Looking for a Family-Sized Condo in a Downtown High Rise: 415 E. North Water in Streeterville

415 e north water approved

We were chattering recently about the perceived lack of large “family” type condos in downtown high rises where you could raise a few kids and enjoy high rise amenities like pools and party rooms.

A lot of new condo development still seems to be marketed to 20-somethings without kids who don’t need a lot of space.

See the chatter here.

This 3-bedroom in 415 E. North Water in Streeterville has been on the market since May.

It is slightly outside of the price range we chattered about which was $1.5 million to $2 million, but it appears to meet all the “unicorn” criteria that were mentioned.

The northwest corner unit has as much space as many single family homes with 3498 square feet.

It has generous bedroom sizes, including a large master suite, as well as a family room and an actual 10×7 laundry room (urban mommy- check out picture #23).

The kitchen has luxury stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and a tile backsplash.

The building has everything that was mentioned including:

  • indoor pool
  • exercise room
  • party room
  • sauna
  • bike room
  • doorman

The unit even has 2-car parking.

To top it off, the listing says it’s in the Ogden school district.

Is this the perfect city family home for those with kids?

Elizabeth Ballis at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2506: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3498 square feet

  • Sold in November 2006 for $1,612,500
  • Originally listed in May 2013 for $2.25 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $2.199 million
  • Assessments of $1621 a month (includes pool, doorman, gas, cable)
  • Taxes of $20,067
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2-car parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 22×20
  • Bedroom #2: 21×13
  • Bedroom #3: 14×14
  • Family room: 16×17
  • Laundry room: 10×7

Channeling the Spirit of Mies Van der Rohe in this Renovated 1-Bedroom: 860 N. Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville

860 n lake shore drive

This large 1-bedroom in the Mies Van der Rohe co-op at 860 N. Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville just came on the market. (Is this the right Mies building in the picture? I always get the two mixed up. It might be the condo building next door.)

Built in 1951 with floor to ceiling windows, it has been renovated from a 2-bedroom into a 1-bedroom plus office.

But that’s not all.

It has a brand new kitchen with Subzero appliances, built-ins with a wine cooler, a Creston audio system, Lutron automated blinds and new baths.

All that seems to be missing is in-unit washer/dryer (which CAN be put in in this building.)

It has wall unit air conditioning and parking is available for $60,000 in the building.

The unit has north and west city and lake views.

Yes, the assessments are $1993 a month. It’s a co-op. Not sure if this includes the taxes (which aren’t listed.)

According to the listing, no pets are allowed in the building.

With buyers wanting “new” will this rehab sell quickly?

Ozgur Ozar at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #14J: 1 bedroom, 2 baths, 1600 square feet, co-op

  • I don’t have a prior price because it’s a co-op
  • Currently listed for $595,000
  • Taxes are $0
  • Assessments of $1993 a month (includes heat, electric, gas, doorman, taxes?)
  • No central air- wall units
  • No in-unit washer/dryer
  • Parking is $60,000
  • Bedroom #1: 11×17
  • Office: 10×13

Market Conditions: New Condo Towers Coming Soon- But How Soon?

Crain’s has picked up on a theme we’ve been chattering about here in the last few months.

Inventory of new construction condos, outside of the luxury towers at the Ritz and 2550 N. Lakeview, are almost non-existent. Anything that IS on the market at lower price points, such as in the newly reconfigured Related buildings in the South Loop, are selling like hotcakes.

Demand is there.

Downtown developers are getting ready to bet on renewed demand to live in the center of the city, driven in part by a steady migration of large employers to the central business district from the suburbs.

While the ingredients are there for someone to launch a major project, the fragile recovery isn’t likely to support a second or third tower right away.

“The reason to be first is while you’re out there . . . there’s no competition,” says David Carlins, president of Magellan Development Group LLC, based in Chicago, who says he’s watching the market closely but has no immediate plans to start a condo tower. “That gives you a huge competitive advantage.”

Amid a slow recovery, most developers were content with low-rise projects of no more than a few dozen units.

