson

This 5-bedroom single family home at 5528 W. Wilson in Portage Park came on the market in February 2016.

A shout out to Icarus who took and sent me the picture of this property. (Nice job!)

It was previously bank owned and has now been rehabbed.

Built on an oversized 40×138 lot, it has a new open floor plan, “eco-friendly” design, new windows and 3 skylights.

They kept the original fireplace in the living room, but it is decorative only.

The lower level is fully finished with a recreation room and a bathroom.

The laundry room is on the second floor with 4 of the 5 bedrooms. The 5th bedroom is on the main level.

The kitchen is a mix of maple and white modern cabinets. There are stainless steel appliances.

This house’s interior is done in all white and has the feel that is popular on design shows like “Fixer Upper” with barn wood paneling on the walls in some of the bathrooms and one of the bedrooms.

It has a fenced yard and a 2-car garage as well as central air.

Even though it’s in Portage Park, whose north boundary is Lawrence, the closest public transportation is the Jefferson Park metra stop.

We’ve seen a lot of these bank foreclosures get bought and flipped by professional rehabbers.

Listed at $609,000, or $406,000 over the previous sale from the bank, this house went under contract immediately in February, but then dropped out of contract.

It is back under contract again.

While this is at the very highest end of the price range for single family homes currently for sale in Portage Park, are prices heading to new luxury heights in this once middle class neighborhood?

And if it sells for anywhere near this price, is this the most lucrative flip ever in this neighborhood?

Kenneth Arrizola at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

5528 W. Wilson: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 3833 square feet

  • Sold in 1987 (no price listed)
  • Sold in April 2002 for $279,500
  • Sold in September 2005 for $370,000
  • Lis pendens filed in July 2008
  • Bank owned in February 2015
  • Sold in April 2015 for $203,000
  • Originally listed in February 2016 for $609,000
  • Under contract
  • Re-listed in March 2016 for $609,000
  • Under contract again
  • Taxes of $4888
  • Central Air
  • 2 fireplaces- living room is decorative
  • Bedroom #1: 16×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 17×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 11×9 (main floor)
  • Recreation room: 36×23 (lower level)