Is There a Bubble in the 1-Bedrooms in 600 N. Fairbanks in Streeterville?


This 1-bedroom in 600 N. Fairbanks in Streeterville just came on the market.

It is not one of the large one bedrooms you will see in some buildings with 1.5 baths and a “den”.

It is 821 square feet with just one bathroom.

It has 10 foot concrete ceilings and floor to ceiling windows.

The unit faces west and has a small balcony.

All the kitchens in the building were Snaidero and have luxury appliances like Subzero.

The bathroom is stone.

Here are the recent sales and pending prices of other 06-tier 1-bedrooms:

  • #1506 sold in May 2013 for $410,100 with the parking
  • #2806 sold in June 2013 for $415,000 with the parking
  • #2406 is under contract priced at $459,000 with parking
  • #3206 is under contract priced at $465,000 with the parking
  • Now #2306 came on the market at $474,900 with the parking

They all have similar luxury finishes, same view, same 10 foot concrete ceilings.

Is a bubble forming in the 1-bedrooms in this building?

Joseph Siciliano at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2306: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 821 square feet

  • Sold in March 2008 for $400,000 (with the parking)
  • Sold in April 2008 for $425,000 (with the parking)
  • Currently listed at $474,900 (with the parking)
  • Assessments of $431 a month (includes gas, doorman, cable, pool)
  • Taxes of $5934
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 16×12

3-Bedroom Lakeview Brick and Timber Penthouse Loft Sells for $10,000 Over Ask: 3323 N. Paulina

3323 n paulina

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom penthouse loft at the Gallery Lofts at 3323 N. Paulina in Lakeview in May 2013.

See our prior chatter here.

If you recall, it had many features that loft lovers crave including a timber beamed ceiling.

There was a 3-story atrium with a spiral staircase that connected the floors.

The kitchen, with maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances, was in the original elevator shaft.

It had west facing windows.

On the third floor there was a small “sitting room” which lead to a private 871 square foot rooftop deck with views of downtown.

It had central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1-car garage parking.

In our previous chatter, many of you were surprised at the list price and thought it was too high.

But it sold quickly, and for $10,000 over the ask, at $760,000, although that was still under the 2006 purchase price.

Another penthouse unit, Unit #5DE, is also on the market.

Unit #5DE tried to sell in February and March of 2012 at $529,000, when the market was decidedly cooler.

It came back on the market in July 2013 for $825,000 and still remains at $825,000.

Will a quick sale be the fate of this other penthouse unit in the same building?

Or did Unit #5H just price it right?

Todd Szwajkowski at Dream Town had the listing. You can still see the pictures here.

Check out the pictures of Unit #5DE here.

Unit #5H: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2754 square feet, 1 car parking

  • Sold in May 2000 for $519,500
  • Sold in April 2004 for $635,000
  • Sold in October 2006 for $775,000
  • Was listed in May 2013 for $750,000
  • Sold in August 2013 for $760,000
  • Assessments of $406 a month
  • Taxes of $3910
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Deck: 871 square feet
  • Bedroom #1: 24×23 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 17×14 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 18×15 (second floor)
  • Sitting room: 12×11 (third floor)

This 2-Bedroom Lincoln Park Townhouse Returns to the Market 5 Years Later: 648 W. Willow

648 w willow approved

I always love seeing properties we chattered about years ago come back on the market like this 2-bedroom townhouse at 648 W. Willow in Lincoln Park.

We last chattered about it in April 2008. See our chatter here (with interior pictures).

Boy, how things have changed since then in the Chicago housing market.

The townhouse is the front unit in this 4-unit complex so it has a front patio that faces the street.

The first floor has the living room.

The second floor has a family room, dining room and a kitchen with black appliances.

The two bedrooms are on the third floor.

It has central air and 1-car parking.

The listing says it’s in the Lincoln school district.

The townhouse has come on the market $15,100 under the 2008 purchase price.

Is this a deal?

Juliana Yeager at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #S: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed, 1 car parking

  • Sold in June 1994 for either $220,000 or $229,000 (it’s unclear from the public record)
  • Sold in May 2005 for $480,000
  • Sold in July 2008 for $485,000
  • Currently listed at $469,900
  • Assessments of $85 a month (includes water)
  • Taxes of $7089
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 14×11 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×9 (third floor)
  • Family room: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Living room: 18×13 (main floor)


You’ll Never Have to Shovel Snow Again: A 3-Bedroom at 500 W. Superior in River North

500 w superior approved

This 3-bedroom at 500 W. Superior in River North came on the market in May 2013.

We’ve been chattering about “family” sized condo units and whether or not you could have single family home amenities in a downtown high rise.

This unit fits many of the unicorn criteria.

The north facing unit has 3056 square feet and has a family room, a small office (urban mommy- you could store your stroller in there) and a 11×8 laundry room with its own sink.

The kitchen has luxury finishes including Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances and a wine fridge along with a massive stone-topped center island.

The unit also has 15 foot ceilings, extensive crown moldings and 4 1/2 bathrooms.

The building is a full service building but doesn’t have a swimming pool. Instead, you’ll have to settle for an exercise room, bike room and party room.

2-car parking is included with the unit.

Is this a good single family home substitute?

Sophia Klopas at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2706: 3 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 3056 square feet

  • Sold in April 2007 for $1,608,000
  • Sold in September 2009 for $1,706,500
  • Originally listed in May 2013 for $1,995,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1,895,000
  • Assessments of $1890 a month (includes a/c, gas, cable, doorman, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $16,657
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2 car garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 18×16
  • Bedroom #2: 14×13
  • Bedroom #3: 14×13
  • Family room: 18×15
  • Living room: 11×8
  • Office: 15×9

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)