Part of the problem is getting the loans necessary to build the tower. You would need to pre-sell a certain amount of the units before construction could begin. And how many homeowners looking today are willing to wait 3 or 4 more years to move in?

But that’s the beauty of all the new rental towers that have been built in the last few years. Some of them in River North and Old Town, in particular, are in prime locations.  The buildings are already built. It doesn’t take much to convert them into condos.

Still, some are betting CMK may be the first to build a larger building.

The president of Chicago-based CMK Cos. is laying plans to build a 150-unit condo building near the Museum Campus on vacant land he acquired in May, according to a person familiar with the project.

“I think the key to that deal is that Colin is focused on the lower price point, which is a good place to be if you were to go to market with that number of units,” says Gregory Warsek, a senior vice president in the Chicago office of Associated Banc Corp., which is considering the project.

CMK’s 16-story structure would be located near 13th Street and South Wabash Avenue, on a parcel where Mr. Kinhke also is looking to finance a 268-unit rental tower.

Mr. Warsek declines further comment on the CMK project. In general, for a project of that size, the Green Bay, Wis.-based bank would require that half of the units be sold before construction starts, he says.

Mr. Kinhke has reason to be cautious: His best-known project, a 714-unit tower at 235 W. Van Buren St. in the Loop, was completed in 2009 but still has more than 200 unsold units. He did not return calls requesting comment.

Will a new condo tower be announced in 2013?

Or is it a near certainty in 2014?

Are you looking to buy new in the next few years?

Let’s get ready to condo [Crain’s Chicago Business, Micah Maidenberg, Aug 12, 2013]

Buy the Historic Claude Seymour House in Uptown for $4.5 Million: 817 W. Hutchinson

817 w hutchinson #2

We’ve chattered about this historic 6-bedroom historic mansion at 817 W. Hutchinson in the Buena Park neighborhood of Uptown several times over the last 2 years.

See our October 2012 chatter here.

The Claude Seymour House is one of the many historic mansions that line Hutchinson on this landmarked block.

The Elite Street column in the Chicago Tribune recently highlighted it:

The asking price for the 16-room Claude Seymour House in Buena Park has been reduced to $4.995 million from $5.195 million.

Designed by Prairie-style architect George Washington Maher and completed in 1913 for jewelry wholesaler Seymour, the more than 12,000-square-foot mansion has six bedrooms, four full baths, two half baths, leaded stained-glass windows, a grand mahogany staircase, three fireplaces, mahogany millwork throughout, an eat-in kitchen and a coach house atop a two-car garage.

The property has 136 feet of frontage and a wraparound yard.

The mansion easily is the highest-priced listing in its area, with the next-most-expensive listing in its ZIP code clocking in at just under $3 million.

The house is “loaded with original details,” said listing agent Jennifer Ames, of Coldwell Banker.

“The sellers made it work for family living without tampering with the original integrity of the home.”

If you recall, the house is on 5 city lots measuring 136×140.

All 6 bedrooms are on the third level.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and what look like stone counter tops.

Since we last chattered about it, the house has been reduced $495,000 to $4.5 million.

The upper bracket housing market has seen some of the highest prices ever paid for properties in the city (and suburbs) this year.

Will this house be among them in 2013?

817 w hutchinson #1

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

817 W. Hutchinson: 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 half baths, 12000 square feet, 2 car garage, studio

  • Sold in November 1993 (no price listed)
  • Originally listed in March 2011 for just 2 weeks at $5.195 million
  • Re-listed in October 2011 for $4.995 million
  • Was listed in October 2012 at $4.995 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $4.5 million
  • Taxes are now $81,517 (they were $21,652 in October 2012)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 19×19 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×14 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 17×12 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 14×11 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 10×15 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #6: 12×20 (third floor)

House Flipping in West Town: Buying “As-Is” at 2526 W. Thomas

This 3-bedroom cottage at 2526 W. Thomas in West Town is looking for its third sale of 2013.

