Will Skybridge Become the Hottest Building in the West Loop? 737 W. Washington

737 w washington

This 2-bedroom in Skybridge at 737 W. Washington in the West Loop just came on the market.

Skybridge was built in 2003 and has 237 units. It won a bunch of design awards at the time of its construction.

It is the tallest building in the West Loop. The East side has views of the entire Loop while the west has views out to the suburbs.

This unit has east facing, or downtown city, views.

It has Brazilian hardwood floors in the living/dining area and carpeted bedrooms.

The kitchen has white cabinets and white appliances but it doesn’t look like there are granite counter tops.

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

This building has a Whole Foods in its base and the Mariano’s is just across the street. You can stroll to the hot Fulton Market restaurants or Greek Town as well as Randolph Street.

With McDonald’s moving its corporate headquarters just a few blocks away, and very few high rises in this neighborhood, is Skybridge destined to become one of the West Loop’s hottest buildings?

Peter Fotopoulos at Dream Town has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1704: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1328 square feet

  • Sold in July 2003 for $350,000 (included the parking)
  • Sold in October 2004 for $365,000 (included the parking)
  • Sold in June 2008 for $424,000 – per Redfin (I couldn’t find this sale in the public records)
  • Currently listed at $499,000 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $641 a month (includes heat, a/c, parking, doorman, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn service, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4580
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 22×17
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11

Market Conditions: May Sales Jumped 5% to Highest Level in 9 Years

Fountain in Millennial Park August 2015

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the May housing sales data and it’s another hot month.

The city of Chicago saw a 5.0 percent year-over-year home sales increase in May 2016 with 2,887 sales, up from 2,750 in May 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in May 2016 was $291,000, up 3.6 percent compared to May 2015 when it was $281,000.

May sales:

  • May 2008: 2119 sales
  • May 2009: 1557 sales
  • May 2010: 2057 sales
  • May 2011: 1705 sales
  • May 2012: 2037 sales
  • May 2013: 2834 sales
  • May 2014: 2453 sales
  • May 2015: 2750 sales
  • May 2016: 2887 sales

Median price data:

  • May 2008: $319,500
  • May 2009: $225,000
  • May 2010: $230,000
  • May 2011: $190,000
  • May 2012: $203,000
  • May 2013: $234,000
  • May 2014: $269,250
  • May 2015: $281,000
  • May 2016: $291,000

“Sellers are still seeing healthy median price gains in the Chicago market, particularly in the single-family segment,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “The 40 days it’s taking to sell a home in Chicago underscores the fast-moving nature of this market and shows that the city is powerfully attractive to buyers.”

The hot market isn’t limited to Chicago. Statewide, inventory continues to drop dramatically as does market times.

“Inventories continue to be tight across the state as buyers scour the market for deals,” said Mike Drews, GRI, Illinois REALTORS® president and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “The pronounced demand we have seen for more than a year appears to be setting this selling season up to be one where homes go quickly and for more money, which is a huge advantage for sellers.”

The time it took to sell a home in May averaged 59 days, down from 70 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 62,445 homes for sale, a 15.3 percent decline from May 2015 when there were 73,724 homes on the market.

With these inventory numbers, why aren’t developers building more product?

Where are all the new condo towers?

There have been a few announced in recent months, but these are almost all exclusively at the luxury price point.

Will we see apartment towers converted into condos soon?

May brings strong growth to Illinois sales and prices [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, June 22, 2016]

A Loft With A Wrap Around Terrace and City Views: 900 N. Kingsbury in River North

900 n kingsbury #1

This 2-bedroom in the Domain Lofts at 900 N. Kingsbury in River North came on the market in January 2016. (I think this is a picture of the office part of the building- which houses Groupon and other businesses).

It’s a top floor loft with exposed concrete beams and columns along with exposed ductwork.

The ceilings look like they’re finished with drywall, however.

There is a 1400 square foot wrap-around terrace that is accessible from all rooms which has views of the entire city skyline.

The bedrooms are both massive in size with the master suite having its own sitting area.

The kitchen appears to have maple cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

There’s central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2 garage parking spaces are available for $30,000 each.

What’s keeping this from selling in this hot market?

Susan Miner at Premier Relocation has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1078: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2500 square feet

  • Sold in July 2004 for $954,000 (included the two parking spaces)
  • Listed in January 2016 for $1.4 million (parking is $30,000 extra for each space- with 2 spaces available)
  • Still listed at $1.4 million
  • Assessments of $1470 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, wifi, cable, doorman, lawn care, exterior maintenance, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $10406
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×24
  • Bedroom #2: 16×24
  • Terrace: 76×11

 

The Flips Are Back! A 3-Bedroom Basecamp Rowhouse at 459 W. Hobbie in Old Town

This 3-bedroom rowhouse in the newly built Basecamp River North development at 459 W. Hobbie in Old Town just came on the market.

It’s so new, I don’t yet have a picture of these rowhouses.

I debated what neighborhood to put this in as the original advertising for this development WAS called “Basecamp River North” but this listing says this is Old Town. I might have even called it Gold Coast.

It is north of Chicago Avenue but south of Division. It’s near the Old Town developments so I’m calling it Old Town.

This was a Ranquist and CMK development of 47 rowhouses. It sold out quickly about a year ago.

Construction has finished and they are closing now.

This is the first re-sale that I have seen come on the market.

It has two-levels with a 2-car attached garage on a 21×59 lot.

There is Italian Archisesto kitchen and baths.

It has polished and heated concrete floors on the main level with floor to ceiling windows.

This has the preferred townhouse layout with a half bath on the main level so you don’t have to go up the stairs to the bathroom.

All three bedrooms are on the second floor along with a media room.

Zillow and Redfin are saying this unit closed for $730,760.

It has come on the market at $919,000.

I haven’t seen a true “flip” since 2007-2008, i.e. where there was no renovation and no one has lived in the property.

If you missed out on buying one of these from the developer, will you pay an extra $188,240 to buy it now?

Katharine Waddell at Jameson Sothebys has the listing. See the pictures here.

459 W. Hobbie: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, 2 car garage

  • Sold in May 2015 for $730,760 (according to Zillow/Redfin)
  • Currently listed for $919,000
  • Assessments of $233 a month (for lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×11 (second floor)
  • Media room: 18×13 (second floor)

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.

Rad!

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