It sold in a judicial sale in April 2013 for $106,500.

According to Redfin, it came back on the market in June and sold in just weeks for $160,000.

It then came back on the market again in July at $260,000.

The property has since been reduced to $249,000.

The lot is 24×125.

The June listing said “Zoning to R4 will not be a problem – zoning attorney been in contact with alderman.”

It’s being marketed to investors in the current listing as being in Ukrainian Village and also that it’s next to WickerPark/Bucktown.

Is this the sign of a hot market or one that is overheating?

Dariusz Wozniak at Landmark Realtors has the listing. See the listing here.

2526 W. Thomas: 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, teardown, being sold “as-is”

  • Lis pendens filed in August 2011
  • Sold in April 2013 for $106,500
  • Listed in June 2013 for $149,900
  • Sold in June 2013 for $160,000 (according to Redfin but this sale isn’t yet in the public records)
  • Listed again in July 2013 for $269,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $249,000
  • Taxes of $2580
  • Lot size: 24×125



Renovated 3-Bedroom Duplex is Trying an Auction: 39 E. Schiller in the Gold Coast

39 e schiller

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom duplex at 39 E. Schiller in the Gold Coast in early July 2013.

See our previous chatter here.

But we had chattered about it several times before that, as it was a short sale and then was bank owned before being renovated and coming back on the market this summer.

Now, however, there’s another twist.

The property is going to auction.

Online bidding will be held from August 17- 27.

The suggested opening bid is $500,000. The listing says “previously valued up to $1,100,000.”

If you recall, the unit came back on the market as a 3-bedroom when previously it had been a 2-bedroom plus family room.

It has come back on the market with a new kitchen, baths, and new lighting.

The kitchen now has dark cabinets and some stainless steel appliances. The listing calls it a “chef’s kitchen.”

There is no deeded parking with the unit but it does have central air and in-unit washer/dryer.

What are the pros and cons of this selling technique in a hot real estate market?

I think Rick Levin at Rick Levin & Associates still has the listing (also has an interest in the property). See the new pictures here.

You can see the “before” pictures here.

Unit #1W: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, now 2800 square feet, duplex up

  • Sold in May 1999 for $510,000
  • Sold in August 2002 for $662,500
  • Sold in March 2005 for $710,000
  • Originally listed in October 2009 for $680,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in November 2009
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in April 2010 for $550,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Bank owned in December 2012
  • Was listed in February 2013 at $399,900
  • Sold in March 2013 for $467,000
  • Was listed July 2013 for $1.1 million
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed at $975,000
  • Auction taking place with suggested starting bid of $500,000
  • Assessments now $804 a month (they were $875 a month in April 2010) (includes cable and did include special assessment in 2010)
  • Taxes still $4471 (they were $7196 in April 2010)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 26×16 (second level)
  • Bedroom #2: 20×14 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 17×15 (main level)

Market Conditions: Second Quarter New Home Sales Soar Compared to Last Year

Crain’s has the numbers from Tracy Cross & Associates on the new home sales in the second quarter in Chicago and the Chicagoland area.

Given the strength in the resale market, you might have guessed that it is shaping up to be the best year for the homebuilders since the bust.

In the second quarter, 1,343 new homes sold in the Chicagoland area, up 40% from a year ago. That puts the sales on pace to be about 5,025 by the end of the year which is 46% higher than a year ago.

This is still well below the “normal” market years of 2000-2003 but is a vast improvement over the last few years.

The surge in city sales can be attributed mostly to the strong performance of two failed South Loop condo towers rebooted by a joint venture including developer Related Cos. The venture sold 154 condos in the second quarter, accounting for nearly half of the city’s new-home sales, according to Tracy Cross.

Though demand for new homes has been strong this year, supply has waned. There were 320 active housing developments in the Chicago area at the end of the second quarter, down from 394 at the same time last year and a peak of 1,285 in 2007, according to Tracy Cross.

High-rise condo development still isn’t palatable to many lenders, and though home prices are rising, prices haven’t risen to the point to justify buying large pieces of land to build from scratch.

Jeff Benach, co-principal of Chicago-based Lexington Homes, said more than 5,000 new homes would sell this year if “builders had inventory.”

Mr. Benach has sold 49 homes this year and just launched sales of two town home developments in suburban Palatine totaling 56 units, 41 of them part of a stalled project Lexington bought out of distress.

He said he is “guardedly optimistic” about housing’s momentum, but many factors, including the tepid broader economic recovery ,could impede the comeback. Mr. Benach said he is searching for raw land development sites, but not for projects larger than 50 or 60 lots.

“I don’t see a lot of jumping on major, big pieces” of land, Mr. Benach said. “Nobody’s quite comfortable yet to commit to a long-term thing, at least at this point.”

With demand growing, will 2014 be the return of significant new construction in the city?

Homebuilders on track for best year since the crash [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, August 8, 2013]

We Love White Painted Hardwood Floors: 233 E. Walton in the Gold Coast

233 e walton

This 4-bedroom co-op at 233 E. Walton in the Gold Coast came on the market in April 2013.

The building was built in 1922 with 1 unit per floor. There are only 13 units in the building.

If you look closely enough at the listing pictures, you’ll realize that the floors in many of the rooms are hardwood floors painted white and/or gray and white.

The kitchen is also white with modern white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

It is a family-sized home with a library and family room along with 1 fireplace.

There is space pak cooling and washer/dryer in the unit.

The listing says that there is “outdoor parking for day use.”

And before you scream about the assessment, it does include real estate taxes. And remember, there are only 13 units to maintain the common areas of this building.

Are painted wood floors the new trend?

Lisa Malkin at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #9: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, library, co-op, no square footage listed

  • I don’t know the previous sales price because it’s a co-op
  • Originally listed in April 2013 for $2.995 million
  • Still listed at $2.995 million
  • Assessments of $5891 a month (includes real estate taxes, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $24,603
  • Space pak cooling
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Parking for day use
  • Bedroom #1: 18×16
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Bedroom #3: 19×13
  • Bedroom #4: 16×13
  • Family room: 18×16
  • Library: 19×13


Have You Ever Wanted To Paint Your Hardwood Floors? 3534 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview

This 2-bedroom vintage unit at 3534 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview just came on the market.

It is bank owned.

The building was built in 1924 so this unit has the pre-war features like tall ceilings, hardwood floors, crown molding, generous room sizes and a big entry foyer.

The kitchen has white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

There are no pictures of the bathrooms.

But you’ll notice from the pictures that some of the hardwood floors are painted.

Would you be okay with painting your hardwood floors?

Ron Ehlers at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #12D: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet

  • Sold in June 1993 for $150,000
  • Sold in December 1995 for $160,000
  • Sold in September 2006 for $430,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2010
  • Bank owned in April 2013
  • Currently listed for $299,000
  • Assessments of $894 a month (includes water, cable)
  • Taxes of $5036
  • No central air
  • Washer/Dryer hook-ups in the unit
  • No mention of parking
  • Bedroom #1: 14×14
  • Bedroom #2: 14×13


An Upgraded South Loop 2/2 Priced To Sell Quickly? 1464 S. Michigan

1464 s michigan approved

We haven’t chattered about The Marquee at 1464 S. Michigan in the South Loop in awhile.

The building started closings in 2008 just as the housing bust was beginning.

This 2-bedroom on the 7th floor recently came on the market.

This is one of the east facing corner units with the larger corner terrace.

It has hardwood floors in the main living area and an upgraded kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and a tile backsplash.

The unit has 10 foot ceilings, in-unit washer/dryer, central air and parking is included.

It has come on the market $22,000 under the 2008 purchase price.

Is this priced to sell quickly in a tight South Loop market?

Charles Gullett at Best Chicago Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #704: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in May 2008 for $387,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed for $365,000
  • Assessments of $364 a month (includes gas, doorman)
  • Taxes of $4019
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 12×11
  • Bedroom #2: 10×9